Since arriving from the Rangers at the trade deadline, Morgan Barron is showing his worth to his Winnipeg Jets’ teammates.
At the odd time, one can find a silver lining following an injury – or for the sake of the Winnipeg Jets, several injuries.
That silver lining may come in the form of a rapid fall in the standings and rise within the draft rankings. It may be that of added exposure for a young prospect. Sometimes it is all a team needs in order to experience some much-needed line-juggling.
For the Jets, it very well may be all of the above.
Let’s face it. Winnipeg will not be hosting a playoff round, or even a single postseason game this spring… or winter, for those following along with Manitoba’s forecasted 30-70 centimeter blizzard expected to begin on Tuesday evening.
— Carter Brooks (@CBrooksie84) April 12, 2022
So the Jets really aren’t playing for much.
Situated five points back of the Dallas Stars for the final seed in the Western Conference wild card race, Winnipeg has been winning its games as of late, but hardly making any traction in its race against time.
The Stars, St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators, Vegas Golden Knights, and yes, the Vancouver Canucks all continue to win their respective games as well – making Winnipeg’s chances quite frankly, slim to none.
Already down Blake Wheeler following an awkward crash into the end boards last week, the Jets lost fellow top-line forward Mark Scheifele in the second period of Sunday’s game against the Ottawa Senators after a heavy check by Parker Kelly along the boards.
Every indication from the Jets is that Scheifele will miss significant time – likely out of action until the end of the season.
With injuries to two of the club’s top-six forwards, the deadline day trade of Andrew Copp to New York and the recent COVID reserve stay by goal and point scoring leader Kyle Connor, the Jets’ first and second lines have seen a multitude of names and faces over the past month.
But with Connor now back and healthy, the once-deadly trio of Connor, Pierre-Luc Dubois, and his former QMJHL teammate Evgeny Svechnikov made a return to the spotlight on Monday in Montreal. The line combined for the game-winner, a pretty breakout play resulting in a Svechnikov tally. That left a hole on the team’s second line, with Paul Stastny skating between Nikolaj Ehlers and the promoted Morgan Barron.
Barron, a 23-year-old piece that came to Winnipeg via the Rangers in the Copp deal, made the most of his opportunity slotting in alongside the speedster Ehlers and the veteran setup man, Stastny.
“I was excited,” Barron told the press following Monday’s win over the Canadiens. “I know I played a few shifts with those guys the other night and I felt good. They’re obviously two really good players. I figured it would be a good opportunity for me to show that I can play up the lineup. This was kind of my first opportunity to show that I can play in the top-six as well, so I was excited for the opportunity.”
Clearly, the personnel decision made by interim head coach Dave Lowry paid off. Barron scored Winnipeg’s first goal – a nifty drop pass play from Ehlers – before setting up Stastny for his line’s second goal in as many shifts in the early stages of the second period.
Ep 100: Divisional Round Preview: Who Is Headed To Championship Sunday?
by Full Press Coverage on January 21, 2023 at 12:19 pm
“They’re both just such smart players,” he added of his line mates. “I know that Stas has been in the league for quite a while and I’ve watched a lot of Ehlers in Halifax when he played with the Mooseheads, so I was familiar with the way they played. They’re just so helpful, in terms of talking on the bench, talking on the ice. There’s a big difference when you hear a guy calling for a puck or hearing a guy telling you to hold onto a puck and things like that. It made my life easy.”
Skating in just his 24th career game and sixth with the Jets, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound forward referenced his goal as one of his ‘welcome to the NHL’ moments after being on the receiving end of what seemed like an other-worldly pass from his linemate.
“It was a great play,” Barron laughed. “It’s funny, with Ehlers out there, sometimes you feel like he doesn’t even see you but that’s what what he wants everybody else to think, including their defencemen. I kind of felt like he just sucked that defenceman (to him) and it created a hole for me. I had some time to get a shot off and I just let it go. I didn’t even see it go into the net actually, someone came across my vision. Obviously it went in, so it was good.”
For Barron, it was his first tally as a member of the Jets, and just moments later he set up Stastny for an easy tap-in on a two-on-one up-ice.
“I thought Bares in particular had an amazing game tonight,” Josh Morrissey said post-game. “He was on and he was aggressive and used his body to control the puck and seemed to have some nice chemistry with Stas and Nikky. That’s what we need. Obviously guys get elevated up the lineup and want that kind of opportunity. Every player does. I thought he was outstanding tonight and made the most of that opportunity.”
Around Full Press Hockey
Morrissey – the lone member of Winnipeg’s leadership group remaining in the lineup with both Wheeler and Scheifele sidelined – was not surprised to see Barron’s contributions.
“I wouldn’t say surprise. I’ve seen him practice, see his skill set in games but we just haven’t been on the ice that much together so far to be honest with you, since the traded deadline,” he laughed. “It hasn’t been that long. I thought he definitely took his game to another level tonight that maybe … so it’s a huge game from that whole line in general. I thought Stas moving into the middle, he’s such a veteran guy and his stick was … I mean, he knocked pucks down in the neutral zone and he just settles everything down out there. They looked good as a line and Bares looked great.”
Beginning his career with the Jets in the American Hockey League with Manitoba, Barron suited up in five games for the Moose, putting up a goal and an assist. He was then recalled as injuries and the COVID situation worsened within the big club. Having played on March 29th and 30th with the Moose, Barron then suited up the next day for the Jets for his third game in three days. He also played on April 2nd, marking four games in just a five-day span.
According to his coach, the size and talent is one thing, but the work ethic and drive is a whole other reason why his bump up the lineup made the most sense for Winnipeg.
“Big body and can skate,” coach Lowry said. “He’s got a real heavy shot. Sometimes it’s just finding a spot for a guy and sometimes, it’s like we always say, the injuries provide opportunities, and tonight he took advantage of it… He was great. But you know, like, someone’s going to give you an argument but we liked his game. Big body. Got inside. Kept his feet moving. Created some offence. They moved the puck well. They played off each other.”
Despite needing a miracle to track down a playoff spot, Jets fans can take some solace in knowing their club can find a way to get wins without the dual threat of Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele. In five such occasions with neither player present this season, the team has gone 5-0.
Unless, that is, fans have given up all hope in the playoffs, and are relying on a slip in the draft standings. Then, well, the club might be in a little trouble.
With the NHL postponing Winnipeg’s Wednesday night battle with the visiting Seattle Kraken until May 1, the Jets will need to wait a little longer until they can continue their playoff pursuit, or draft tank. Next up is a strenuous four-game road trip through Florida, Tampa Bay, New York and Carolina, four of the league’s top-seven clubs.
This chapter is far from closed.
Ep 141: Andy Reid, Eagles, And Conference Championship Weekend w/ Joe Bannerby Full Press Coverage on January 27, 2023 at 5:36 pm
Clark and Ira are joined by former Eagles President Joe Banner to talk […]
Ep 140: The 49ers/Cowboys Rivalry With Former San Francisco Tight End Brent Jonesby Full Press Coverage on January 19, 2023 at 9:02 pm
Clark and Ira are joined by former 49ers tight end and three time Super […]
Ep 136: Remembering The Longest Game Ever Played With Larry Littleby Full Press Coverage on December 24, 2022 at 1:09 am
On the 51-year anniversary of the longest game ever played (Chiefs vs. […]
Ep 135: Hall of Fame Semifinalist Jahri Evans Joins The Showby Full Press Coverage on December 16, 2022 at 3:51 pm
Former Saints guard and 2023 HOF Semifinalist Jahri Evans joins Clark and […]
Ep 134: Remember AFL/NFL Star John Hadl with Nick Canepaby Full Press Coverage on December 8, 2022 at 2:39 pm
Former Hall of Fame voter, Nick Canepa, joins Clark and Ira to discuss the […]
Ep 133: Hall Of Fame Semifinalist Henry Ellard Joins The Showby Full Press Coverage on November 30, 2022 at 4:28 pm
Former Rams and Redskins wide receiver, Henry Ellard, joins Clark and Ira […]
Ep 132: Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023 Semifinalists w/ Rick Gosselinby Full Press Coverage on November 22, 2022 at 6:15 pm
Clark and Ira are joined by Pro Football Hall of Fame voter Rick Gosselin […]
Ep 131: 'Football Heaven' With PFHOF Senior Advisor Joe Horriganby Full Press Coverage on November 17, 2022 at 5:55 pm
Pro Football Hall of Fame Senior Advisor, Joe Horrigan, joins Clark and […]
Ep 130: Remembering John McVay With Hall of Famer Eddie DeBartolo Jr.by Full Press Coverage on November 13, 2022 at 1:42 am
Clark and Ira are joined by Hall of Fame owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. to […]
(Season 3.1) Commanders Roundtable w/ Deuce, DH, and DTby Full Press Coverage on January 27, 2023 at 3:56 am
George Carmi hosts Deuce, DH, and DT as they discuss the latest topics of […]
1/27 - Conference Championship Preview: Who is Going To The Super Bowl?by Full Press Coverage on January 27, 2023 at 9:50 am
Ian and John preview Conference Championship Weekend and give their picks […]
1/23 - Divisional Round Recap; Chiefs, Bengals, Eagles, and 49ers Advanceby Full Press Coverage on January 23, 2023 at 2:00 pm
Ian and John recap Divisional Round Weekend in the NFL. Learn more about […]
1/20 - Buccaneers Fire Byron Leftwich, NFL Divisional Round Previewby Full Press Coverage on January 20, 2023 at 10:19 am
Ian and John discuss the firing of Byron Leftwich and whether or not it […]
1/19 - Brady/Gronk Reunion, Aaron Rodgers, NFL News and Notesby Full Press Coverage on January 19, 2023 at 10:14 am
Ian and John discuss the potential of Brady and Ground teaming up in 2023, […]
Boot 2 The Face Episode 210 "No Monè, No Monè, No Monè"by Boot 2 The Face on January 19, 2023 at 12:55 am
Rucker and EJ are back discussing Rucker going to Impacts Hard to Kill […]
1/6 - Damar Hamlin Update, Bills/Bengals, AFC Playoffs, Week 18 Picksby Full Press Coverage on January 6, 2023 at 3:11 pm
Winter Classic: Bruins Rally To Beat Penguins At Fenwayby Full Press Coverage on January 4, 2023 at 2:09 am
1/3 - Bills/Bengals Postponed; Bruins Topple Penguins In Winter Classicby Full Press Coverage on January 4, 2023 at 2:05 am
1/2 - Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Week 17, Bills/Bengalsby Full Press Coverage on January 3, 2023 at 3:22 am
12/30 - New Year's Eve, Luka Doncic, NBA Talk, Week 17 Preview and Picksby Full Press Coverage on January 1, 2023 at 2:29 am
Aaron Rodgers, Packers Win Third Straight; Playoffs In Sightby Full Press Coverage on December 27, 2022 at 7:36 pm