Note: If the Jets were wanting to kick off the final homestand of the regular season with a dandy effort they accomplished their goal as they defeated their rival Nashville 5-0 which made them the third Western Conference team to clinch a playoff spot. Kyle Connor picked up his first NHL hat trick and Connor Hellebuyck had his second shutout of the week in the victory. The Jets were scheduled to practice but have cancelled it. Instead they will be back on the ice on Monday for morning skate as they get ready to face the Stars.
Note II: After kicking off the five-game road trip with a win Friday night over a Colorado team that was 9-1 and had won seven straight games before a loss to the Moose it looked like it would a tough re-match on Saturday night. Manitoba started well getting the opening goal of the game and then after going down by two, Tucker Poolman tied it in the 2nd period. The game would need OT and once again Poolman would score (his first pro OT winner) to win it 3-2 for the Moose. Manitoba are now 22-11-2-2 since Christmas and overall the team improved to 33-27-4-2 on the season which is good enough for the 4th and final playoff spot. From worst in the AHL at Christmas to a playoff spot. Today they travel to Texas where they will play three games starting with a Stars team who sit one point back of them on Wednesday night.
Winnipeg Sun: Jets book playoff ticket, trample rival Preds. Paul provides his thoughts and assessment of the game action from his spot inside Bell MTS Place.
Winnipeg Free Press: Connor nets first NHL hat trick as Jets lock up playoff berth in style. (Paywall). Not a bad start to a pro career when you can have back-to-back 30+ goal seasons. That new look second line was on fire last night.
Winnipeg Free Press: Ehlers happy to be back with Jets top line. (Paywall). It was pretty clear that he was enjoying himself last night as his creativity was creating all sorts of opportunities for himself as well as those around him.
Global News: Jets blank Predators to clinch playoff spot. Judy recaps the action.
The Tennessean: Jets take it to Predators, clinch playoff berth behind hat trick from Kyle Connor. Read about the game from the perspective of a beat writer than covers the Jets opposition.
Illegal Curve Hockey Show:
Topics: Jets Week in Review, Patrik Laine’s goal scoring struggles are back, Jets/Predators Preview, Paul Maurice shakes up the forward lines by putting Nik Ehlers on the top line and moving Patrik Laine to the second line with Kevin Hayes and Kyle Connor, Ben Chiarot’s career season and his next contract
Guests: Ted Wyman (Winnipeg Sun Sports Editor), Chris Mason (Nashville Predators TV Analyst).
To listen to part 1 click here.
Topics: Evaluating the Stars, Wild, Avalanche and Blues as the Jets likely 1st round opponents, You Bet Your Contest (Saturday We’ll Call You Bonus Play), The Columbus Blue Jackets lose two games in a row to Calgary and Edmonton and their playoff hopes, Eugene Melnyk’s comments about the Toronto Maple Leafs
Guests: Mike Heika (DallasStarscom), Sean Leahy (NBC Pro Hockey Talk), Matt Wellens (Duluth News Tribune).
To listen to part 2 click here.