Whether or not Mark Sceifele stays with the Jets through the 9-game mark remains to be seen. He has been invisible in a few of the games so far this season and also has seen reduced ice time in close games. One thing is certain though for the young kid from Ontario. The puck is starting to find him.
In the preseason Jets fans thought they might have found themselves one of those players that just seems like a puck magnet. It seemed like whenever there was a yawning cage in the offensive zone, a shot would betaken by a Jet and the rebound would go immediately to number 55 (45 in pre-season action).
Then when the regular season started it seemed like the opposing teams full NHL roster was just a little bit too much for him. Nobody can blame the kid. He is playing in a maelstrom of attention. Not only have the Jets returned to Winnipeg, their first game was a home game against the Habs. You know, that team that has just a sidgen of history behind it. Loss number 1. "Oh and by the way kid, our second game is an away game at the United Center. They have a few players you may have heard of. Guys named Toews, Kane, Hossa, Keith. Don't worry kid.....their sweethearts. I know we lost our home opener, but you scored a ton in pre-season so we are really expecting you to help out our lack-luster offense. No pressure though." Loss number 2. Then he heads off to play who ? Oh yeah......the OLD Jets. That'll be fun right ? After 3 straight losses and declining play from Scheifele, he gets to go back to the media frenzy that is Winnipeg, face all the questions about reduced ice time, lack of scoring, getting pushed around by men, and oh yeah......face the penguins. No pressure.
I give the kid a ton of credit. He is probably not ready quite yet for the rigors of the NHL but he's handling the pressure pretty well. He goes into the ACC against argueably the most adored team in the NHL and not only plays well but gets his first career NHL goal on the EXACT type of play he scored on in the pre-season. He created offense last night. Offense that this team has been lacking, and I applaud Claude Noel for sticking the youngster on the power play so that he could get the chance to score a goal in front of family and friends in his hometown. Classy move that showed me a lot about who Noel is. Those moves tend to pay off. They sure did for Mark Scheifele last night.
Congratulations Mark. Ya done good kid.