FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED
Ken Wiebe’s takeaways from last night’s game vs. the AVS
1 Top line comes up big Much of the focus coming into the contest revolved around what the Jets were going to try and do to contain the Avalanche top line of Nathan Mackinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Gabe Landeskog. Jets head coach Paul Maurice, as expected, went best on best and had Mark Scheifele’s line play against them. Scheifele, Blake Wheeler and Nikolaj Ehlers scored three times at even strength, including one into an empty net while the Mackinnon line was held off the board entirely.
2 The 400 club Wheeler had a goal and four assists in the contest, which moved him to 18 helpers and 21 points. It extended his point streak to nine games (one goal, 16 points during the streak) and also gives him 401 assists in his career in 793 NHL games. Wheeler has grown into one of the premier passers and he’s now second in the NHL in assists this season after tying for the league lead with Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers in 2017-18.
3 Gone streaking Thanks a Kyle Connor marker in the first period, the Jets power play has now connected for at least one goal in 11 consecutive games. The Jets added another from Patrik Laine, who scored in his third consecutive game and is up to a team-leading eight markers on the season. The Jets power play moved into top spot in the NHL at 34.8 % efficiency (16-for-46). Speaking of streaks, for the first time in 11 games, the Jets didn’t take the first minor penalty of the game. Having said that, there were a few avoidable offensive-zone minors once again.
4 Byfuglien engaged Jets defenceman Dustin Byufglien was a physical force in the contest. Although he took two minors in the contest — including one for roughing for a hit on Sam Girard well after the whistle – Byfuglien was excellent, finishing with an assist and six hits in 24:01 of ice time.
5 Who’s is on deck? Jets defenceman Dmitry Kulikov had a strong start to the contest on Friday, piling up four hits, but he was on the receiving end of a check from Avalanche forward Gabriel Bourque and left the contest with an upper-body injury. The Jets were forced to finish the game with five D-men. The Moose are in town this weekend and if a recall is required, Tucker Poolman and Sami Niku remain the logical candidates.