FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED

Ken Wiebe’s take­aways from last night’s game vs. the AVS

Winnipeg Sun - - SPORTS -

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.

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