Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Apr 13 2015, Page 21

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - April 13, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba C M Y K PAGE C3 JETS REPORT C3 WINNIPEG FREE PRESS MONDAY, APRIL 13, 2015 winnipegfreepress. com T HAT team had a backup goaltender named Tim Cheveldae. This team has a general manager named Kevin Cheveldayoff. But aside from that quirky similarity, the Winnipeg Jets team that will play the Anaheim Ducks in the opening round of the NHL playoffs later this week bears little resemblance to the last Jets team to make the NHL playoffs way back in 1996. For starters, this year’s Jets team is better — a lot better. The 2014- 15 Jets finished the regular season with an impressive 99 points, 21 points better than the 78 points the 1996 Jets mustered as they limped into that year’s playoffs against the Detroit Red Wings with a sub .500 record. Interestingly, both teams were very strong at home — this year’s Jets team was only marginally better at the MTS Centre ( 23- 13- 5) than the 1996 team was at Winnipeg Arena ( 22- 16- 3). But where the two teams diverged drastically was on the road. This year’s Jets were a very respectable 20- 13- 8 on the road, while the 1996 Jets were just 14- 24- 3. The 1996 Jets lit the lamp more often — they scored 275 goals in 82 games in 1995- 96, while this season’s Jets managed just 230 goals. That also translated to an individual level — Keith Tkachuk led the ’ 95- 96 Jets with a whopping 50 goals and 98 points, while this season’s points leader was Andrew Ladd with a paltry — by comparison — 24 goals and 62 points. But then, everyone scored more back in the old days. Pittsburgh’s Mario Lemieux won the 1995- 96 scoring race with 161 points and 12 players finished with more than 100 points. In stark contrast, Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars won this season’s scoring race with just 87 points — a points tally that wouldn’t have cracked the Top 20 in 1995- 96. You can also see the difference between the two eras in goals against. The Jets were led in 1995- 96 by goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin, who played 53 games that season and posted a 3.11 goals- against average and a .908 save percentage. In contrast, Ondrej Pavelec played 50 games for the Jets this season and posted a 2.28 goals- against average and a .920 save percentage. So what’s it all mean? Not a darn thing, of course. History has recorded those 1995- 96 Jets lost their opening- round playoff series 4- 2 to the Red Wings and then packed up and headed south to Phoenix, where they were reincarnated the following fall as the Phoenix Coyotes. Nineteen years later, this city’s hockey fans will dust off the whites they buried in the closet all those years ago and once again turn an arena in this city into a sold- out whiteout. But the biggest difference this year is no matter what this Jets team does in the playoffs, the future of the Jets in this city is secure for a long time to come. Here’s a look at how times have changed for the Jets, the city and the world since the last time a Winnipeg team played in the NHL playoffs. paul. wiecek@ freepress. mb. ca Twitter@ Paul. Wiecek A lot has changed since Winnipeg last sent a team to the NHL playoffs PAUL WIECEK THE TEAM REGULAR- SEASON RECORD Then — 36- 40- 6 ( 78) Now — 43- 26- 13 ( 99) HOME RECORD Then — 22- 16- 3 Now — 23- 13- 5 ROAD RECORD Then — 14- 24- 3 Now — 20- 13- 8 GM Then — John Paddock Now — Kevin Cheveldayoff HEAD COACH Then — Terry Simpson Now — Paul Maurice CAPTAIN Then — Kris King Now — Andrew Ladd LEADING GOAL SCORER Then — Keith Tkachuk ( 50) Now — Blake Wheeler ( 26) LEADING POINTS Then — Keith Tkachuk ( 98) Now — Andrew Ladd ( 62) PENALTIES Then — Dave Manson ( 205) Now — Dustin Byfuglien ( 124) THE CITY POPULATION Then — 629,271 Now ( 2014) — 709,253 MAYOR Then — Susan Thompson Now — Brian Bowman PREMIER Then — Gary Filmon Now — Greg Selinger ARENA Then — Winnipeg Arena Now — MTS Centre ANNOYING RECORD- BREAKING MOMENT Then — On Feb. 1, 1996, a wind chill of - 57.1 C was recorded, the coldest wind chill in Winnipeg history. Now — On April 7, 2015, the Winnipeg Police Service announced they’d handed out a record $ 14.6 million in photo radar fines the previous year. THE TIMES TOP SINGLE Then — Because You Loved Me – Celine Dion Now — Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson HIGHEST- RATED TV SHOW Then — E. R. Now — NCIS PRIME MINISTER Then — Jean Chrétien Now — Stephen Harper U. S. PRESIDENT Then — Bill Clinton Now — Barack Obama POPE Then — John Paul II Now — Francis BESTSELLING CAR IN AMERICA Then — Ford Taurus Now ( February) — Toyota Camry Little in common WITH ’ 96 JETS LM OTERO / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILES Netminder Ondrej Pavelec posted a 2.28 goals- against average and a .920 save percentage in 50 games between the pipes for the Jets in the 2014- 15 regular season. KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Jets goalie Nikolai Khabibulin watches the puck through traffic in playoffs against Detroit. JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Current Jets head coach Paul Maurice ( above) and ex- boss Terry Simpson ( left). JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES TREVOR HAGAN / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILES Former Jets tough guy Dave Manson ( left) and current Jets brute Dustin Byfuglien. C_ 0 3_ Apr- 13- 15_ FP_ 01. indd C3 4/ 12/ 15 9: 18: 24 PM

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