The Winnipeg Jets aren’t interested in any conversations about hope or help when it comes to their precarious position in pursuit of a Stanley Cup Playoff spot.
A 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday put Winnipeg within five points of the Dallas Stars, who hold the second wild card in the Western Conference playoffs. The Jets have eight games left; stars have 10.
Also between Winnipeg and a playoff spot are the Vegas Golden Knights, who are two points behind the Stars with a game in hand over the Jets.
“I don’t think you can really afford to talk about it,” said the defender Josh Morrissey mentioned. “We’re just trying to win games, get two points, one point, whatever you can do and hope to get help from other teams. But I don’t think we’re really talking about anything more. big than the next game.
“You can’t really look too far into the future. We know where we are. It’s more about playing the right way and like I said trying to control what we can, which tries every night.”
Of Winnipeg’s eight games remaining, four are at home, starting with the Seattle Kraken on Wednesday. After this game, the Jets will go on their last road trip of the season, playing the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes.
It won’t be an easy task against four teams high in the Eastern Conference standings. Florida leads the Atlantic Division with 108 points, Tampa Bay is third in the Atlantic with 96 points and New York is second in the Metropolitan Division with 100 points, two behind Carolina.
“Well, we have to get ready for our next game,” coach Dave Lowry said. “We just have to keep playing the same way. Keep executing what we’re talking about.”
The victory against the Canadian was accomplished without a captain Blake Wheeler and center Marc Scheifele. Wheeler missed three games with an upper body injury. Scheifele sat out Sunday’s 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators with an upper-body injury in the second period. Lowry said Scheifele was doubtful for the match against the Kraken.
Still, the Jets are 5-0-0 this season when playing without Wheeler and Scheifele, and forwards Morgan Baron and Yevgeny Svechnikovwho moved up the lineup in their place, each scored a goal against the Canadiens.
“I was thinking [Barron] in particular had an amazing game tonight,” Morrissey said. “He was on, and he was aggressive and used his body to control the puck and seemed to have some nice [chemistry] with [Paul Stastny] and [Nikolaj Ehlers]. That’s what we need.”
Barron was acquired with two conditional second-round picks in the 2022 or 2023 NHL Draft and a fifth-round pick in the 2023 draft from the New York Rangers on March 21 for the forward. Andrew Copp and a sixth-round pick in the 2023 draft. He said it’s critical the Jets continue to find ways to get points (2-0-1 over the last three).
“We have to win a lot of games down the stretch if we want to make the playoffs,” Barron said. “I think everyone’s mindset is always to come in and run around here. We take it one game at a time, but just to go out with two points in a game like this is is huge for us.”