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Jets Blown Out in Edmonton, Look to Rebound with Namestnikov Saturday

Photo by Rusty Barton

Jets Blown Out in Edmonton, Look to Rebound with Namestnikov Saturday

The Winnipeg Jets had yet another forgettable showing as they opened the month of March the same way they ended February: with a loss.

No, it wasn’t one loss followed by another loss, followed by six more losses, but rather a 6-3 shellacking at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers from Rogers Place in Alberta.

It wasn’t even a 6-3 game, but more so 6-1 with a couple garbage goals added in there by the visitors at the bitter end.

The Jets – which have now lost seven of their last eight games – have gained just three standings points in the last 17 days.

17 days ago? Yes, they were sitting just two points behind the Dallas Stars for first place in the entire Western Conference, with one game in hand.

It has been a disastrous two-and-a-half weeks in Manitoba.

Despite the -40 weather warming to the mid -10s, everything else has seemingly gone downhill in the province’s capital city.

Winnipeg has been usurped by the Vegas Golden Knights, Los Angeles Kings, Seattle Kraken, Minnesota Wild, Edmonton Oilers and the Colorado Avalanche in terms of Western Conference standings points. The Jets are clinging in on to the final wild card spot, sitting just five points ahead of the suddenly intriguing Calgary Flames.

Friday’s loss to the Oilers just confirmed general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff’s lack of belief in the team ahead of what will be a very critical stretch run.

In opting to stand pat – for the most part – during this year’s deadline week, Cheveldayoff confirmed his lack of commitment to a team that he feels likely doesn’t have the pieces to compete with some the West’s very best clubs.

Sure, he added Nino Niederreiter last week, and Friday’s deadline day addition of Vladislav Namestnikov will likely add some experience to the Jets’ bottom-six, but that top-six winger and top-pairing defenceman did not end up being dealt to Winnipeg, and fans are taking notice.

With the now decades old tale of ‘a strong belief in current roster makeup’ proving its ineffectiveness, will Chevy’s decision not to land a big-name player help or hinder his club’s chances at a deep playoff run?

Time will tell, but for now, anything, literally anything, may help this struggling team.

The insertion of Namestnikov into the lineup may be a start, as he brings over 600 games of NHL experience along with systems and strategies picked up along the way from his seven previous NHL clubs. Where he will fit in the Jets’ lineup remains unknown, and who he will replace also seems a little up in the air. But, when Brenden Dillon, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby and Saku Maenalanen are your big point producers in an important opening game of a home-and-home with a Canadian rival, something needs to be changed.

The Jets and Oilers will do it all over again Saturday evening at Canada Life Centre. Puck drop is set for 6:00 PM central time, while the game can be viewed live on CBC and CITY television.

Carter Brooks - Associate Editor of Game On Magazine - is a news writer and sports columnist situated in Winnipeg, MB. On top of reading and writing, his favourite pastimes include camping, car-modification projects and coaching hockey. Carter can be reached at or on Twitter at @GameOnHockey.


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