Winnipeg Jets Flying High in NHL Central
The Winnipeg Jets beat the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo 7-4 on January 9th to improve to 26-11-7 (59 points) on the season. The Jets have been hot lately, with a record of 7-1-2 in their last 10 games, and are in first place in the NHL Central Division, three points ahead of Nashville and St. Louis, and are a point behind the Vegas Golden Knights for best record in the Western Conference.
Patrik Laine scored the first Jets goal on a power play. Laine, in his second season at age 19, leads the team in goals with 19; he also has 17 assists. Blake Wheeler leads the team in points with 52 on 14 goals and 38 assists. Wheeler, who had a pair of assists in the game, moved up to first line center while Mark Scheifele (15 goals, 23 assists) recovers from one of those NHL “upper body” injuries. Kyle Connor and Nikolaj Ehlers each scored a pair of goals in the victory over the Sabres. Goalie Steve Mason got the victory as starter Connor Hellebuyck got the night off. Hellebuyck is 23-4-6 on the year with a 2.36 goals against average.
The Jets have not been to the playoffs since the 2014-15 season, when they were swept in the first round by Anaheim. Winnipeg is at Chicago on January 12th. The Blackhawks, last year’s Central champs are tied with Minnesota for fifth in the Central with 48 points and haven’t really gotten things going yet this season.