ANALYSIS: Winnipeg Jets’ dependable strength has been in the middle of the ice this season

Blake Wheeler probably said it best when he was talking about Pierre-luc Dubois recently.

In his description of how difficult he is to play against, Wheeler noted that when Dubois “is playing downhill, he’s tough to stop.”

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It’s an accurate portrayal, but also one that could be extended to the other two full-time centres on the Winnipeg Jets this season, as Mark Scheifele and Adam Lowry have been equally arduous to play against.

Overall, the centre position for the Jets has been steady, consistent, reliable, prolific and onerous for the opposition. The group – and you can add Kevin Stenlund into the mix lately, too – has been the backbone of the team.

And while the man games lost to injury have piled up on the Jets this season on the wings and blue line, Winnipeg’s centres have remained unscathed, insulating the team and providing it with the ability to absorb the injuries to key players and progressively carry on.

Now, the Jets’ success this season has also had other key contributors, with Josh Morrissey’s play possibly good enough for some Norris Trophy consideration, Connor Hellebuyck’s for a second Vezina Trophy and Kyle Connor’s for some additional hardware as well.

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But the Jets’ dependable strength this season has been in the middle of the ice with Scheifele and Dubois leading the team in goals and Lowry in character, grit and forwards plus-minus.

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They’re big, mobile and frankly a little mean and while they might lose faceoff here and there, they conversely don’t lose many board battles.

Yes, Wheeler said it best about Dubois being hard to stop when he’s playing downhill.

Again, that statement likely applies to the entire centre ice position on the team this season, because without them and the way they’ve played, it would be an uphill climb for the Jets instead.

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