Flying high: Jets win again, edging Chicago


The Winnipeg Jets keep doing things that people don’t expect from them, though admittedly in a very small sample size, under Paul Maurice. On Sunday, they overcame the team that, in many ways, feels like the “grown up” version of the Jets, as they beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1.

The Jets feature some significant former Blackhawks (especially Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd) and a former Chicago executive in their GM Kevin Cheveldayoff. Before tonight, they had lost three games to Chicago this season by a combined score of 15-5.

With this win, Winnipeg is now 6-1-0 with Paul Maurice behind the bench.

That’s impressive work, but that promise might wear off if their goaltending sags.

Ondrej Pavelec has been producing outstanding work with a new head coach, yet it was Al Montoya who was standing on his head tonight. Chicago generated a ridiculous 18-2 shot advantage in the first period, yet Brandon Bollig was the only person to beat Montoya. And he was perfect for the rest of Sunday night.

Naturally with a team that just sacked their coach seven games ago, Winnipeg still needs to keep things going to have a real shot at the playoffs. According to Sports Club Stats, this win bumped their playoff odds up 3.1 percent to just 8.3. Still, it’s just late-January, and stranger things have happened.

While Maurice is putting more wins in Winnipeg, the Blackhawks face a rare mini-rut, with three straight losses. After the game, captain Jonathan Toews didn’t provide a positive spin to’s Tracey Myers.

“We threw away another two points,” Toews said. “I don’t have an explanation without saying anything negative.”

Perhaps the explanation is simple enough: they ran into a team with soaring confidence and red-hot goaltending?

Memorial Cup champion goalie Appleby signs with Devils

Ken Appleby
The Canadian Press via AP
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Ken Appleby never got drafted, but his efforts during the New Jersey Devils’ training camp have earned him an entry-level contract, per the Bergen Record.

Although no team saw it fit to take him before the preseason, the 20-year-old is coming off of a very strong season. He had a 2.08 GAA and .924 save percentage in 50 games with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. He went on to lead them to a Memorial Cup championship and earned the the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the tournament’s top goalie.

Appleby is the fifth goaltender the Devils have under contract after Cory Schneider, Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood, and Yann Danis. He’ll likely begin the season in the ECHL.

Alexandre Goulet and Jacob Sweeney also participated in the Devils’ training camp on an amateur tryout basis, but both of them have been released.

PHT Morning Skate: NHL stars weigh in on McDavid

Connor McDavid
The Canadian Press via AP
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Some of the NHL’s top players discuss Connor McDavid‘s potential and the hype surrounding him. (Toronto Sun)

While we’re on the subject, Wayne Gretzky recalls what it was like for him going into the NHL and what’s in store for McDavid. (Edmonton Sun)

Sam Gagner is about to start a key season in his career. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

It’s time for the Washington Capitals to make some tough calls, particularly when it comes to Derek Roy. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)

With Raffi Torres hearing scheduled for today, here’s a look back at his suspension history. (San Jose Mercury News)

The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten their championship rings. (