WINNIPEG - Blake Wheeler has had some big nights at Bell MTS Place in his time with the Winnipeg Jets and Saturday night was no different.
He drew two penalties, added two points to get him up to 600 with the Jets' franchise in a bizarre 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Wheeler has 14 points in the Jets first 24 games this season. At this point last year, he sat at 32 points (4G, 28A) and 28 points (6G, 22A) through 24 games in 2017-18.
"You know nights like this, they are bound to happen. I expect them to happen more frequently than they have been," said Wheeler who recorded his fourth multipoint contest of the season.
"But ultimately for me I'm not going to stand here and lie and say I don't want to be productive. Scored a lot of points around here without winning a lot of games in the past. For me it's all about whatever it takes to get a win."
Video: POSTGAME | Blake Wheeler
While the points aren't coming for Wheeler like they have in years past the Jets five games over .500 and four points back of the St. Louis Blues for first in the Central. The captain won 73 per cent of his face-offs Saturday night and since he was teamed with Jack Roslovic and Nikolaj Ehlers, the trio has given up one goal at five-on-five.
"We're doing our job. We're doing a good job," said Wheeler.
"Tonight was one of those nights where we were able to capitalize on some chances and hopefully we can do that a little bit more of that going forward."
Ehlers registered his team leading 11th goal of the season and Roslovic added an assist, so the line combined for four points and eight shots on goal.
"The Wheeler line was dynamic. For a group of guys you know, those wingers aren't big guys," said Paul Maurice.
"They competed hard and sharp and were fast too."
Video: POSTGAME | Paul Maurice
A couple of times Wheeler looked like he was carrying the team on his back whether it was dangling through the Jackets defence or quarterbacking the power play from the point. Considering how hectic the Jets schedule has been for the month of November, his effort was appreciated.
"He is such a powerful man and he's an incredibly fit guy so he can weather our schedule a little better than our other guys," said Maurice.
"I thought it happened in Dallas (on Thursday) too right? Where he was trying to drive the game because he knew we weren't right where we needed to be. But I would say tonight he had his wingers with him."