Evander Kane could be back in the Winnipeg Jets lineup soon. That’s great news for the struggling club, as they’ve been looking pretty rough this season. Their 2-4-0 record is hardly impressive, but what’s worse is the utter lack of offence the Jets have been able to string up.
Toby Enstrom, Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little find themselves in a three-way tie for the lead in team scoring. Each has four points, with Little leading the way with three goals. The club is averaging just 1.83 goals per game thus far, good for 27th in the National Hockey League. As many astute observers have noted, these are Buffalo Sabres circa 2013-2014 numbers.
Last season, the Jets managed 2.67 goals per game.
As such, the importance of Kane can’t be overstated. In 63 games last season, he popped in 19 goals and had a total of 41 points. He’s arguably Winnipeg’s only superstar, a forward with drive and top-tier talent. He can turn the tide in a game and the Jets are seriously missing that right now.
After breaking a four-game losing streak on Tuesday, coach Paul Maurice released some good news by saying that Kane was progressing ahead of schedule. He went down in the home opener with a knee injury.
“It’s two weeks,” Maurice said. “Evander Kane is progressing quite well to the point where we have an expectation that in the next few days, he’ll be back on IR skates. It’s what we call them, non-main-group skates so nobody runs into a guy. But he’ll be back on the ice, we think, sometime this weekend and after that, it’s as much about strength and healing time and things like that so that’s kind of positive news about him.”
There is still no specific timetable regarding a return, granted, but smart money says that sometimes in November the team could see Kane back in the fold.
When they do get Kane back, they’ll have to chance to win some games and put some pucks in the net. The likes of Jacob Trouba and Mark Scheifele may blossom into some tremendously gifted players, but right now there’s no questioning the efficacy of Kane and the hole that results when he’s not in the lineup.