Wheeler integral to Winnipeg’s season success?

With less than a month until the National Hockey League returns, the Winnipeg Jets are looking for a significant improvement after finishing fifth in the Western Conference’s Central Division last season. The Jets reached the playoffs for the first time in their brief history in the 2014-15 campaign but were beaten in all four playoff matches in the first round of the postseason against the Anaheim Ducks. However, they will take heart from their overall performance throughout the season and could well press on in the upcoming campaign.

Blake Wheeler will play a crucial role for the Jets throughout the season and, at 29 years old, is in the form of his life. The former Phoenix Coyotes star, who was selected by the Arizona franchise in the first round of the 2004 NHL draft, has scored more goals than any other player on the Winnipeg roster. The alternative captain will be keen to help the Jets get off to a winning start against former side Boston Bruins on October 9th. The Bruins are an exceptional side and it certainly won’t be easy but the Jets will be full of confidence ahead of a tricky set of road fixtures to open the campaign.
At the time of writing, the Jets are priced at 13/1 with Bet365 to win the Central Division this season and, although that may be a little far-fetched at the current moment, they will be keen to open up the new campaign with a victory on the road. These fixtures are the kind of matches that will become must-wins if Winnipeg intend on reaching the postseason for the second consecutive year. While it’s unlikely that they will beat the likes of Chicago Blackhawks in the regular season, they could sneak into the playoffs via the two wildcard slots in the Western Conference.
Last season, Winnipeg won 43 of their 82 regular season matches – six more than they managed in any previous year. By the same token, they picked up 99 points and had a significant, positive goal difference by the end of the campaign. Unfortunately, they have endured a tricky start to their pre-season preparations ahead of the new campaign and have lost each of the past four matches. However, the Jets will be confident of picking up a successful result in their next matches as their players begin to gel.
The Jets will be excited to get the new campaign started and although they won’t play any of their opening four fixtures at the MTS Iceplex, they will still be well supported throughout the season. Winnipeg supporters are truly among the greatest fans in the NHL and, with a bit of luck, their beloved players will reach the postseason for a second successive year.