CALGARY, AB -- The Winnipeg Jets will put a bow on a disappointing first season in the Western Conference on Friday.
The Jets, who moved to the West after spending their first two seasons back in the NHL in the Southeast Division, will miss the playoffs for the third straight year. A mid-season coaching change boosted the team, but the team failed their goal of making the postseason for the hungry fan base in Winnipeg.
The last time the Jets/Atlanta Thrashers franchise played playoff hockey was in 2007, when the Thrashers lost in four straight games to the New York Rangers. It’s their only playoff appearance in franchise history.
This Season: 36-35-10, 82 points (11th in West)
Last Season: 24-21-3, 51 points (9th in East)
Notable Injuries: Forwards Dustin Byfuglien (muscle tear), Mark Scheifele (sprained MCL), Chris Thorburn (talus), and James Wright (ankle), defenceman Zach Bogosian (upper body), Grant Clitsome (back), and Keaton Ellerby (lower body) and goaltender Al Montoya (lower body) are out. Captain Andrew Ladd (elbow) has been shut down for the season.
Flames Season Series Record: 1-1-0
Wheeler has been one of Winnipeg’s most consistent players all year and paces the Jets with 27 goals and 68 points. The 27-year-old Olympian has amassed 20 points (5g, 15a) since the Sochi break. He has four assists in his past four games, too.
Setoguchi has had a tough final month of the season in Winnipeg. The Taber, AB product has been held pointless in five straight games and has just two points (1g, 1a) since March 1. He has been a healthy scratch five times in the past eight games, too.
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Little is enjoying a career year in his seventh season with the franchise; he has set career highs in games played (81), assists (40), points (63), and penalty minutes (58). He has also tied his career high in short-handed goals with two. He also leads the Jets in faceoffs, winning 47.5 percent of his draws.
In his rookie year, Trouba has been a positive light for the Jets. In 64 games, the Rochester, MI-native has 28 points (10g, 18a). He leads all rookie defenceman in time on ice, averaging 22:43 per game. His 28 points put him fifth in scoring amongst rookie rearguards, too.
Frolik has been a productive player for the Jets in his first year with the team after being dealt from the Chicago Blackhawks last summer. The 26-year-old, who won a Stanley Cup last spring, has struggled of late earning just two assists in the past five games. Still, Frolik he has set a career high in assists with 27.