Bryan Little’s goal in the third round of the shootout Tuesday night capped off a hard earned two point night on the road for the Winnipeg Jets.
Not only was it a hard earned point in a building other than MTS Centre – which has been the achilles heel of the team thus far this season – but it was a moral victory to come out of the All-Star break with a win to start things off.
Chris Thorburn netted his first goal as a Jet and it couldn’t come at a better time – when the Jets were down 1-0.
Urgency fuelled all four lines to play a tight checking game against the run-and-gun offense of the powerful Philadelphia Flyers.
Add to that the notable absence’s of Evander Kane, Dustin Byfulgien, Tim Stapleton, and Alexander Burmistrov and the Jets not only won a hard road game but they won it with a very real and palpable determination.
Call-ups Spencer Machacek and Aaron Gagnon provided fourth line checking, hustle, and grit while the GST line provided what they always provide – a solid performance shift after shift of being matched against the other team’s top lines.
Ondrej Pavelec redeemed himself in the final January contest after a dismal month record wise.
He finishes January with a 3-5-1 record along with a 2.75 goals against average and a .896 save percentage.
Limping out of January, urgency needs to fuel the 23-22-6 Jets, who after the win in Philly sit in 10th three points back of Florida – who is in action Wednesday night and four points back of division leaders the Washington Capitals.
It’s a real predicament that the Jets are on the outside at this point, but also a blessing that they are only four points out of the division lead at the same time.
With a few healthy bodies back in the lineup – most notably Byfuglien – the Jets urgency can be jacked up a notch as the trade deadline is now only 26 days away.
Here’s to forgetting any history in Atlanta and making new strides in Winnipeg.
Let’s hope a 8-14-4 road record improves again Thursday in Tampa Bay.