For those unsettled about Winnipeg’s inability to keep the puck out of their own net, there were plenty of reasons for concern this past week. But when you light the lamp as frequently as the Jets do, sometimes the simplest answer is to outscore your problems.
Like many teams before them the New York Rangers learned this past weekend that stopping the Jets offence is like keeping the ocean waves from the shore.
“I felt like they owned us,” said Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist who held back the tide as long as he could before his team surrendered a three-goal third period lead and lost in the shootout. “We tried to survive for two periods and then finally they got a goal and they just kept coming.”
The Jets have depth in a traditional sense in that all four lines are capable of making a difference as demonstrated over the past week.
That depth holds true on defence, too, where Jacob Trouba and Josh Morrissey combined for six points over a three-game win streak in the absence of top-scoring defenceman Dustin Byfuglien.
Most impressive, though, has to be the Jets’ top-end talent. Shutting down Winnipeg’s stars is like playing a game of whack-a-mole — hold one down and the next one pops up.
The Jets boasted the NHL’s first star for the second straight week and neither happen to be their leading scorer (Blake Wheeler) or the player with the latest hat trick (Nik Ehlers). Two weeks ago Patrik Laine earned the honours and this week it was Mark Scheifele with five goals and three assists over four games. That haul included a one-man-wrecking-crew of an overtime winner against the Devils and the shootout winner against the Rangers.
There may not be a team in the NHL that has more players who are capable of taking a game over on their own.