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Second Power Play Unit Continues to Shine

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The Winnipeg Jets are in the middle of a three-game win streak after defeating the Montreal Canadiens back to back on Thursday and Saturday last week, outscoring them 9–2 in the process and improving their overall record to 25–13–2. The Jets are currently six points behind Toronto for first place and one point above Edmonton for second place in the North Division.

Special teams have played an important role in their recent success as they continue to take advantage of their power plays, having scored two goals on eight power play opportunities through the two-game series.

Their power play is operating third-best in the NHL with a 25.8 percent success rate through their first 41 games. This represents a 6.1 percent improvement compared to the same period last season.

Nikolaj Ehlers, Andrew Copp, and the entire second unit have been instrumental in the Jets’ improved power play. Ehlers continues to showcase his speed and stickhandling abilities, generating time and space for his unit. He is often the recipient of drop-passes while in full stride at his blue line, allowing him to penetrate the offensive zone with ease.

Meanwhile, Copp is second on the team with six power play goals despite only averaging 1:48 of power play time per game, seventy seconds less than Mark Scheifele and the first unit.

“The second unit might have drawn even five-on-four with the first unit. There will be a substantial argument between the units tomorrow and the next day about which unit is the first unit,” head coach Paul Maurice joked when asked about their recent success on the power play. “It is a really good example of when those guys got together, they want to make it work and they like working together. When Blake Wheeler went down, their biggest fear was that unit would change.”

There is a strong case to be made that the second unit should, in fact, be the first unit over the boards during power plays. The five players on Winnipeg’s first power play unit have a total of 17 power play goals, whereas the players on the second unit have 14 while only being on the ice for only 35.6 percent of Winnipeg’s total time with the man advantage.

Whether you define the units as first and second unit or 1A and 1B, it clearly shows that Winnipeg has two very good power play options.

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