Before we get into the game itself, there was some concerning news after the game.
— Sara Orlesky (@saraorlesky) January 10, 2016
Hope it’s nothing serious, but it’s something to keep an eye on.
It was a game that was important to the Winnipeg Jets in several ways.
It was important in terms of their playoff situation. At the halfway point in the season, the Jets currently sit last in the Central Division, but just four points out of a playoff spot. They were coming off an overtime loss to the Dallas Stars and desperately need to start stringing together some wins and start collecting some points.
It was also important because it was a game at MTS Centre, where the Jets have been strong as of late and it’s always important to be a tough team to play in your own building.
However, the most hyped up matter of importance was who the Jets were hosting tonight.
The Buffalo Sabres were coming to town, which meant the highly anticipated return of Evander “Track Suit’ Kane. The fans probably made a bigger deal about it than the team did, but don’t doubt this game had a little bit more pride on the line than most games for the Jets. Especially for the likes of Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien and Blake Wheeler, who seemed to be the leaders of the track suit incident last year before Kane was traded.
Also, a more significant game for Drew Stafford, Tyler Myers and Joel Armia, who were also facing their former team for the first time.
In the end, it was Kane who got the last laugh, at least for tonight. The Sabres bested the Jets by a score of 4-2 tonight.
The two teams would trade goals through the first 21 minutes. The Sabres got off to a quick start, with Sam Reinhart scoring just a little over a minute and a half into the game. Blake Wheeler would tie the game after deflecting in a shot from the high slot by Bryan Little.
The Sabres would go up again with another Sam Reinhart goal, this time on the power play. Reinhart attempted a pass that went off of Toby Enstrom’s stick and through Hellebuyck and into the net. The Jets would answer with their own power play goal early in the second period when Matthieu Perreault put home a rebound from Andrew Ladd and tied the game at two.
The Sabres took the lead for good when Sabres’ captain Brian Gionta took a harmless shot from the right point that Hellebuyck redirected right to Marcus Foligno who made no mistake and made it 3-2. To add insult to injury, Sam Reinhart completed his hat-trick with an empty net goal and, of course, was assisted by Evander Kane.
The Jets didn’t play bad in this one. They managed 44 shots on Ullmark and he saved all but two of them. It’s just been more of the same for the Jets, they just can’t seem to produce enough offense. Losing Mark Scheifele as a late scratch doesn’t help matters either.
This one hurts more than just any other regular season loss though. The fans really got into this game like it was a playoff game. There were fans wearing track suits to the arena with money strapped to their head. Fans were booing Evander Kane every chance they got and loudly cheered any time he got hit.
The Jets will have a chance to get the last laugh when they go to Buffalo to face the Sabres on March 27. For now, they have to refocus to their game Tuesday when the host the San Jose Sharks.
YOUR HOT TAEKS
Not surprised the Jets couldn’t come back. 2-19-2 when the other team scores 3 or more, league worst.
— Robert Cleave (@rmcleave) January 10, 2016
Was not aware of this stat before. While the initial reaction to reading this stat was a bit surprising, it makes a lot of sense at the same time. The Jets’ offensive struggles have been no secret this year.
See #NHLJets fans? Nothing good comes from wearing a track suit to the rink.
— randy turner (@randyturner15) January 10, 2016
Touche, sir. Touche.
— Ryan Blight (@arby_18) January 10, 2016
CHARTS AND STUFF
— JetsNation (@NHLJetsNation) January 10, 2016
— Sean Tierney (@SeanTierneyTSS) January 10, 2016
This is a chart courtesy of Sean Tierney. It’s a chart we don’t normally show here but I felt it needed to be shared for this game. No Buffalo Sabre player had a positive Corsi plus/minus in this game, not even Sam Reinhart.
Never forget the Buffalo Sabres had zero shot attempts for approximately ten minutes, from their second goal to about the 25 minute mark.