It has been a long time coming. The Winnipeg Jets entered tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens on a 6-game winless streak at home. In fact, the Jets were 2-11-1 in their last 14 games at the MTS Centre. Mark Scheifele decided to change that. His hat-trick performance paced the Jets to a 4-2 victory over Les Habitants before a delirious crowd at the corner of Portage and Carlton.
The game started slowly as both teams were cautious from the start. A scoreless first period was justified as neither team did much in the opening frame.
Scheifele opened the scoring just past the four-minute mark of the second, as he picked PK Subban’s pocket, raced in alone and beat Mike Condon with a nifty backhand move.
The Canadiens answered a minute later as Alex Galchenyuk beat Ondrej Pavelec on a quick wrist shot.
The Habs carried the play for most of the middle frame but lacked the finish to take the lead.
The Jets took an early penalty to start the third but managed to kill it off and they seemed to gain momentum from that kill.
Six minutes into the third, Ben Chiarot’s point shot was tipped home by rookie Andrew Copp to give the Jets the lead. It was Copp’s second goal in three games after going goalless in 45 games.
The Habs tied it midway through the third as Galchenyuk tipped home Greg Pateryn’s shot for his second of the night. Jets fans were thinking “Here we go again” expecting another late game heartbreak.
However, Scheifele redirected a lovely Drew Stafford feed to give the Jets a lead with seven minutes left.
Scheifele sealed the deal as Dustin Byfuglien’s hail mary pass was controlled by Scheifele, who out-muscled Subban for the puck and flipped it into the yawning cage, as Jets fans littered the ice with various headwear.
Scheifele: Well DUH!!!!!! By far and away the best player on the ice tonight. Scheifele is the first Jet to reach the 20-goal plateau this season and is auditioning not just for the first-line centre role next season, but also for a spot on Team North America at this fall’s World Cup. I say he’ll be on that squad.
Penalty Kill Comes Through: The turning point may have been the Jets vital penalty kill early in the third after Tyler Myers took a needless high-sticking penalty. The Jets didn’t allow a shot on goal for those two minutes and seemed to take control from there.
Morrissey’s Debut: Tonight marked the NHL debut of 2013 first round pick Josh Morrissey and he didn’t look out of place. The Calgary native saw 15:54 of ice time and was physical and engaged throughout. Let’s hope it is the start of a bright career for Morrissey.
If Josh Morrissey is the future of the #NHLJets, then the future is not looking too shabby. Not too shabby at all.
— Kristen Suderman (@KLSuderhand) March 6, 2016
Interesting to see who’s stepping up for the Jets with all these injuries. Armia and Scheifele have. Burmistrov has not. At all. #NHLJets
— Rob Mahon (@RobMahon19) March 6, 2016
Always sweet to beat the Lions of Winter.
Set aside the softank for this one. #NHLJets
— Claude Carriere (@bluefilosoff) March 6, 2016
— Daniel Desautels (@DanDesautels) March 6, 2016
Charts And Stuff:
All charts courtesy
GIF Of The Night:
The late David Bowie has a message for Mark Scheifele.