The Winnipeg Jets now sport an impressive 14-4 record against Central Division opponents following Saturday’s 4-1 win over Chicago.
But the key to how high the Jets can finish rests with continuing that dominance in “four-point games” — and finding a way to solve their opposition from “the other” conference.
In addition to that impressive .778 winning percentage against Central foes, Winnipeg has also won nine out of 14 against the Pacific going into Tuesday night’s third and final regular-season meeting with Seattle.
So from a glass-half-full perspective, it’s definitely a positive for the Jets to have 18 of their remaining 29 games against opponents they have feasted on for the most part.
For some unexplained reason, Winnipeg has not been able to come even close to duplicating that success against the Eastern Conference. And that has to be somewhat of a concern, considering the Jets still have 11 more to play against teams from the Metro and Atlantic, beginning later this week with the opener of a four-game road trip in Columbus.
Six of Winnipeg’s eight home losses have been versus the East. Vegas and Minnesota are the only Western visitors who have left Canada Life Centre this season with two points to their credit.
The Jets are 4-5 versus the East on the road. It all adds up to a rather mundane 10-11 record.
Now, that is an upgrade from a year ago, when Winnipeg won only 11 of 32 out-of-conference matchups. But that was then. And we’re more focused on “this is now.”
So if Rick Bowness, his coaching staff, and especially the players, can sort out this Rubik’s Cube versus the likes of the Devils, the Rangers, the Bruins and so on, the Jets might find themselves in a position to take the pressure off of those late-season battles with the Avalanche and Wild — and maybe even challenge Dallas for top spot.
But first things first, and that would be winning a sixth-season series within their own conference tomorrow night at the expense of the visiting Kraken.
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