JN Recap – The Defense Rests And Doesn’t Do Much Else In 4-3 Loss To Wild

The final score says that the Winnipeg Jets lost a close game on the road to the Minnesota Wild by a score of 4-3. What it doesn’t say is how poorly the Jets played for pretty much 55 of the 60 regulation time minutes.

Where does one begin when trying to explain how bad this game was?

GAME THOUGHTS:

We started off well enough.. The first period wasn’t overly bad, sure the Jets were out-shot again but it was only by one (10-9) and the most important part was that they led 2-0 after the two quick goals in the final 1:11 of the period thanks to a laser beam shot from Nik Ehlers and a Blake Wheeler tip-in of a Dustin Byfuglien floating shot.

Then it all went downhill in a hurry. The Wild outworked the Jets in every aspect of the game out-shooting them 12-2 in the middle frame and scoring three times. The third period wasn’t any better with the Wild adding a fourth goal off a brutal turnover by Drew Stafford (more on that in a moment) and stayed bad until the final few minutes when score effects made an appearance and helped the Jets rack up a few more shots on net and even led to Scheifele getting a goal with 20 seconds left to make it a bit interesting.

  • A lot of focus before this game was on the decision to start Stuart and Thorburn. Look Thorburn played 4th line minutes and I can agree that he wasn’t that good and that Armia should be on the ice instead, but to put this loss on him is ridiculous. Same can be said for Mark Stuart who I am not so sure isn’t any worse than Ben Chiarot at this point. In fact I thought Stu and Postma were not all that bad tonight. I know the numbers below may suggest otherwise, but 5 on 5 I thought they were the second best pairing (which I am aware isn’t say much) on the night.

  • The third player who saw his first action of the season – Alex Burmistrov – really should get an incomplete grade tonight. He was good on the PK but very ineffective 5 on 5 while seeing 3rd line duty, but the reason I say ‘incomplete’ is because him and Matthew Perreault were handcuffed by Stafford who maybe had his worst game as a Winnipeg Jet.

  • Stafford was a ‘black hole’ on the ice. Somehow the puck kept finding its way onto his stick or around him, and if he wasn’t busy outright turning the puck over to the Wild, he was constantly fumbling the puck away or dumping it into areas where no other white jersey could get to it.  It was astonishing to see really after a while as you’d expect at some point he would have lucked into at least one good play… But nope.

  • If Jacob Trouba watched this game and saw the play of Tyler Myers and Tobias Enstrom, he was probably feeling better in his efforts to try and force the Jets hand with a trade request. Myers handled the puck like a live grenade pretty much all game and Enstrom had his own series of miscues and blown assignments.

And so it goes with Myers..

  • The power play is still awful. On the positive side, they picked up a shot on goal within 30 seconds of the first man advantage attempt, but on the flip side the Jets also gave up two 2 on 1 breaks to the Wild during that same power play. Why is Adam Lowry on the power play at all? Why isn’t Laine on the 1st power play unit? These are all deep mysteries that will keep me up all night.

The penalty kill was a slight bit better but still gave up a goal.

  • Poor Michael Hutchinson. This night wasn’t on him by any stretch really. All four goals were odd man rushes or plays where he was screened – the fourth goal he happened to be screened by Myers which is not at all ideal.

  • Give the Wild credit, after a so-so first period they came out with all kinds of fire in the second and third periods. Apparently they were read the riot act in the first intermission by Bruce Boudreau (and if you’ve seen his rants on the 24/7 HBO specials you know exactly what that entails)  and they played with a ton of fire and hustle in the last two periods.
  • Positives? Wheeler and Scheifele were good as was Laine and the Buff / Morrissey pairing looked better with Morrissey starting to understand what he has to work with for a partner and able to adjust his play and still being able to chip in some offense himself.

YOUR HOT TAEKS

CHARTS N STUFF

All stats and charts courtesy HockeyStats.ca

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