NHL News: Jets close season with a win, Drew Doughty calls on Kings to make trades, and playoffs begin

rob blake drew doughty
May 12, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (8) prepares to take a power play shot on the net of the Colorado Avalanche during the first period at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Winnipeg Jets closed out their season with a win against the Toronto Maple Leafs. That’s now two wins in a row for the Jets who only won three games in their last 10 heading into the playoff action.

Jets close season on high note

Connor Hellebuyck made 34 saves and looked sharp in net for Winnipeg. Meanwhile, Kyle Connor scored twice to finish the year with 26 goals. This is now the second consecutive season that he’s led the Jets in goal scoring. For Paul Maurice, who could find himself out of work with an early exit, he knows the task ahead is a difficult one.

“We’re going into these with wide-open eyes, excited about what’s going to happen and kind of looking at figuring out how good we really can be,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. “We know the real challenge starting on the road against the team that we will face, but looking forward to it. There’s kind of a sense of excitement in that room. Win a game, you feel good. You get to play fun games now.”

NHL.com

The Jets will face the Oilers in round one beginning on Wednesday. Today, Edmonton will wrap up their season with a final game against the Canucks. Connor McDavid is expected to play.

Auston Matthews did not score in the 4-2 loss to the Jets. Unless McDavid scores 8 goals today, the Leafs center will win his first ever Rocket Richard Trophy with 41 goals.

Drew Doughty calls on Kings to make trades

Drew Doughty calls on Kings to make trades
May 1, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (8) defends a shot on goal against the Anaheim Ducks in the third period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Drew Doughty was open and honest with the press on breakup day. For about nine minutes he discussed the season and desire for Rob Blake to go out and bring in some veteran help.

“Me and ‘Kopi,’ ‘Quickie,’ ‘Brownie,’ we’re all getting older,” Doughty said. “We all had, I thought, phenomenal seasons, but we’re running out of time. You’ve got two of the best players at their position (Kopitar and Doughty), both ways, two of the most complete players at the position. And with all this [NHL salary] cap room, yeah, we’ve got to bring guys in. That’s it, for sure. There’s no point just waiting for these prospects to develop when you’ve got guys in their prime, guys that are hungry to win and guys that are sick of losing so, yeah, we’ve got to bring guys in.”

NHL.com

When asked directly if he would be fine if the Kings did not bring in anyone and stayed the course, his response was a quick “No.”

Playoff Begin Tonight: Capitals vs Bruins

The 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs begin tonight with the Washington Capitals taking on the Boston Bruins at 7:15 PM ET.

The Caps finished the year at 36-15-5 and the Bruins closed out at 33-16-7. Goalie matchup is yet unconfirmed, but the Daily Faceoff is projecting Tuukka Rask versus Vitek Vanecek.