Nashville Predators: Central Division primed to be NHL’s toughest

(Photo by John Crouch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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(Photo by Terrence Lee/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Terrence Lee/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Winnipeg Jets

You hear that sound? That is the sound of Winnipeg Jets fans shouting because they think their team has a chance to win in 2017. They may be right.

The 2016-17 season ended with the Jets just one win behind the Predators. Turn a few loses into ties, and the Jets just may be in the playoffs. But, hope springs forth from the hearts of Jets fans. Their time is coming.

And it is coming soon.

Their biggest addition was re-signing Mark Scheifele. His season with 82 points earned him enough money to sing selections from West Side Story all the way to the bank. He is a Jet all the way.

The Jets can score, as they were second in the Western Conference is goals scored. But, their goals allowed was fourth worst. They will attempt to fix that posting Steve Mason in the net. After a few solid seasons in Philadelphia, Mason passed the border for a 2 year/$8.2 million contract. It is the step in the right direction, but he needs to win the job from Connor Hellebuyck.

The Jets will need some defense in front of their net-minders. Adding Dmitry Kulikov helps, as long as he can play. Typically a 20 point scorer with hit and block totals between 110 and 120, he spent most of last year off ice with a back injury. And. with a contract worth $4.3 million next year for a second or third line defensemen, the Jets need him to be on the playing surface.

If the defense and goal-keeping improve, watch out for the Jets.