The Winnipeg Jets have Overcome These Three Key Challenges Faced in the Early Stages of the Season to Become One of the Best Teams in the NHL

Published November 26, 2023 at 7:37 PM
BY GRAHAM MONTGOMERY
     
The Winnipeg Jets are currently one of the hottest teams in the NHL. They are on a five-game winning streak and they've won eight of their last nine. The team can point to three key reasons for their recent success.

Hellebuyck And Ehlers Go On A Hot Streak



Both Nikolaj Ehlers and Connor Hellebuyck were in the midst of slow starts to the season. Ehlers had just 4 points through the first 10 games of the season, but he now has points in 5 of his last 6, including a multi-goal effort against the Devils on the 14th.




Meanwhile, Connor Hellebuyck has won 6 of his last 7 starts. He has a goals-against-average of just over two in that span to go along with a .926 save percentage. He also recorded a 33-save shutout in his most recent performance.


Winnipeg Jets Special Teams Finally Clicking



The Jets have struggled on special teams to start the season. However, they have been playing much better on both sides of special teams during this recent hot stretch. Their power-play, which started the year off on a 0 for 20 stretch, is now up to an 18.5% efficiency. That is by no means great, but it took a lot of work to get it up to that rate. The penalty kill is also on the low side if you look at the season rate of 73.8%, but there was a time when the team was only successfully killing just over half of the penalties they took, so that number has also seen some much-needed improvement.


Winnipeg Jets Defensive Analytics Improving



Finally, the last reason why the jets have been playing better is a more sound team-wide defensive structure. Currently, the Jets defensive pair of Nate Schmidt and Dylan Samberg has the highest expected goals against per 60 minutes in the league. However, Schmidt has been a healthy scratch for several games as they d-pair was broken up. Since then, the Jets have been prone to fewer defensive Zone breakdowns.


The Jets faceoff against the Nashville Predators tonight at 8PM EST.

As seen on Jets' 3 Early-Season Issues That Have Been Resolved
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The Winnipeg Jets have Overcome These Three Key Challenges Faced in the Early Stages of the Season to Become One of the Best Teams in the NHL

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