Apr 22, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Winnipeg Jets right wing Antti Miettinen (20) celebrates with the bench his goal against the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center. The Jets beat the Sabres 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

2013-14 Season Preview - Winnipeg Jets

LAST SEASON

Regular Season:  The Jets made their final appearance in the Eastern Conference, and it went pretty much like almost every other season they played since joining the league as the Atlanta Thrashers – by missing the playoffs.  They finished 9th in the East, four points out of the last playoff spot.

Playoffs:  The franchise has missed the playoffs 12 out of their 13 seasons, including 2013.

 

CHANGES

Out: F Nik Antropov, F Alexander Burmistrov, F Kyle Wellwood, F Antti Miettinen, D Ron Hainsey

In:  F Devin Setoguchi, F Michael Frolik, D Adam Pardy

Ready To Make The Jump:  F Mark Scheifele, D Jacob Trouba

 

BIG 3 FACTORS

1.  Heading West:  The Jets move to the Western Conference after spending the past two seasons out of place in the East. They will still have a lot of travel, but now more comparable to their opponents rather than the exception.  It won’t be any easier for them to make the playoffs in the West, although they are in the easier division.

2.  Youth Is Served:  Trouba should be on the fast track to make a big impact on the Jets’ blue line, but is this the year Scheifele finally makes a consistent enough contribution to become a mainstay on the Jets, or will he once again fail to crack the lineup full time.

3.  Tough Market:  The Jets can survive, but they will often have to overpay to keep their free agents in town (or bring new ones in).  This happened this summer in giving long term, big money deals to Blake Wheeler and Zach Bogosian to keep them in the fold.  They are quality players but, especially in Bogosian’s case, not quite worth the deal they signed.

 

PROGNOSIS:  The Jets had trouble scoring goals last season, and I am not sure that they did a lot to address that issue.  Scheifele stepping up will help that somewhat, but they need more balanced scoring to compete for a playoff spot.  That isn’t going to happen this year.

PREDICTION: 6th in the Central Division

 

We will be previewing every NHL team ahead of Training Camp which for most teams will begin on Sept 11th.  As a twist, we will be unveiling our teams in reverse order to how I predict they will finish in the standings.  Here is the schedule (you can click on a team name to see the preview for that team):

Predicted Finish Atlantic Metropolitan Central Pacific
1 Sept 9 Sept 8 Sept 7 Sept 6
2 Sept 5 Sept 4 Sept 3 Sept 2
3 Sept 1 Aug 31 Aug 30 Aug 29
4 Aug 28 Aug 27 Aug 26 Aug 25
5 Aug 24 Aug 23 Aug 22 Aug 21
6 Aug 20 Aug 19 Jets Coyotes
7 Sabres Blue Jackets Stars Flames
8 Panthers Devils

 

Tags: 2013-14 Season Preview Jacob Trouba Mark Scheifele Winnipeg Jets

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