The Jets have won four straight and are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games, good enough to keep wildcard first place in the Western Conference with 11 games left in their regular season schedule. .
At first, head coach Paul Maurice was disappointed that the postponement interferes with their solid game, but soon realized that more important things were going on in the world.
“For the first three or four days right after I was sour … So I was cranky and then you turn on the TV and the reality hits,” Maurice told James Duthie of TSN in an interview on Monday.
After a first-round elimination by the Saint-Louis Blues last spring in the playoffs, most of the 2019-20 Jets campaign was tough. After playing under .500 in October, Winnipeg performed well in November (10-3-1) before posting a 6-5-2 record in December, followed by a 3-8-1 record in January to sit outside the playoffs.
Injury was a factor Bryan Little, Luca Sbisa, Adam Lowry and Mathieu Perreault all lacking significant time. Defender of the stars Dustin Byfuglien also missed the entire season after not showing up at training camp.
However, the Jets were beginning to change seasons and were in the playoffs when the season was interrupted. Although he knows it is unlikely due to the unpredictability of the coronavirus, Maurice wants to be able to play the entire 82-game regular season if and when the NHL returns this year.
“What we experienced with injuries and displacement. We paid for this wonderful month of March in our first five and a half months. We had four blocks of three games in five days with two days of rest in between and we just came back in good health, “said Maurice. “I’ve never seen a March program like this, so we felt like we paid for it. Obviously, that is not going to happen now, but I would love to be able to play the 82 if we could.
“I just want this season to be played [from] a personal point of view. I want to see this Winnipeg Jets team play. I have not seen them [all back together and healthy] all year. They went through so much and survived and we just started to feel good. Everyone has become healthy. We’ve won four in a row. We liked our March schedule. We think, “You know what, this could be our year. We could run. We could win. So I want this team to have this chance. “
Kyle connor leads the team with 38 goals and is tied with Mark scheifele for the leading team with 73 points. Maurice, however, says the key to their good game lately is the goalkeeper Connor Hellebuyck.
The 26-year-old is 31-21-5 with a 2.57 goals against average and .922 save percentage in 58 games played.
“We are in the position we were in to be excited about our march to think we had a chance because Connor Hellebuyck was exceptional, “said Maurice.