The Winnipeg Jets are struggling to find consistency in the standings this season, and a lot of it has to do with their own players struggling to find consistency in their own game.
Although others are still trying to find their scoring touch, two of the Jets' most relied-upon forwards ended their long scoreless droughts in the win Monday night against the New Jersey Devils.
Evander Kane scored his seventh goal of the season after failing to score a goal in 11 straight games. Mark Scheifele scored his second goal of the season—the first since opening night in Edmonton. It was an enormous 24-game goalless drought for Scheifele.
Both Kane and Scheifele snapped out of their slumps, but will one game be enough confidence for the two young forwards to find consistency in their games again?
This is Scheifele’s first full stint as an NHL player, and so far, he’s showing signs of inconsistency. However, the struggles are expected for a rookie like Scheifele. As dominant as he was in the OHL, it will take a few years for his game to translate to the NHL.
The Jets will most likely keep Scheifele in the NHL for the entire year, meaning no AHL for him. He’ll have the opportunity to learn more of the NHL style as he continues his development in year one. The progress and experience will bode well for his future game.
Scheifele gets a free pass...for now. On the other hand, Kane has to start becoming more consistent. This is Kane’s fifth season in the NHL, and he has a history of slumping.
When Kane isn’t scoring, he’s still getting shots on net, creating scoring chances, playing his physical style of hockey and hustling. But the Jets desperately need him to be the goal scorer that he is capable of being on a daily basis.
Oddly enough, Kane is still second in goals on the Jets. That right there should tell you that the Jets have much worse problems.
The issue with Kane isn’t that he can’t score or doesn’t score. It’s that he’s not doing it consistently or at the pace Jets fans expect him to. People expect superstar-level scoring from Kane. And that is completely fair because he shows glimpses of such promise. He just has to string it together if he wants to achieve that status.
Center James Wright still hasn’t put up a single point this season. Through 24 games, Wright has zero goals, zero assists and zero points. You can argue that his duties lie elsewhere, but a player averaging over 11 minutes a game has to contribute at least some offense. Wright is contributing zero.
Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler have a combined 11 goals in 52 games. Ladd has six on the season while Wheeler has five (both in 26 games). If Bryan Little wasn’t playing as well as he is, the shuffled top line would be a pretty mediocre top line.
Devin Setoguchi is trying but still struggling to find his game in Winnipeg. He has just five goals through 25 games. Although it only cost them a draft pick, that trade doesn't appear to be working out so well for the Jets.