NHL Back to the Futures: Wingman discusses the Jets’ Cup chances

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The Winnipeg Jets are ascending to new heights in the Western Conference, currently sitting in second place behind the upstart Las Vegas Golden Knights.

They sit atop the Central Division, ahead of the 2016-17 Stanley Cup finalist Nashville Predators. And all this without their first-line centre Mark Scheifele, who has been out of the lineup for over a month with an upper body injury.

Blake Wheeler has dominated in Scheifele’s absence, the American transitioning to centre seamlessly. He is 11th in league scoring and is the most integral member of this high-flying Jets unit.

Wheeler bullied the Flames last week in a 2-1, the sturdy centre scoring the shootout winner in Calgary on a dandy deke which wrong-footed Mike Smith.

Patrik Laine is also playing well, but maybe the most pleasantly surprising factor to the Jets’ success is the play of Connor Hellebuyck. The American netminder is seventh in the league with a .924 save percentage.

Bodog currently has the Jets pegged at +1600 to win the Stanley Cup and are the most likely Canadian team to win it all this season. Watch out for the Jets, who are dominant on home ice, once they get Scheifele back on the ice.

No wonder opposing players hate travelling to Winnipeg. It’s not just the cold, bitter weather that is unwelcoming in Manitoba’s capital.

Nathan MacKinnon: Canadian of the Week (COW)

The Canadian of the Week, #COW, goes to Nathan MacKinnon, who helped the Avalanche to a nine-game winning streak, the best in the league this season. He scored two game-winning goals and has been instrumental in Colorado’s unlikely success story. The Canadian is second in league scoring and has benefited massively from the departure of Matt Duchene, who is enduring an endless real-life nightmare since going to Ottawa.

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