Blackhawks News

Behind Enemy Lines: Winnipeg Jets

By JoHannah Lowder

Jan 26, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Winnipeg Jets center Bryan Little (18) is pursued by Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) during the third period at the United Center. Winnipeg won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Blackhawks fans and even the players themselves have reached another level of frustration with their opening season play. It’s one thing to see it game after game, but it hits home when you look at the standings and see the Blackhawks out of a playoff spot and a point behind the Winnipeg Jets in the Central Division standings. The Jets aren’t usually at the top of any list that includes the Blackhawks and promising teams like the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche, but Winnipeg has those teams beat by about 2 and a half wins.

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The Jets have a 9-6-2 record with 20 points, good for third place in the Central Division. They won only 4 games in October but have already won 5 games halfway through November winning over teams like the New York Rangers, Blackhawks, and Nashville Predators. The Jets had back to back shutouts from both of their goaltenders to start off the month including a 1-0 shutout from backup goaltender Michael Hutchinson against the Blackhawks.

The Jets are a low scoring teams with most of their wins or losses coming within a one or two goal margin, thanks to two solid goaltenders Hutchinson and starter Ondrej Pavelec. Blake Wheeler, Andrew Ladd, and Bryan Little lead the team in goals with 18 between them on the season. The team hasn’t faced a whole lot of adversity in the early part of the season. Evander Kane was injured in the first regular season game against the Arizona Coyotes but returned two weeks later. Now their players are healthy and clicking as a team.

The Blackhawks will next face the Jets two days before Christmas on December 23rd and then 3 more times before the end of the season. The Hawks would have a great matchup against the Jets in a normal season and most likely come out on top, but the Jets are doing something the Blackhawks are struggling to do – playing to their potential.

Do you think the Jets will be able to widen the gap between the Blackhawks and the rest of the Central Division teams? Let us know in the comments!

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