Whenever Patrik Laine is short on confidence, it looks like all he needs to do is talk it out.

The last time the Winnipeg Jets winger had a confidence crisis, back in early November, he proceeded to chalk up an eight-game point streak.

And after expressing some of the same sentiments on Friday morning, all he did was chip in a goal and two assists in the third period alone as the Jets earned a 7-4 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights.

Is it time for Laine to start criticizing himself before every game?

“No, just sometimes,” said Laine, who had five shots on goal and two hits while earning 16:29 of ice time. “I’m only doing that because I know that I wasn’t playing really well. I’m not lying to you guys when you’re asking about it. Now, it was a good game, so I’m happy.”

The Jets, who improved to 16-6-4, close out a two-game homestand on Sunday against the Ottawa Senators.
Coupled with the St. Louis Blues 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Friday, the Jets moved into first place in the Central Division and the Western Conference for the first time this season.

“It’s a step up the ladder from where we started in training camp. But there’s a lot of hockey to go, a lot of great teams that are starting to get a little bit more confident as well,” said Jets centre Matt Hendricks, who scored the tying goal at 13:21 of the second period. “I like the way we’re playing, I like our team. It starts in the locker room. We’re playing hard for each other, playing hard for the organization. It’s showing out there with us having successful nights and having a lot of fun.”

Laine expressed some disappointment in his recent play which included a stretch of three games without a point and four games without a goal — following the morning skate when he spoke with reporters.