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ANALYSIS: The Winnipeg Jets remain comfortable as other teams vie for playoff spots

Craig Berube was fired this week in St. Louis, marking the third National Hockey League head coach to be dismissed during this regular season.

Two of the three fired, in fact, are in the Central Division where the Jets are comfortably in the Top 3, sandwiched between Colorado and Dallas.

So why is Berube’s dismissal important to the Jets? And, similarly, Dean Evason’s firing with the Minnesota Wild?  Well, it’s rather simple. These two teams made coaching changes for one simple reason.

Ownership and management in both St. Louis and St. Paul look at their rosters, then look at the standings and say one thing: ‘We can still make the playoffs.’”


The Western Conference is wide open.

Oh sure, Vegas and the surprising Vancouver Canucks have an impressive 20 wins, and they appear to be ahead of the pack. But there are 10 points between 11 teams vying for the remaining playoff positions.  Two of those 11 teams are the Blues and the Wild, both in the Central Division and now trying to get a boost from a new voice and back into true playoff contention.


The Jets, who by the way have been one of the best positive stories in the NHL this season, have proved to be deep, competitive and resilient. The impressive win in LA without Kyle Connor was certainly one of the team’s high points this season.

But now is not the time to bask in the success of this team. Now is the time to bear down, keep an eye on the playoff prize and be totally aware that the teams in the west that have made changes — Edmonton, St Louis, and Minnesota — have now made catching teams like Winnipeg the goal of the rest of the season.

The Jets are, in fact, the prey. Not the predator.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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