Winnipeg Jets Jump to Top of Central Division

March 9, 2019 by Noah Gagnon
Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele and Jets captain Blake wheeler celebrate after one of the jets eight goals last night in North Carolina.

The Winnipeg Jets went into Friday night’s game against Carolina Hurricanes with their sights focused on winning and moving to the top of the Central Division. As the final buzzer sounded, their efforts proved to be one of their most dominating performances this season.

The Jets had a big night scoring eight goals with two of those being courtesy of Andrew Copp. Also scoring for the Stanley Cup hopefuls was Ben Chiarot, Kyle Connor, Kevin Hayes, Blake Wheeler and Adam Lowry. The night saw a slew of assists with notables awarded to Nikolaj Ehlers and Jack Roslovic both earning two for their efforts.

The win put the Winnipeg Jets at the top of the Central Division, and for Blake Wheeler, it was one that saw the Jets forcing the Hurricanes to play their games. Wheeler added,

“Fortunately for us, we got a couple sticks and got some odd-man rushes the other way and were able to convert.”

The first ten minutes of the opening period saw Winnipeg scoring three of its eight goals and jumping into a solid lead that Carolina simply was unable to recover from. It was one that clearly left them sitting in the Jets dust. That, for punters, is exactly the efforts they need to see to build confidence in the Jets, especially when hedging their bets with leading sportsbooks such as Sports Interaction.

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Hurricanes goaltender, Curtisa McElhinney, faced 29 shots last night stopping 21 of those. Carolina’s Greg McKegg managed to put the Carolina Hurricanes on the board with his goal in the third period, with an assist going to Calvin de Haan. Coach Rod Brind’Amour was taken aback from the severity of the defeat stating,

“We have had a couple bad games, but nothing like that. It was shocking. I didn’t expect that at all.”

Winnipeg’s Ben Chiarot, Blake Wheeler and Kevin Hayes were first to score for the Jets and that set the tone for the remainder of the period with Winnipeg leading 5-0 at the end of the period. Carolina’s defense seemed unable to stop the constant charge from the Jets forwards. That pleased Coach Paul Maurice, who commented,

“We were driving well. We were on the puck pretty good. We knocked a bunch of things down that went our way. We were good, they had a tough night.”

In total, the night saw thirteen Winnipeg players earning points. All four lines had at least one goal and included the Jets scoring three goals in the last seven minutes of the third period making it look almost like a copy of the opening ten minutes of the first. For team captain Blake Wheeler, it was exactly what is needed to win games, adding.

“When we’re able to play four lines, we can play a really fast, heavy game,” Wheeler said. “That’s what we want to get to every night.”

Carolina’s Justin Williams, in post-game interviews, was quick to accept blame stating that what took place in the opening period was not acceptable. Williams stated that,

“What happened in the first 10 minutes of the game and what happened in the last minute of that game was totally, totally inexcusable and something that quite frankly we’re all ashamed of. Giving them chance after chance after chance, we all owe (McElhinney) an apology after that.”

The Winnipeg Jets will continue their short two game road trip with a stop in Washington before returning home for games against the San Jose Sharks and the Boston Bruins on Tuesday and Thursday. Carolina will meet Nashville on Saturday night before heading to Colorado to play the Avalanche. On Monday.

Noah Gagnon

Noah Gagnon Author

Noah is our American writer who likes to give his own spin on everything Golf & the NHL he covers mainly the US side of the game as Doug covers the Canada. In his time off he can usually be taking to the greens or on the ice playing some hockey