The NHL season is less than a week away, which means all the questions leading up to the regular season will soon be answered.
The Winnipeg Jets are a team that have many key questions facing them, but what are the most important ones that fans want answered? Some answers could determine whether or not the Jets have a successful season.
These burning questions will soon be answered, but what are they to begin with?
Here are three questions that Jets fans will want answered.
Will the Jets score consistently and prevent opponents from scoring?
This question could probably be interpreted simply as: Will the Jets win games? Because if they score consistently and prevent opponents from scoring, it should mean that they’ll win games on a consistent basis.
That’s not the core of the question though.
The Jets roster is equipped with a mixture of playmakers and goal scorers. Last season, the Jets scored 2.62 goals per game which ranked them 16th in the entire NHL. That isn't too bad, but they’ll look to improve on that.
On the other side of it, the Jets weren't too successful at keeping the puck out of their own net. They allowed 2.94 goals a game which ranked them 25th. This is something the Jets have to focus on throughout the entire season.
This then brings up the questions surrounding Ondrej Pavelec... and there are plenty of them.
The Jets need consistent goaltending from Pavelec and the defensive support in front of him.
There will be nights when the offense doesn't show up and the Jets will have to rely on their goaltending to get it done and vice versa. You have to be consistent in both of these categories to win games and more importantly, make the playoffs.
Will the Jets have improved special teams?
This is an important question. The answer could probably predict whether or not the Jets have a successful season. Last year, the Jets were beyond awful in both special teams categories.
In the shortened season, the Jets were ranked dead last in power play percentage. Yes, they were the 30th ranked team with a lowly 13.8 percent. That is terrible. It’s very indicative of why the Jets missed out on the playoffs.
The Jets penalty kill wasn't much better as it ranked 24th with a mediocre 79.7 percent.
The Jets have to improve in both special teams categories or it could be another long season. Even a top-20 finish would be a huge improvement.
Will the Jets make the playoffs?
Look, I’m sure not many people are expecting playoffs. I’m not expecting playoffs. But the Jets have to show us they've improved from last season. They came close, but not close enough.
How close will they come in a new conference, in a new division with tougher opponents?
As the season progresses, we’ll see how the Jets adjust. We’ll see if they hang in as a playoff-bubble team for the long run, or if they’re out of the race by February.
We all know teams can take a step back in the rebuilding process. For the Jets, they have to keep going forward without regression. Some will argue that a bottom-five finish would be better in the long haul. But making the playoffs would give fans hope.
The Jets are capable of making the playoffs. They don’t need to win the division; fans would happily take a low seed.
The NHL season is a long one. The Jets have to be consistent in many areas of their game throughout the year.
If there's one team that can prove everyone wrong, it's the Winnipeg Jets.