If there’s one team Winnipeg sniper Patrik Laine enjoys playing, it’s the Dallas Stars. With three goals in three games against the Stars this season, and 18 goals in his last 16 games against the team, his success against them is undeniable. In fact, after the Jets’ big 5-1 win over Dallas last night, Laine joked that if it were up to him, he’d take on the Stars in all 82 games of the season.
"I wish we played 82 against those guys, I'd have a lot of goals," Laine said with a smirk. "It seems like it just goes in. Don't have any explanation but, well, thank God they are in our division. I'm laughing."
That’s the kind of comment that’s bound to make you laugh if you’re a Jets fan, and totally piss you off if you happen to be a Stars fan!
No matter which team you cheer for, though you have to give Winnipeg some credit. After losing some key members of the team in the offseason, many had counted them out. So far, they couldn’t be more wrong. Despite dealing with several injuries and the whole Dustin Byfuglien situation, the Jets are 2nd in the Central Division right now with an impressive record of 17-10-1. Sportsnet analyst Brian Burke said recently that if he had to award the Jack Adams Trophy right now for Coach of the Year, Winnipeg’s Paul Maurice would be an easy pick. It’s hard to disagree with that. Winnipeg has won four of its last five games and shows no signs of slowing down.
It would be a disservice not to mention the awesome play of goalie Connor Hellebuyck as a major reason for the success of the Jets as well. He now has a 14-7-1 record with a 2.17 GAA and an excellent .934 save percentage on the season. He’s also faced more shots than all but three other goaltenders in the month of November. A new column from The Hockey News states Hellebuyck has firmly planted himself in the conversation for the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender a third of the way through the 2019-20 season.