While the Jets got off to a slow start this season they have been rolling of late going 6-0-2 in their last eight games including a shootout win in our nation’s capital last night. Fans in this town are getting excited but is it premature?
While it isn’t time to start planning the Stanley Cup parade at Portage and Main I figured I’d take a look back at last season’s first 15 games and compare the numbers to the Jets of 2014/15.
Aside from having six additional points this season the number that jumps out is the fact that the Jets have cut out 13 goals against this year. That is close to a goal per game difference which has clearly worked to the Jets benefit already in this young season. There has been plenty of talk of the players “buying into” coach Maurice’s system and it appears that a collective commitment to fitness in the off season is paying dividends, especially with goalie Ondrej Pavelec. Just for quick reference Pavelec’s numbers for 2013/14 in the first 15 games were 4-7-2 had a 3.02 GAA, .902 save percentage and this year he is 7-4-2 with a 1.98 GAA and a .928 save percentage.
The importance of banking early season points becomes clearer when you understand that most playoff spots are determined by US Thanksgiving, which this year is November 27th.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman calculates it based on where a team is as of November 1st as he wrote in his 30 Thoughts column last week:
“If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know I track a certain post-season stat: teams more than four points out of the playoffs on Nov. 1 face a serious fight to get in. Since 2003-04, only five clubs out of 40 that far behind on that date made it…..Winnipeg was five from the wild card, but just three in arrears of Minnesota for third in the Central. Therefore, upon further review, the Jets don’t count.”
What do you think? Will the Jets run continue? Will they return to form? Have they bought into coach Maurice’s system? Still so many questions remain to be answered about the 2014/15 Winnipeg Jets.
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