Note: The Jets went into last night’s game against the Avalanche having lost four straight although it is worth noting that Colorado was on a slide of their own having lost three straight before puck drop in Winnipeg. Both goalies were very good in the opening 50 minutes but the visitors capitalized on a mistake to open the scoring before the home team scored four straight, the most significant of which saw Kyle Connor score his 45th to set the single season Jets 2.0 franchise record. The 4-1 victory also gave Connor Hellebuyck his 200th in the NHL. The Jets don’t face the Flyers until Wednesday so they have taken today off.
Note II: The Moose ended the regular season portion of their road travels yesterday afternoon in Milwaukee which was their 12th game of the season against the Admirals, which is a team they could face in the first round of the playoffs. I thought it was a possibility but turned out that today would be the Moose debuts for Jets prospects Henri Nikkaken (2019 4th) and Daniel Torgersson (2020 2nd) and while I hesitate to make bold predictions after one game they both looked like they would be nice organizational fits. Unlike the previous night against Rockford the start for Manitoba was a good one with Leon Gawanke got this off a nice feed by Kristian Vesalainen and CJ Suess though hard work of his line to make it 2-0 after 20 which they extended to 3-0 after 40 courtesy of a second goal by Suess, this time shorthanded. Two quick goals in the 3rd by the home side made it a 3-2 game but then a Ville Heinola power play goal, followed by an Evan Polei wrister and iced by a David Gustafsson shorthanded empty netter ended the contest 6-2 When the team got back to Manitoba they saw the results of the Iowa/Rockford game which resulted in the Moose clinching the 2nd spot in the Central. They are off today.
Note III: I would imagine that if things were going to plan the Ice and Raiders would be practicing in Prince Albert for their game 3 which is scheduled to play in Saskatchewan tomorrow night. However the Raiders team were all at the Jets/Avs game last night as they dealt with this late season storm which left them unable to take the bus back home. Perhaps the two teams practice in Winnipeg today before making the journey west for their game on Tuesday.
The Hockey News: Dubois next contract among offseason issues for the Jets. Lots of discussions about the long-term future of Dubois in Winnipeg including these comments from insider Elliotte Friedman on his 32 Thoughts Podcast.
Sportsnet: Even under the spotlight, Jets’ Kyle Connor continues to impress. He has simply been sensational this year and it is hard to recall a game where you haven’t noticed him in it which is not something that could be said for a number of his teammates.
Winnipeg Sun: Hellebuyck and Connor lead the way as Jets storm past Avalanche in third period. It was a milestone night for the two Michiganites as Connor Hellebuyck set the franchise (Jets/Thrashers) record for games played as well as securing his 200th NHL win while Kyle Connor set the Jets 2.0 franchise mark for most goals in a season with his 45th.
Winnipeg Free Press: Too little too late for Jets in meaningless 4-1 win over Avalanche. (Paywall). At the end of the day these games are meaningless for next year aside from maybe one or two players benefiting from a potentially auditioning for an increase role (i.e. Jansen Harkins) as well as to provide some entertainment for the fanbase.
Denver Post: Jets deal Avalanche fourth straight loss behind scoring barrage in third period. Before folks in Colorado get too unsettled the fact is that wasn’t their A squad we saw last night. Check out the recap from a writer that covers the Avalanche.
Illegal Curve Hockey Show: Saturday Podcast. Topics included – Jets elimination from playoffs and the post-mortem that has begun. Do the Jets need to retool or rebuild? Organizational need for a top to bottom audit. Need to re-establish a connection to the fan base. We were joined by Ken Wiebe of Sportsnet and Marc Dumont special correspondent for the Montreal Canadiens.