ANALYSIS: Slumping Jets need to find a solution

A question for some before Sunday’s game against the New York Islanders was, how would the Winnipeg Jets respond to the addition of Nino Niederreiter the day before from Nashville in the aftermath of Friday’s humbling 5-1 loss to Colorado?

There was some clarity on that front with how the players performed, but it was not encouraging.

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Jets head coach Rick Bowness chalked up the Friday night disaster to his dressing room being asleep at the wheel.

From another perspective, was that passionless, lost-at-sea performance a cry for help?

Regardless of the reason — and let’s also factor in the Avalanche having regained their Stanley Cup swagger and now operating at an uber level of play — the initial response in Sunday afternoon’s 4-0 loss to the Isles was perhaps even more frustrating, discouraging, and concerning.

And that was especially the case, with GM Kevin Cheveldayoff providing what should have been a spark by acquiring Niederrieter Saturday afternoon for a 2024 second-round draft pick.

In a game where the coach was looking to recover lost pride — a response to being humbled — it began with the visitors thoroughly outplaying Winnipeg and arriving first to almost every loose puck in the opening 20 minutes.

The Jets were better over the final two periods, but were done in by David Rittich simply not providing good enough goaltending — especially for a team that at least looks very much like one suffering from an acute case of lost confidence.

The evidence for that was at least four or five grade-A chances that were part of 21 missed shots in the game — by the gang that all of a sudden can’t shoot straight.

It is not an ideal situation for Neiderreiter to be coming into. Or for any other player Cheveldayoff might try to add between now and Friday’s 2 p.m. trade deadline.

It is a situation where the guys already here have to find the solution — not any new teammates.

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