The Oilers are in Manitoba to take on a team that is predicted to do quite well for themselves in 2018-19 It’s the
Moose Winnipeg Jets. How far will they fly this season? I ask Cara over at Arctic Ice Hockey for some details.
Thanks to Cara for her time.
Copper and Blue: Patrik Laine electrified Winnpieg with 44 goals in just his second season. Is 50 goals far off? 55?
Arctic Ice Hockey: I think Laine can hit 50 with the right linemates, but Paul Maurice is married to him not playing with Scheifele and Wheeler (nothing against Kyle Connor who is great there) and I am not sure if Bryan Little is the right centre for him and Nikolaj Ehlers. But he is definitely capable of it (and we thought he had a bad start last year so…)
Copper and Blue: Jets defenceman Josh Morrissey is off to a hot start with four assists in five games. Dustin Byfuglien has missed some time with an upper body injury, but he’s not far from returning. In the event that Byfuglien were to be away for any length of time, can Josh Morrissey serve as a capable top pair defenceman?
Arctic Ice Hockey: The Jets defence is a mess outside of Josh Morrissey and Jacob Trouba. They were the top pair last year and remain so this year. Last season they were mostly backed up by Byfuglien and Toby Enstrom. Enstrom left to go home to Sweden and take over the world/lead MODO back into the top league so the better question is how many Jets defencemen not named Morrissey and Trouba will McDavid eat tonight (so yes, Morrissey is a capable top-pairing guy).
Copper and Blue: Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck is entering the first year of a six year extension for the Winnipeg Jets. He’s coming off a year that saw him finish with .924 all-situations SV%. What does a successful season look like for him?
Arctic Ice Hockey: One where he does not kill the defence or anyone else for taking too many penalties. He should hopefully play fewer games this year and hopefully have a more consistent season because of it. However, it is already looking like the Jets are going to have a penalty party this season, so his all-situations save percentage might go down. I would be satisfied with anything from 0.91-0.92 from him.
Copper and Blue: Who on the Jets could have a breakout season in 2018-19?
Arctic Ice Hockey: I would like for Jacob Trouba’s awesomeness to be acknowledged. If he plays with the right players, Nic Petan could get noticed. Jack Roslovic would be the candidate to me, but he is not playing centre instead of wing so that is a whole other set of issues..
Copper and Blue: Among the seven Canadian teams, The Jets are the odds-on favourites to win the Stanley Cup. They might be the odds-on favourites to win the Cup in the entire league. Do the Jets have it in them to go all the way? Why or why not?
Arctic Ice Hockey: If I am being completely honest, no. I know this entire Q and A reads like an Oilers fan talking about their team’s failure…but the Jets defence is questionable at best. They also have a hole at second line centre that management keeps on trying to fit a square peg into. They had to give up a pretty good return for Paul Stastny to come in and fix that position last year and I have no clue who could do it this year. Maybe Nic Petan? Also, the left side of the defence behind Morrissey is a joke that needs to be laughed at more. Their current answer is Ben Chiarot or Joe Morrow. It is shockingly bad. Do the Oilers have any defencemen that would work there? (Editor’s note: Yes! His name is Kris Russell!)
Thanks to Cara for her time.
Visit her at Arctic Ice Hockey, or check her out on Twitter @HappyCaraT