By: Adam Wazny | Wednesday, February 27
Winnipeg Jets' Evander Kane, right, reacts after scoring a goal as teammates Alex Burmistrov, left, and Nik Antropov watch during the third period of the game against the New York Rangers on Feb. 26 in New York. The Jets won 4-3. (Frank Franklin II/Associated Press)
Terminally ill and with not much time left. That's how things felt last week.
Not many gave the Winnipeg Jets hope when they started on a season-long, five-game road trip in Buffalo eight days ago. The club was seemingly ready to unravel after a three-game losing streak at home. The prospects of an extended road swing -- something the Jets weren't too keen with last season -- took the form of a shovel ready to dump fresh soil on the pine box.
Call off the coroner and keep the black suit in the closet, folks.
Another tight road triumph, a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers Tuesday night, gave the Jets a 4-1 record on the road trip. That's eight of a possible 10 points, for those counting.
Overall, Winnipeg is 6-4-1 away from the MTS Centre this year; appearing to play a much simpler and more effective game when not given the luxury of having the final change or feeling the need to dazzle the home masses.
This road success -- traditionally a mark of a good team -- has people talking about the Jets in a positive way again. More importantly, specifically as it pertains to the post-season conversation, the team is alive and kicking.
The Jets have 19 points on the strength of a 9-9-1 overall record. Breaking-even may not sound great, but look at the Eastern Conference standings: Winnipeg is tied for 8th spot, alongside Philadelphia, Carolina and Tampa Bay.
Even more attractive is where the club stands in the Southeast Division. Winnipeg's 19 points has them tied for the top spot in the division, joining Carolina and Tampa Bay (the Jets lose out on the current tie-breakers, though).
Insert modest excitement here.
OK, that's enough. Let's not go too crazy; this is currently a .500 team.
That said, there are a couple areas that have looked quite impressive over the last stretch of games. The non-Andrew Ladd edition of difference-makers reads as follows: