Are the Winnipeg Jets for real this time?

Contrary to expectations, the Winnipeg Jets have the best record of any Canadian team and are flying high in first place in the Central Division. This Jets have flattered to deceive before but is this the season they put it all together?

Video Transcript

JULIAN MCKENZIE: We mentioned the Central Division of the Winnipeg Jets. That's a team-- that's a Canadian team we do not mention enough on this show. We mentioned the Canadians a lot. We--

OMAR: Straight up, I didn't know they were good.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: We mentioned the Leafs a lot. We mentioned the Canadians. We've mentioned the Senators at times, the Canucks, obviously, the Oilers. Calgary trying to get a little bit more love, gang, gang, but the Winnipeg Jets.

They, as of this recording, are a top, the Central Division. They have the best record among Canadian teams, even though the Edmonton Oilers are very close. Omar, to your point too, yeah, I'm very surprised that they're as good as they are.

Remember, before the season even began, they took the C off of Blake Wheeler, and they're good. They're a good team. I was actually talking with a member of the Jets over the weekend, they were saying, yeah, like that helped Blake Wheeler. It took so much pressure off of him. And a lot of guys responded well to that. I'm surprised.

ARUN SRINIVASAN: You know, like the captaincy change itself wasn't, like, surprising. It was the way they went about it.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Well, yeah.

ARUN SRINIVASAN: Like, the Jets [INAUDIBLE]. Like, the captaincy changes happen all the time, but the Jets were very much made it clear that they was like a failure of leadership of some sorts, or he had lost the room in some way. After them being surprisingly, I kind of share Omar's opinion that, like, I didn't realize the Jets were good.

I also don't necessarily buy the fact that they're going to be sustainably good. Like, they are a pretty middling possession team with some good shooting luck right now, and they're riding the coattails of their all world goalie, Connor Hellebuyck. Not only that, I think, like, I brought up earlier in the show, but like, Colorado is on a four game winning streak and can very well catch them in like a game or two.

Dallas, I think, is like tied or like on points or maybe like a point behind, if I recall correctly. So the Stars can catch them too. You know, the Wild are-- I think are only like a handful of points back within a few games. So like, are the Jets going to be in first sustainably for a long time?

I don't think so. I definitely think Colorado's going to catch them by the end of this week. And then how it plays out the rest of the season, I'm not sure. So like, this idea, the Jets being good, too, I think a lot of it stems from the idea, you look at their roster, and you're like, OK.

They have Blake Wheeler. They have Kyle Conner. They have Pierre-Luc Du Bois. They have some names, but they never really score consistently.

Like, Josh Morrissey is their leading scorer right now. So is this the year for the Jets? The- the equation isn't necessarily changed. If they get a superhuman run from Connor Hellebuyck, then yes. But otherwise, I don't see it.

OMAR: Yeah, I think to Arun's point, they're kind of benefiting from a lot of teams, especially in the Western division, having like a weird start. Like, for a while, like, Chicago and Arizona, like, legitimately in, like, playoff spots, and, like, Colorado were losing games. St Louis has had a weird start. Like--

JULIAN MCKENZIE: They've fallen off.

OMAR: Completely weird to start. Nashville was probably-- we'd expect them to be higher. So like, I think it's a combination of all those things. And then again, to Arun's point is that, in a week, this is gonna be completely different because of how close things are. Like, one win, Colorado is in first.

Like, Minnesota's probably- probably going to go up there. You'd expect Nashville to turn it around a little bit. You'd expect, maybe St Louis has another Stanley Cup frickin' run out of nowhere and ruins the league perspective and stuff. So it's like, yeah, I mean, I think when it comes down to why Winnipeg is so good, I think it's been why they've been good since-- well since that Stanley Cup Final, like after that.

Like before-- during that time, they were pretty decent, like, well around team. Like--

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Their Cup run you mean, not Cup final.

OMAR: Sir yeah-- oh yeah, the Cup run. The--

JULIAN MCKENZIE: The one where they lost to Vegas, and Vegas ended up going to the final.

OMAR: Mark-- Mark Andre Fleury ruined the Winnipeg Jets.

[INTERPOSING VOICES]

OMAR: Make the documentary. That one player ruined it for them, because they were Cup bound, man. They were a nasty team that year, and then frickin' Fleury said, nope. Everything, save, save, save.

SAM CHANG: Game five, I flew to Vegas for 36 hours to watch that game. And it was glorious. It was, like-- it is one of the best games I've ever seen in person. And I-- like, what I remember from it was I think the entire stadium stood for the entire third period.

Like, no one sat down. They like watched the game standing. It was crazy.

OMAR: So, like, yeah--

JULIAN MCKENZIE: I got to watch a game in Vegas.

OMAR: So right now, man, like, it's-- Helleybuyck is keeping them alive. And then, they're getting their contributions when they're coming. But like, as far as long term, like I don't know. I think once-- I think once the teams who have had a shaky start kind of snap out of it a little bit, then it will be difficult for them to kind of maintain what they've already established now.

SAM CHANG: Colorado has been playing without [INAUDIBLE] and Landeskog.

ARUN SRINIVASAN: Yeah.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: That too.

OMAR: Yeah.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: That too. Ask me around American Thanksgiving, because that seems to be a bit of an indicator on whether or not teams who are in playoff positions will make it or not. I believe in, what, two weeks?

SAM CHANG: Next week.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Next week, actually.

OMAR: OK, we're in a playoff spot, phew. I just--

[LAUGHTER]

I just checked-- checked the [INAUDIBLE] division to make sure it's the least [INAUDIBLE] one.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Oh man. Well, it's good to know that you very much are keeping track of that.