One of the biggest hockey stories on the weekend came from Winnipeg as the Jets hammered the Pittsburgh Penguins 7-1. It was an all-around marvelous effort for Winnipeg, who arguably had their best performance since moving from Atlanta in 2011.
The Jets were able to pound the Penguins early as they scored five first period goals en route to the six goal win. Jets power forward Blake Wheeler also had a memorable first period as he became the first player in the history of the Jets/Atlanta Thrashers franchise to record a first period hat trick. Wheeler also added a third period assist on a goal by Mark Scheifele.
Wheeler meanwhile leads the Jets in scoring with 12 points (four goals and eight assists). At 6’5”, 225 pounds, one could argue that Wheeler is starting to become one of the National Hockey League’s most consistent shot producers. He has reached 250 shots in each of the last two seasons and leads the Jets with 35 shots in 2017-18.
Another reliable Jets forward to start the season has been left winger Nikolaj Ehlers of Aalborg, Denmark. Ehlers was the NHL player of the week from October 9-15. In three games, Ehlers had five goals and two assists for seven points and was a +5. Ehlers’ best game came on Thanksgiving when he registered a hat trick in and an assist in a 5-2 Jets win over the struggling Edmonton Oilers. He also leads the Jets in goals with six.
The offensive production for Wheeler and Ehlers is a major reason why the Jets have been very successful to start the season. The Jets are in a second place tie at the moment with the Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks in the very tight Central Division. The Blues have 17 points and lead the aforementioned five teams by five points, with the Minnesota Wild at 10 points and in the basement.