To say the Winnipeg Jets are struggling would be a bit of an understatement.
The Jets have lost three straight and have failed to score more than two goals in their last five games.
With a little more than a quarter of the season gone, the Jets have just 11 points and find themselves in the basement of the Eastern Conference.
Captain Andrew Ladd and defenseman Tobias Enstrom are two of the bright spots on a team that is full of underperforming players. Ladd leads the team with seven goals, while Enstrom has a team best 13 points. However, Enstrom was injured in Winnipeg’s loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins and it’s still unknown exactly how much time he will miss.
The Jets are set to embark on a five-game road trip and need a few wins if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive. It’s their longest road trip of the season and four of the five games are against non-divisional opponents.
With all that in mind, there are a number of players throughout the lineup who need to step up to give the Jets a chance to be successful in the weeks ahead.
Here are four of those players.
The Jets signed the 34-year-old to a two-year, $9 million contract in the offseason and he has yet to live up to that $4.5 million cap hit.
In 14 games this season Jokinen has just two goals and two assists for four points. He also has a plus/minus rating of minus six, which is second worst on the team.
Not only does Jokinen need to produce more, he also needs to play better in the defensive zone and be more effective in the faceoff circle. Jokinen leads the Jets in faceoff’s taken, but is one of their least effective centers, winning 48.1 percent of his draws.
Antropov is usually good for 40-plus points a season. However, the 33-year-old is off to a slow start this year. Like Jokinen, Antropov has just four points, one goal and three assists, in 14 games.
He needs to be more effective at both ends of the rink, especially when he has the puck. Antropov has had a few bad turnovers this season.
At 6'6" and weighing nearly 250 pounds, Antropov could also have more of a physical impact.
Although the Jets certainly haven't been making their goaltenders job any easier, Pavelec hasn’t stood on his head either.
In 12 games Pavelec is 3-8-1 with a goals-against average of 3.14 and a save percentage of .889.
Based on Winnipeg’s lack of scoring, Pavelec is going to have to be at his best on the coming road trip. At the very least he needs to get his goals-against average below 3.00 and his save percentage above .900.
There is a lot of pressure on Pavelec as the Jets don’t have much depth in goal.
The 29-year-old forward started his career with the Toronto Maple Leafs and has since suited up for the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks.
However, his career high in points (47) came last year in his first season with the Jets. With no goals and just two assists so far this season, Wellwood needs to step up in the coming weeks and provide the Jets with more secondary scoring.
Wellwood could play better defensively as well, given he has just one hit and three blocked shots on the year.