It was a November to remember for the Jets as they went 10-3-1 this past month. That matched their best November ever for points and was the most wins they’ve ever had in the second last month of the year. After going 6-7-0 in October they have banked enough points (33) to push themselves into the battle for a playoff spot with the likes of 2nd place Colorado (34 points) and 4th place Dallas (32) and they found themselves above the playoff line at US Thanksgiving.
Of course a large part of this success for the Jets is attributable to their goalie Connor Hellebuyck who went 8-2-1 in November with a 1.85 GAA, a .944 SV% and which included a shutout.
Also notable for the Jets was the move of team captain Blake Wheeler to the middle when Bryan Little went down with injury back on November 5th. The team has gone 8-3-0 since the move and Wheeler has one goal and nine assists in the 11 games for Winnipeg.
It wasn’t just the parent club in Winnipeg that had a November to remember as the Manitoba Moose went 11-4-0-0. Quite a sequence of wins and losses:
This run helped offset a disastrous 1-7-0 record in October which really wasn’t indicative of their play but ultimately was a big hole that they would have to dig themselves out of if they wanted to make the playoffs. They’ve secured enough points (24) to be in 4th spot in the Central Division but aside from Milwaukee who appear to be running away with the division (35 points) it is tight from 2nd place Iowa (26 points) to 7th place Chicago (20 points).
The two players who had the biggest impact in November were Jets 2015 2nd rounder Jansen Harkins and Jets 2016 6th rounder Mikhail Berdin. Harkins had points in 14 of the 15 games Manitoba played, ended the month with 24 points (4G 20A) total and is tied for 1st overall in the AHL scoring race. Berdin went 10-4-0-0 with a 2.27 GAA and a .931 SV% as well as having two shutouts. According to the AHL Berdin was the “first AHL goaltender to win 10 games in a calendar month since Ontario’s Jack Campbell went 11-1-1 in December 2016”.
I also appear on the Illegal Curve Hockey Show every Saturday on TSN 1290 Winnipeg starting at 9 am.
And I occasionally jump in the play-by-play booth at Bell MTS Place to provide colour analysis during Manitoba Moose games.