An absolutely wild win for the Winnipeg Jets in Philadelphia tonight. They blew 5-1 and 6-2 leads (I’m still not sold on whether or not that counts as two 4-goal leads) and somehow ended up with a 9-8 win despite being horribly outshot and, by proxy, out-chanced. It took a while to narrow these thoughts down to six.
It felt like a game from the 1980s, except for the Cooperalls.
-It was nice for Winnipeg to get off to a quick start. Chris Thorburn was robbed right off the hop by virtue of the Flyers not having a net cam in the right end of the ice, but they got a couple of good bounces off deflections leading to goals early on and scoring wasn’t a real issue for the Jets in this one. It was defense and goaltending that were the problems, and maybe even a little bit on offense. Despite the 9 goals, the Jets only managed 25 shots on net and 43 attempts (I set a baseline at around 55 for a game).
-Not often do you see a game that offers up all four dressed goalies. It’s not a question of whether the goalies had the onus on them for the goals. A few of the shots against Bryzgalov was tipped, while Ondrej Pavelec was sprawled out of position on a few of theirs, but the real concern is that the goalies didn’t make enough key saves early on in the game. The offense wasn’t all that intense for either team, but the goaltending was incredibly inept. Obviously, it’s tough to get into the game when you’re watching on the bench for the entire first half, and Chris Mason and Bryzgalov got off to incredibly rough starts before they settled in. Mason made a big shorthanded breakaway save off of Jakub Voracek, just his second “real” test of the game. Then for some reason he went out. Pavelec didn’t have to make any big saves down the stretch, but he did, I guess, make 36 saves off
-After James Van Riemsdyk made it 7-6 for the Flyers, Winnipeg may as well have given up at that point, having given up the previous five goals, but they got a lucky bounce and Nik Antropov found Alex Burmistrov who just snuck it by his countrymen’s skate for the tying goal. From that point, I think we knew that the Flyers were going to tie it up, however, when Mark Stuart took that shot that provided Winnipeg the 8-7 lead just 1:01 later. This game was that crazy.
-It was another big night for the Antropov – Wellwood – Burmistrov line, who not only scored the 7-7 tying goal, but were the only Jets forwards even close to even in Corsi and Fenwick ratings (0, -2 and +1 respectively). The team was a minus-28 for the game, but that’s because of score effects, with the team having been so far up. However, Philadelphia seemed to have the bulk of possession when the score was 8-8, and it was only a good take-away by Alex Burmistrov that took the Philadelphia top-line off the ice when they were hemming the Jets in their own end late. That led to the Ladd goal [see Thought #5] Oddly enough, Antropov only had a single shot on goal, despite his fine play, and that came on the powerplay when a faceoff “won” by Tim Stapleton ended up on his stick. I’m not sold on whether that was a set play or not.
-Some good Philadelphia possession led to the late tying goal, but, really, who couldn’t have seen it coming? The Flyers just moved it around the perimeter and Dustin Byfuglien, who is notoriously inept in his own end, just didn’t notice Van Riemsdyk off behind him. Andrew Ladd was the guy who turned it over to the Flyers and Pavelec may have had a chance to cover it, but the reality is that Philadelphia has some damn good top-end forwards who ran roughshod over the Jets defenders and goalies Thursday night.
-Ladd made up for the turnover however, by finding an open area (somehow) within four Philadelphia players late. Blake Wheeler did well to keep possession of the puck, and Braydon Coburn and Andrej Meszaros played the whole shift casually indifferent to the events. The Captain may not get an easier goal than that through this season with a goaltender in the net.
-Bonus seventh thought: Here’s the amount of dollars each goalie made per save tonight:
Ondrej Pavelec: $31,944.44
Sergei Bobrovsky: $175,000.00
Chris Mason: $462,500.00
Ilya Bryzgalov: $944,444.50