The Winnipeg Jets have been an above average team this season in just about every regard. They out possess the opposition on a near nightly basis, have a favorable shooting percentage and are getting a good chunk of their starts in the attacking zone. One area the Jets have struggled, though, is between the pipes and things aren’t about to get any easier.
The Jets announced Monday that goaltender Ondrej Pavelec, who was hit by Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan Saturday night, has been placed on the injured reserve and, according to TSN’s Sara Orlesky, the diagnosis, a knee sprain, isn’t good. Pavelec is expected to miss all of December’s action, Orlesky reported, and there’s a possibility he won’t return until February.
Normally, this would be where Jets fans — or at least those who have been more on the side of netminder Michael Hutchinson than they have Pavelec — would be excited about the potential for Hutchinson to shine. However, Hutchinson has been statistically worse than Pavelec this season. Of the 42 goaltenders who have played at least 300 minutes at 5-on-5, Pavelec ranks 18th with a .931 save percentage. Hutchinson? He’s closer to the bottom with a 34th-best .912 SP.
To say the Jets can’t afford a run of poor goaltending in the incredibly competitive Central Division would be an understatement. But there may not be reason for the Winnipeg faithful to worry, because with Pavelec’s injury came the call up of Manitoba Moose netminder Connor Hellebuyck, and the future could very well be now for the Jets. Read more