Winnipeg – The controversy has been going on for quite some time and has only intensified.
The curiosity of these chickens and eggs revolves around the use of Winnipeg Jets wings and the question will not go away any time soon.
The talent in the top six – especially on the wing – has been evident for some time, though it hasn’t stopped people from verbally abiding one side or the other.
Who is the Jets’ top left-winger?
When it comes to traditional figures as a measure of perfect productivity, Kyle Connor is at No. 1 with a bullet.
With three consecutive 30-plus goal seasons under his belt, Connor holds the edge set by Nicolas Ehler in terms of raw numbers.
It just tells a part of the story and it’s a comparison of oranges to an apple, because Ehler has a considerable advantage of his own when it comes to the underlying numbers and advanced statistics.
Also, Connor enjoys the obvious benefits of being in the top power-play unit, while Ehler’s ‘man-profit time was much more limited.
So when the training camp was opened with Ehler on the top line with Mark Schiffel and captain Blake Wheeler, observers and players all noticed.
Under normal circumstances when there are a lot of exhibition games on the horizon, checking combinations is a manic fare.
It should be noted that the Ehlers are not firing shotguns in the first line – even though Connor is more frequently featured there.
“I haven’t changed the way I play. For me, I don’t think I have to adjust my game depending on who I’m playing with,” said Ehlers, who scored 25 goals and 56 points in games1 last season. “I play my best hockey when I play as a shooter. You’re going to make your plays but I play fast, I skate more when I play with this shooter mentality. I feel like I did well last year. I want to do more, honestly. So that’s something I’m working on and yes, it’s going to be good. “
But through his own admission, Jets head coach Paul Morris hinted that it is safe to keep some extra stock in how things are currently built.
After all, the Jets will open the season against the Calgary Flames in seven days.
As Morris likes to say, nothing is permanent. He can go back to the proverb if needed.
For the Jets to succeed, both Connor and Ehler will have to be key contributors, regardless of the line they are playing on.
This is not a single / or scene.
It has been up to Maurice to create combinations that will provide enough headaches to coring and opposing players. Finding a match for exploitation to find the boss of each bench
“I agree, I don’t think it’s easy to sort out and I sometimes think about what you do when you play against a team with two strong offensive lines. You must go into the game with an idea, but you Got really fast to judge what’s going on, ”Morris said.“ Because every night there’s usually a line that jumps a little higher than the others and I think it would be interesting to see how it matched. But I know the offensive output. Not that you can choose which one to score more. “
Ehlers took on a shooter mentality last season and was in motion for the first 30-goal season of his career when he took a break in March. He followed suit by removing his play-off monster by deleting the 22-game goal-scoring drought.
Although the Jets quickly sent four games through the Flemish, Ehlers survived predictions that it was only a matter of time before regular season two success extended into the post-season.
Getting the first crack in earning more regular spot riding shotguns with Skiffil and Wheeler.
“When you play on this line, you’re going to draw an awful lot of fuel energy, so you can’t be good at one end of the rink,” Morris said. “Nicolas has improved in his defensive play. She’s just old, isn’t she? She has more experience now. He understands how important it is in the defensive zone and what you do with the offensive zone and your risk profile. All of these things young players never think about before moving to the NHL and they are all critical parts. Whoever you are playing against, you are playing with that D.
“He’s a more mature person, a more mature player and I would say – and his numbers say – he’s got the right to play against the best team in the other team. This is going to be a big challenge for him. This is another stage in the development of Nicolaus. “
Ehler’s speed is an extraordinary weapon and there are times when he plays the role of one-man zone entry.
As Connor, this is not a loss in the true sense of the word.
Not even close.
There will be no trivial significance when it comes to ice time and he is playing alongside a sniper with a vision in the Patrick line and a reliable two-way center by Paul Stastney who is known for making his linemates better.
Connor didn’t need a peep talk to see who he was playing with at the start of the camp.
“If you tell the character what you had to do. No, not with Kyle. Morris said,” He really doesn’t know who he’s going to play with. It’s not a problem for him. “” So I told him which line he was going on. And he said, ‘Hey, great.’
“Part of that is my experience with Kyle Connor over the last few years. You don’t have to explain the stuff to him. He just wants to go out and play and he’ll get it out. “
Corner has the kind of soft hand and finishing ability that some scholars have wondered if he might one day run for the Rocket Richard Trophy.
“I’m not sure when that will happen. That’s the progress where everyone can realize that this guy is very, very dangerous,” Morris said. “If you come and attend the first four days of our training camp, you will say it will come soon.
“He has such a calm personality, but he is driven to score goals. Wants to be a good player. Incredibly fit. He’s going to be a great player and he’s going to be there.
Of his 36 goals last season, seven of them were players (including one in overtime) and nine of them came to power play.
“I see myself taking another step forward as a player,” said Connor, who scored 733 points in 711 games last season and finished 15th in a tie in the NHL with Skiffill. “Personally, I don’t really set goals for how many points, goals, help from a particular year. I just focus on the day, trying to make each day better. For me, when I get the most success. I think this year I can take one more step. ”
The Jets are relying on Connor and Ehler to take one more step this season.
And the reality is that internal competition will probably push both of these dynamic players to even greater heights – no matter how the situation ends up.
Here’s how the jets lined up at Thursday’s main group session:
Nicolas Ehlers-Mark Schiffel-Blake Wheeler
Kyle Connor-Paul Statsney-Patrick line
Andrew Cope-Adam Lori-Mason Appleton
Christian Vaseline-Net Thompson-Trevor Lewis
Juono Luto-CJ Sauce
Josh Morrissey-Tucker Pullman
Derek Forbert-Neil Peonak
Nathan Beaulieu-Dylan Dimelo
Luca Subisa-Sami Niku
Unpractical: Janssen Harkins, Dominic Toninato, Marco Dano.
Contactless jersey: Matthew Perelolet, David Gustafson