Leading By Example

Leading By Example

With Andrew Ladd now with the Chicago Blackhawks, the Winnipeg Jets have been looking for someone to step up to fill the void that their former captain left.

Enter Mark Scheifele. Since being drafted seventh overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, big things have been expected from the Kitchener, Ontario native. If his recent scoring streak is any indication of things to come, the Jets may have a big piece to the puzzle to help lead them in the future.

After losing to the Florida Panthers at home, the Winnipeg Jets played their next four contests at home starting with the New York Islanders. Mark Scheifele scored to open the game on the powerplay and added another to give the Jets a 3-2 lead late in the third. With just 29 seconds left in the game, Anders Lee scored the equalizer. In overtime, Isles Kyle Okposo capitalized on a loose puck after hitting Nikolaj Ehlers in the face giving New York a 4-3 overtime win.

With two goals against the Islanders, Scheifele continued where he left off against the Montreal Canadiens. Scheifele scored the opening goal, the game-winning goal with seven minutes left in the third, and capped it off with an empty-net goal for his first career hat trick powering Winnipeg 4-2 over Montreal.

Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers rolled into town riding a hot goalie in Cam Talbot, winner of his last four starts. Talbot handled 39 of 40 shots that he faced and Lauri Korpikoski’s goal in the second period proved to be the game winner. Scheifele scored the lone Jets goal in the 2-1 loss.

The Nashville Predators extended their streak of 13 games with a point downing the Jets 4-2. Craig Smith tallied twice for the Preds and Pekka Rinne made 21 saves in the win. Drew Stafford and Jacob Trouba scored for the Jets and Scheifele added an assist to extend his point streak to five games.

Winnipeg dropped their third straight game at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings. Marko Dano opened the scoring on the road for his first goal as a member of the Winnipeg Jets. Tyler Myers then took a pass from Scheifele and walked around the Wings defense to go up two goals. Dylan Larkin and Jonathan Ericsson answered in the second period for Detroit and Justin Abdelkader completed the comeback with 4:36 left for a 3-2 Detroit win.

It didn’t start off great but the Jets rallied to beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 at home, led by none other than Mark Scheifele. Down a pair of goals, Scheifele scored on the power play to cut the lead in half. He added an assist to Drew Stafford’s third period goal and two minutes later, Adam Lowry scored the game winner. After the game, Paul Maurice had high praise for Scheifele.

“That was his finest game in the last three weeks regardless of the hat trick,” the coach said. “That’s as good a game as I’ve seen Mark play in a long, long time.”

The Jets carried the momentum against the Vancouver Canucks on the road. Marko Dano scored twice and added an assist and Scheifele scored once again recording 8 goals and 4 assists in his last 8 games. Winnipeg scored the first five goals and never looked back in the 5-2 drubbing of Vancouver.

Winnipeg concluded their two game road trip on a low note. The Calgary Flames struck for three first period goals that included ex-Jet Michael Frolik’s game winner. Mark Giordana added an empty-netter and Drew Stafford scored the lone Jets goal in a 4-1 defeat.

Winnipeg Jets fans will get the chance to see their former captain Andrew Ladd twice in the next two weeks. The Jets open up a four game home stand starting with the Blackhawks. They welcome Chicago back to the MTS Centre on April 1.

By Mike Macaraeg and Star Roxas | Filipino Journal