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The Landlubber’s Guide to the Winnipeg Jets

Also known as the Atlanta Thrashers of Manitoba

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Arizona Coyotes v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

Hey you. You’re swept up in all this Seattle Kraken hype. You want to know more about hockey but don’t know where to start. Well, we want to help make these games easy and fun for you to watch.

Throughout the season, we’ll release Landlubber’s Guides designed with the new fan in mind. This includes basic need-to-know info for you to absorb before you watch Kraken games and highlights.

Let’s dive into the Winnipeg Jets.

Are they any good?

The Jets are...fine? They do have more wins than regulation losses after all. At 12-9-4, Winnipeg currently is out of the playoff picture, but not by much. They haven’t been extremely strong of late, having only won 3 of their last 10 games, but they’re still a tough out on any given night. They take 1 out of every 4 games to overtime. While they might not be considered a strong contender this year, it’s important to remember that they weren’t really considered a strong contender last year, when they swept the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the playoffs.

Who should I look out for?

  • Connor Hellebuyck (#37, Goalie) - Hellebuyck is one of the best goaltenders in the NHL. According to Evolving Hockey, he’s saved 41.7 goals over expected over the past 3 seasons, by far the best mark in the NHL. It’s all gotta be in the eyes.
  • Pierre-Luc Dubois (#80, Left Wing) - Dubois was unhappy in his situation with the Columbus Blue Jackets, so they traded him to Winnipeg in exchange for Winnipeg’s unhappy star Patrick Laine. He’s currently scoring at a higher pace than he has at any point in his career, with 23 points in 25 games. And he also doesn’t like Auston Matthews.
  • Kyle Connor (#81, Left Wing) - Connor is the team’s leading scorer. His 15 goals this year are tied for 7th-most in the NHL. It also happens to be his birthday today. The 25-year old already has three 30-goal seasons under his belt and is on pace for his first 40-goal outing.

Any Seattle ties?

Brenden Dillon (#5, Defense) spent 4 seasons and 280 games with the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds. This was back when they played at the Key Arena too, so he’ll likely be looking forward to seeing his old stomping grounds completely remodeled.

Odds & Ends

  • Winnipeg has the 2nd-worst penalty kill in the league right now, killing off just 66.2% of their penalties so far this season.
  • The Kraken’s expansion selection from the Jets was forward Mason Appleton. Appleton has 2 goals so far on the year and has been a lineup regular, aside from the 11 games he missed with a lower body injury.
  • Jaden Schwartz has 6 points in his last 4 games against the Jets
  • Winnipeg will be without defenseman Neal Pionk, who was suspended for 2 games for kneeing Toronto’s Rasmus Sandin.
  • The Jets spent 24 years in Winnipeg before leaving for Arizona in 1996, which is going swimmingly. They were reborn when the Atlanta Thrashers relocated to Winnipeg in 2011 and have had one of the most dedicated fan bases in the NHL ever since.
  • Their alternate jerseys last year were a hot mess, but this year they are beautiful

Tonight’s game starts at 7pm Pacific in Seattle. It will be broadcast on ROOT Sports NW for regional subscribers and ESPN+ for out-of-market fans.