Soaring Jets host Kings (Feb 20, 2018)
WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- The Winnipeg Jets have their mojo back.
After clunking their way through their first two-game home losing streak of the season a couple of weeks ago, the Jets reeled off three consecutive wins over the Washington Capitals, Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers to run their record in their season-high 10-game home stand to 6-2-1.
They hope to keep the good times rolling when they meet the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night, about 18 hours after they touch down after beating the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1.
It's not hard to pinpoint why the Jets have returned to their winning ways. Center Mark Scheifele returned five games ago after missing six weeks with a shoulder injury. He was just named the NHL's third star of the week after scoring three goals and four assists in three games.
With the Jets currently tied for first place in the Central Division with the Nashville Predators, much of the buzz surrounding the team involves possible deals that general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff may or may not be pursuing in advance of next week's trade deadline.
"There's two ways you can do it," veteran center Matt Hendricks told The Winnipeg Free Press. "You can worry about it or not worry about it. I think probably the healthiest way is to not worry about it."
The argument for standing pat at the deadline is the Jets expect center Adam Lowry, goalie Steve Mason and defenseman Jacob Trouba to return from injury in the coming weeks, which would be just like making a trade but without giving up anything in return.
On the flipside, the entire Jets roster has just 194 career playoff games under their belts, and more than one-fifth of that is taken up by the 43 played by defenseman Dustin Byfuglien. (He played 22 alone in the 2010 post-season when the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup.)
"Your play dictates where you're going to sit in the lineup," Hendricks said. "It's on each individual in here to show up every night and bring their best. What helps the coaching staff and management them make up their mind is the way we play. So, trying to worry about it, that doesn't help, that's for sure. Especially guys that haven't been through this situation in the past. Just go out and let your play dictate where you're going to sit in the lineup is the best way to do it."
The Kings jumped up from below the playoff line to third place in the Pacific Division with Monday's win.
Left winger Kyle Clifford, who assisted on the Kings first goal, said he thought his team did a good job building a 3-0 lead after 40 minutes.
"I thought our first two periods were pretty good. We just need to dial it in and make it a full 60. We're definitely getting a little bit from everybody. You need four lines and six (defensemen) to win in this league, that's what we're getting right now and we're getting the results we want," he said.