5 Things Winnipeg Jets Must Do To Make Playoffs

By Jeff Henning

5 Things Winnipeg Jets Must Do To Make Playoffs

Ondrej Pavelec
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In 2014-15, the Winnipeg Jets turned the corner from lottery pick contenders to Stanley Cup playoff contenders. With a variety of skilled forwards and athletic defensemen, there’s no reason to believe that the Jets can’t return to the postseason dance. Here are five things they must accomplish.

5. Top Players Must Stay Healthy

Blake Wheeler
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5. Top Players Must Stay Healthy

Blake Wheeler
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A cliche for many teams, the Winnipeg Jets must remain healthy if they are to compete in the 2015-16 postseason. That's especially true if their bottom six proves incapable of providing offensive production, the top players on this team will be relied on all season. Any major injury to a top-six forward could set the Jets back in the ultra competitive Central Division.

4. Bottom Six Must Produce

Alex Burmistrov
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4. Bottom Six Must Produce

Alex Burmistrov
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As previously mentioned, the Winnipeg Jets main weakness lies in their lack of depth at the forward position. Sure, they’ve proven their top six can score with ease, but it remains to be seen whether or not the bottom six players can put points up when the stars are slumping. The return of Alex Burmistrov from the KHL should provide a boost to the team's third line.

3. Defense Must Remain Strong

Tyler Myers
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3. Defense Must Remain Strong

Tyler Myers
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This defensive core may be the absolute best thing about this team. From the Dust Buff, to newly acquired Tyler Myers, offense can come in waves from the blue line. Not to mention these d-men are huge in stature, they can use their height to intimidate and shut down the opposing forwards.

2. Top Line Must Produce

Andrew Ladd, Blake Wheeler
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2. Top Line Must Produce

Andrew Ladd, Blake Wheeler
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The chemistry of the Jets' top line has come full circle. Bryan Little centers wingers Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler. It’s a big physical line that can generate great possession stats and, thus, points. With the Jets having somewhat of a lack of depth, especially with their bottom six forwards, the top line will be relied upon for consistent offensive production.

1. Goaltending Must Be Strong

Ondrej Pavelec
Getty Images

1. Goaltending Must Be Strong

Ondrej Pavelec
Getty Images

So far, the tandem of Michael Hutchinson and Ondrej Pavelec has produced fantastic results. Each goalie has challenged the other with strong play, and if they both continue to keep the puck out of the net, there’s no doubt that the Winnipeg Jets will find themselves in the postseason picture.

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