Winnipeg Jets 2020 NHL Season Analysis

Winnipeg Jets 2020 NHL Season Analysis

Written by on April 2, 2020

The Winnipeg Jets were battling for one of the final playoff spots in the Western Conference when the NHL suspended its season. Here’s an overview of the Jets this year and their Mybookie NHL odds and Stanley Cup Odds.

Winnipeg Jets 2020 NHL Season Analysis

Season Recap

Winnipeg had 80 points when the season was suspended, fourth in the Central Division and holding down the final Wild-Card spot in the Western Conference. Obviously, the NHL suspension hurts everyone, but the Jets were playing their best hockey on a four-game winning streak – each by at least two goals. Winnipeg’s most recent winning streak longer than three games was a four-game streak from Mar. 14-20, 2019.

The Jets’ final game was March 11 in Edmonton and they were 4-2 upset winners. Kyle Connor scored twice in the third period, Blake Wheeler and Patrik Laine also scored and Connor Hellebuyck made 36 saves for the Jets. The Jets were 11-5-1 in their past 17 games, and Hellebuyck’s play has been a major factor.

“We were kind of playing shorthanded a lot of the year and I think finally towards the end there we were finally starting to get healthy. We finally had our D healthy and some of our guys up front got heathy. Our goaltender (Hellebuyck) was playing out of his mind. Helly gave us a chance to hang in there and stay within striking distance of the wild card,” said Wheeler.

Hellebuyck is a legitimate Vezina Trophy candidate. The American has the second-most starts in the league (56) but still managed a .922 save percentage and an NHL-high six shutouts. Hellebuyck had two goals or fewer in six of his past seven starts, including a pair of shutouts. Hellebuyck is tied for second in the NHL this season with 31 wins, which is the third consecutive season that he’s reached 30.

Connor was two goals shy of hitting the 40-goal mark for the first time in his career. The 23-year-old was on pace to score 44 times in 2019-20. He had accumulated 73 points in 71 games before the pause. It’s the third straight year that he’s surpassed the 30-goal mark.

Laine needs two points to pass Marian Hossa (248) for 10th all-time in franchise points. He needs two goals to pass Andrew Ladd (139) for7th all-time in franchise goals. Wheeler needs four assists to reach 500 for his NHL career. He needs four goals to pass Bryan Little (217) for second in franchise history in goals.

Mark Scheifele is ninth in the NHL in road scoring this season with 39 points (16G, 23A). He’s second among NHL players that have played at least 30 road games with a 24.6% shooting percentage away from home. Overall, he leads the team in assists (44), average ice time per game (21:498) and power play goals (10), plus Scheifele is tied with Connor for most points with 73.

With so much offseason turnover, 24-year-old blueliner Neal Pionk — acquired in the Jacob Trouba trade — was thrust into a top role with the Jets almost immediately. He had done great, leading Winnipeg blueliners in ice time and points.

A return to the lineup for center Mark Letestu this season remains unclear, but he isn’t finished playing yet. Letestu was diagnosed with myocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart, in early November. He was called up from his conditioning stint right before the NHL’s roster freeze.

Paul Maurice coached his 1,600th NHL game in the finale before the suspension. He became just the fifth head coach in league history to reach the 1,600-game mark, joining Scotty Bowman (2,141), Joel Quenneville (1,705), Barry Trotz (1,673), and Al Arbour (1,607).

Winnipeg Jets odds to win Stanley Cup

The Jets are +5500 to win the franchise’s first Cup. They never even reached the Finals.