There aren't many teams out there that can understand the process the Islanders are going through, but the Winnipeg Jets are one of them. With a roster who's average age is 26.86 (a year and a half younger than the Isles) and a middle of the road payroll, the Jets future is dependent on its young talent.
Dom, the great man that he is, caught up with Trevor Maughan of Arctic Ice Hockey, our SB Nation brethren that covers the Winnipeg Jets, to ask a few questions about hockey in Manitoba. His answers follow:
1. Some Isles fans were disappointed the team didn't put Ryan Strome on the roster. How is his classmate Mark Scheifele looking so far? Will he stick beyond five games?
A realist would say that Scheifele's game hasn't matched the hype surrounding it after he was named one of Canada's top players at the 2013 World Junior Championships. And that's not to say he's been awful at the NHL level, just a non-factor in his 3 games so far. In his defense, he's averaging just under ten minutes of ice-time per game and playing predominantly in a bottom six role.
It would most likely behoove the Jets to return Scheifele to Barrie where he can continue to garner more experience on a team that looks poised to make an OHL playoff run rather than toiling away between Jim Slater and Chris Thorburn.
[**Ed. Note: Scheifele was scratched for Winnipeg's win vs. Pittsburgh on Saturday.]
2. Granted it's early, but how is Olli Jokinen being used, and is he doing the job?
Olli has been a breath of fresh air for a team that couldn't win face-offs last year. He's currently second on the team in FO% [a little lower since Saturday's game] and though he has yet to factor in on the score sheet his game has gelled quickly with Evander Kane's.
For a team that needed to boost their depth at centre, they've got a good one in Jokinen.
3. Finish this sentence (or paragraph): The greatest thing about seeing a game in Winnipeg is...
...the atmosphere at the rink. The word passionate is thrown around a lot when talking about fans of the game but in Winnipeg, it's certainly the case.
Not to wax poetic, but there's an electricity that exudes from the MTS Centre on game days. Whether it's chanting a goalie's name or booing the opposition's star player, fans have been great in rallying behind their new NHL franchise.
[**Ed. Note: So if you don't hear any John Tavares boos tonight, Islanders fans, you can feel slighted.]