Note: It all begins today (Reminder it’s a 6 pm start) for the 2017-18 incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets as they begin their push for the playoffs beginning with the home opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at the Bell MTS Place. We will have your projected Jets and Leafs lines following the morning skate along with pre-game audio. Keep it locked to illegalcurve.com and on social media including Twitter| Facebook | Instagram for all the latest pre and post game news.
Note II: The Jets made their final roster moves yesterday getting down to their 23 man roster which you can see here. There were plenty of Jets tidbits throughout the day and you can get a complete recap including chats with Steve Mason, Nikolaj Ehlers, Andrew Copp, Patrik Laine and coach Maurice.
Note III: The Moose will hit the ice today at the IcePlex for practice. The players, including Kyle Connor who was assigned yesterday, are preparing to head to Michigan to take on the defending champs to open the season.
Note IV: The Jets have signed Nikolaj Ehlers to a seven year contract extension.
Sportsnet: 31 Thoughts. Lots of Winnipeg thinking from Elliotte Friedman including some in his opening salvo and then thoughts 12 (Laine), 13 (Hellebuyck), 14 (Myers), 15 (Analytics), 16 (Penalties) and 17 (Little).
Winnipeg Sun: Winnipeg Jets season preview. As connected as anyone around the team give Ken’s season preview a read if you’d like an assessment on the 2017-18 incarnation of the Jets.
Winnipeg Sun: Byfuglien can ‘make or break’ Jets. He is one of the most popular players (and has to be top one or two) for fans in this market and that popularity will hit new heights if he can put the Jets on his back this season and take them into the post season.
Winnipeg Sun: Mason will be key to Jets success. While there has been plenty of talk in the pre-season of a better collective team commitment to defence at the end of the day it always seems to be the goalies who are held the most accountable for any lapses (since they usually end with the puck in the back of the net). Mason knows he will be under a lot of pressure of playing in this market but that is a challenge he has accepted.
Winnipeg Sun: What will Laine do for an encore? There is no surprising any of the 30 other NHL teams (OK maybe the Vegas Golden Knights) but most teams are well aware of what this kid is capable of and to hear him yesterday it sounded like he is ready to adjust to the adjustments that opposing team will be planning against him.
Winnipeg Sun: New campaign brings hope, higher expectations. The captain knows he isn’t getting any younger and the time is now for his group to take the next step or two down the road if they want to get something that resembles the promised land.
Toronto Sun: In Year 2, the Matthews-Laine rivalry extends beyond individual success. While some might enjoy this constant comparison I think I’m happy we only have to deal with it twice per season.
Winnipeg Free Press: Five keys to get Winnipeg Jets to the next level. (Paywall). Mike with a list of his five things that he believes will get this Jets team over the hump and into that next level.
Winnipeg Free Press: Jets squad prepared for takeoff. (Paywall). With the final roster moves the 23 members of the Jets are set and we shall see how this group has taken to what they learned in the pre-season.
Sportingnews: Laine, Mason, and other storylines heading into the 2017-18 campaign. Lots from Scott in this one including a look at Mason in net, need for defence, sin bin woes, Laine & Co. and the bottom six being a work in progress.
Grand Forks Herald: Six years after struggling to find junior team, Tucker Poolman makes Jets roster. The 2013 5th rounder for Winnipeg has looked like quite the selection and well worth the wait as he filled out and developed into the player he is today.
The Athletic: A healthy Tyler Myers is a big boost to Jets’ defence. (Paywall). Did the time away from the game last year give the tall defenceman the time needed to heal? It will be interesting to watch him this season.
Toronto Star: Patrik Laine not afraid to show humour — and a heavy shot. The Jets sniper was having a bit of fun with the folks from out east as they peppered him with questions.
CBC: Laine ready for sophomore season. No real surprise that he was the focus of attention as the NHL was about to kick off.
TSN 1290 Winnipeg: Jets success hinges on continual improvement. Ahead of the start of a new season, Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff joined the Afternoon Ride to discuss the last few roster decisions, the direction Paul Maurice wants to take the penalty kill in, and the roles the bottom 6 players can fulfill.
TSN: Maurice on what’s needed for Jets to take next step. Jets coach Paul Maurice talks about the challenge of making the playoffs in the trough Central Division. Maurice also says that in order to get to the post-season, they need better goaltending, and not take as many penalties.
TSN: Jets emphasizing defence. They allowed the fourth most goals against last season, now the Jets are focusing on the defensive side of the puck. The TSN hockey panel discusses Winnipeg’s back end and whether their goaltending is strong enough to back them up.
Sportsnet: Rivalry or not between Laine & Matthews, Maple Leafs vs. Jets still must-see TV. Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine downplay their manufactured rivalry at every turn, but with their head-to-head matchups turning into track meets it means their games remain must-see viewing.