Jets Nation Recap: Tank Nation Rolls On

Things just keep getting worse for the Winnipeg Jets. 

Or better, if you are an advocate of Tank Nation. 

After losing two straight games to division rivals and losing even more ground in the playoff race, the Jets aimed to stop the bleeding a bit as they hosted the New Jersey Devils in their second to last game before the All-Star break. 

Here’s how it all unfolded. 

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The Jets had reason for optimism heading into this game. They were playing a team in the Devils that, not unlike themselves, have also struggled for offense this season. They beat the Devils earlier in the season, and they were welcoming back Drew Stafford and Alex Burmistrov to the lineup tonight. 

Then, they lose Matthieu Perreault early in the game after he collided with Devils forward Tuomo Ruutu. 

It’s fine, not like the Jets are already thin at the center position already. No big deal. 

Not too long after, the Devils score their first goal in probably the worst possible scenario for the Jets. Toby Enstrom blows a tire and takes out Blake Wheeler in the process, leaving Michael Cammalleri all alone to feed former Jet Lee Stempniak for an easy tap in goal. 

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During all this, Tyler Myers is nowhere to be found. 

While the Devils dominated most of the first period, it was the Jets that controlled most of the second. Still, even with all the Jets possession, they weren’t able to generate too many quality offensive chances. 

The Devils added to their lead after Drew Stafford was flagged for tripping Travis Zajac at 14:41. Devils’ Jacob Josefson ripped a one-timer past Hellebuyck on the power play to make it 2-0 Devils. 

It was the Devils first shot of the period. So, that’s something. 

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The Devils went back to the power play 4:24 into the third after Enstrom was sent off for high-sticking Zajac. This time, the Jets were able to kill it off. 

It was a tough night for Enstrom, obviously. 

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It did give the Devils momentum though, and they capitalized on it when Devils defenseman Eric Gelinas took a shot on net that was deflected in by none other than Lee Stempniak for his second of the game. 

Of course it was Stempniak, because reasons. 

The Jets didn’t have much life after that until Gelinas was called for delay of game and the Jets went on the power play. 

Awesome, a chance for the Jets to try out Big Buff in front of the net on the power play. 

What happens? Buff chips in a garbage goal in front of the net for a power play goal. Que the ‘Paul Maurice is a genius’ and ‘Byfuglien needs to be in front of the net on the power play from now on’ arguments. 

Maybe he should. I don’t know. Whatever works at this point. I’m pretty much at a loss with this team. 

That goal sparked a bit of a push back for the Jets, but it just wasn’t enough. The Jets fall to the New Jersey Devils 3-1. 

The Winnipeg Jets will be back in action Tuesday night against the Arizona Coyotes in their last game before the NHL All-Star break. 


……Auston Matthews?

Tank Nation strong. 

Let’s just quick settle this right now. Would Stempniak be useful for the Jets still? Yes. Would he be a top-6 forward for the Jets? Absolutely not. Possibly right now with all the injuries, but ultimately he would be a depth forward for the Jets this year. Which means, he would not be getting as much ice time as he is in New Jersey and would not be putting up the kind of numbers he’s putting up for the Devils if he was on the Jets. 

Also, let’s be honest, Stempniak is just having one heck of a season. He’s already surpassed his point totals from each of the last four seasons and he’s on pace to having his best season EVER. Keep the faith Jets Nation, it was the right move by Chevy to move on. 

I can start another rant about Mark Stuart right now but I don’t have the time or strength to keep doing this. 

He needs to be thrown into the sun. Twice. 





Me = Winnipeg Jets


  • #12MorrisLukowich

    “Also, let’s be honest, Stempniak is just having one heck of a season. He’s already surpassed his point totals from each of the last four seasons and he’s on pace to having his best season EVER. Keep the faith Jets Nation, it was the right move by Chevy to move on. ”

    How do you rationalize this? Yes, he’d be a third liner, but at least he’d be an NHL third liner. We kept around no depth, play guys like Thorburn and Husslechuk on the third line, and get the results we deserve.

    • If Chevy could have gotten Stempniak for the deal the Devils got him for, which was a complete steal, then maybe it would have been worth it to bring him back.

      However, I don’t think that would have been possible. Who’s to say that Stempniak even wanted to re-sign? His family stayed in New York after he was traded and he admitted it was very hard to keep moving around and be away from his family. Plus, the Jets are trying to go with more youth and focus on developing their young players. You see that this year with the Jets playing Ehlers, Copp and now Armia regularly. Also, bringing back Burmistrov. They also have the likes of Kyle Connor, Nic Petan, Scott Kasmachuk, Jack Roslovic and Chase De Leo waiting to crack the lineup.

      We’re witnessing the beginning of a changing of the guard right now in Winnipeg and, like any youth movement, there are growing pains.

      • #12MorrisLukowich

        @Vinnie Criscenzo
        No team is successful throwing raw rookies into the fire. Veteran leadership should allow a slow emersion into the NHL…dumping your veterans for raw, unproven talent is incredibly flawed…it destroys the depth the team has painfully accumulated, and it shows an incredible lack of foresight by management…

      • #12MorrisLukowich

        Even at $1 million per it would have been worth it for Stemp. We’ve wasted more on worse. Heck, we could have signed Tlusty for $1 mil/1 year as well and at worst it would be a split. Wouldn’t have hurt this team to keep some NHL players around this year. Budget team, budget results. Chevy is a joke as other posters have noted. Flukes out one playoff appearance on 3 straight shut-outs and LA being burnt out. Anyone actually think LA gets swept by the Ducks last year? Wouldn’t have happened.

        We’re on pace for 77 points this season. By far our worst result. 5 year plan? lolz. Should have tanked last year instead and gotten McEichel when we had a chance.

      • X

        Stempniak was in record in the media wanting to come to play for the Jets and the Jets didn’t want him, he was signed off a PTO by the Devils. I don’t think it is a stretch to believe that the Jets would have had him for under a million. Pretty much a given.

        • X

          @12MorrisLukowich @Brock Landers

          Believe me, I understand you guys’ frustration. I’m not trying to be a Chevy apologist here, in fact I do find a lot of his moves questionable.

          Still, I do understand why he is trying to do.

          12MorrisLukowich: It’s not like this team is seriously lacking NHL veterans. Ladd, Buff, Stafford, Wheeler, Little, Perreault, Myers, Enstrom. All these guys have been in the league for years. There is definitely enough veteran leadership on this team.

          Brock Landers/X: Yes, Stempniak did say he wanted to return. My point is that he moved around quite a bit the last few years and he just recently had twins. When he was traded to Winnipeg from the NY Rangers, his family stayed in New York. He was probably asking Winnipeg for a longer term contract so that if he had to move his family again, he knew he’d be able to stay put for awhile at least. However, with the Jets wanting to move more towards a youth movement, they were most likely reluctant to give him a multi-year deal, so he went to go look for a place to play closer to New York, ala New Jersey finally offered him a PTO. Just because he wanted to stay, doesn’t exactly mean Winnipeg didn’t want him either. There are a lot of factors that go into signing with a team, and family is a big factor.

          I’m not saying this is definitely what happened, but it’s a theory that does make sense. I just find it very hard to believe that Chevy would pass on Stempniak for even a 1 year/$1 million deal when he signed with the Devils for $850k. That’s why I feel that my theory could be a very real possibility.

          If I’m wrong, then Chevy is an idiot and should be sacked immediately.

  • #12MorrisLukowich

    You think Chevy is a reasonable NHL GM ?…quick rundown on a list of players he chose to sign (FA’s, waiver wire or via trade): let’s start at terrible: Anti Miettinen, Alexie Ponikorovsky, Jiri Tlusty (and let go a 3rd round pick)…now BRUTAL: Devin Setoguchi (and let go a 2nd round pick) Eric Fehr (and threw away another draft pick), James Wright (WTF?), Olli Jokinen (Brutal because he wasn’t worth anywhere near the $9 mil 2 year contract)..OK now…there must be some good signings…Yes ?…Frolik (and we know what happened there), Perrault…and that’s that…2 good signings after 5 years…well..what about his talented draft picks you ask ?…dead last in the AHL and the jury’s still out on Trouba, Lowry, Ehlers…remember Atlanta’s rookie flawed approach of starting players too early..??..well…guess what ?.,..the latter 3 in particular…no NHL team is a success because the GM sits on his hands all day…this is a “results based business” as Chevy ingloriously regurgitates…well..?..where are the results ???