At 9-4-1, the Winnipeg Jets find themselves with virtually the same record they had a year ago — when their promising season began a spiral of inconsistency the team could not recover from.
But the current version of the Jets appears to be more than capable of avoiding a repeat scenario.
Whether it’s from Rick Bowness or from one of the many players who all had a piece of that disappointment over the final 55 or so games of 2021-22, the narrative, pretty much since Day One of training camp, is that last year was last year.
But thanks to the dramatic come-from-behind 3-2 overtime victory in Seattle on Sunday night, Winnipeg will equal the 21-point total they had after 15 games last season — if they continue their fine play on home ice with a win over Anaheim in Thursday’s Hall of Fame game.
Hear all the postgame reactions following the COMEBACK VICTORY 🗣️
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) November 14, 2022
As history will show from a year ago, it was games 16 through 22 to close out November, when the Jets lost six of seven, that they also lost their way, and seemingly the belief that things could turn around.
But fast-forward to the present. Winnipeg has allowed the fewest goals against in the NHL, especially over the final 40 minutes of games.
They are among the league’s most disciplined teams. That, in turn, has allowed the much-maligned penalty-killing unit to find its place among the NHL’s top five.
Connor Hellebuyck is having the best start to a season of his career. Considering the resume of the former Vezina Trophy winner, that’s saying something.
The Jets have treated fans to five wins in the first six games at Canada Life Centre, including their two best performances of the young season to date in the 4-0 and 5-1 wins over St. Louis and Dallas.
Avoiding losses to the teams they are supposed to beat is also something the current version of the Winnipeg Jets seems to have a better handle on.
Many of the things that were missing a year ago have been clearly evident in the team’s play to date.
Maintaining that over the next seven games of this upcoming two-week stretch will only serve to re-enforce the message, that 2022-23 is, and will be, different.
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