Let’s call a spade a spade; the Winnipeg Jets absolutely throttled the Dallas Stars last year.
November 2nd, 2017 @ Winnipeg: 5-2 Loss
November 6th, 2017 v Winnipeg: 4-1 Loss
February 24th, 2018 v Winnipeg: 5-3 Loss
March 18th, 2018 @ Winnipeg: 2-4 Loss
While none of these are particularly large blowouts, they are all Jets’ victories by two or more goals and none of those games made it to extra minutes. The Stars are going to have to muster up much more this year if they want to have any chance of beating the monsters from up North.
Led by Captain Blake Wheeler, the Jets are a likely favorite in the West this year. After a disappointing loss to the Las Vegas Golden Knights in the final round of the Western Conference, they will likely be out for blood this year.
Last year’s antogonists were the same repeat offenders; Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele, and Patrik Laine. The three combined for ten, nine, and six points respectively over the four games against the Stars. Scheifele and Laine scored 11 goals, and Wheeler had assists on 9 of those. Hopefully recent acquisitions Polak and Carrick, along with newcomer Miro Heiskanen will be able to put an end to some of that misery.
Goaltending is going to need to be much better as well. The highest recorded save percentage was an .880 posted by Bishop in the teams’ second meeting last year. That will need to improve if they want to stand a chance against the behemoths that make up the Jets’ roster.
Coach Jim Montgomery said after Thursday’s 3-0 Shutout that he isn’t worried about what last year’s statistics were. This is a new year and a new team. He mentioned that Gemel Smith may make his season debut tonight, to help add some extra grit and intensity to the lineup.
With a somewhat new defensive corps and new coaching, how will the Stars match up this year against the Jets?
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