What is it about the Chicago Blackhawks that brings out the best in the Winnipeg Jets? Is it Winnipeg boy Jonathan Toews that fires them up? Is it those classic uniforms? Is it the statue of Michael Jordan outside the United Centre that motivates this team? (I know, different sport but he’s the best basketball player ever.) Whatever the case may be, the Jets love playing the Blackhawks and they did it again tonight, scoring a 5-3 victory over their Central Division rivals.
- The Jets started brightly as Patrik Laine notched his first goal since returning from a concussion suffered on January 7. It was a power play marker to boot. Memo to Paul Maurice. Use Patrik Laine on the power play more often, in particular with the first unit! In case you haven’t noticed Mr. Maurice, Laine is somewhat good and can score from many angles. That helps on a power play. Just saying.
- Shawn Matthias got credit for the second Jets goal as the official scorer said that Jacob Trouba’s point shot was tapped in by Matthias before it crossed the line. But Chicago got one back late in the period, thanks to Duncan Keith’s power play goal.
- The second period was a case of deja vu for the Jets. They were completely dominated by the Blackhawks in the middle frame. Goals by Nick Schmaltz and Tanner Kero gave Chicago the lead as they took over the game territorially. There were times the Jets could not get the puck out of their own end as the Blackhawks swarmed the Jets net. Second periods and the Winnipeg Jets still have issues. If they were on Facebook, their relationship status would read “It’s Complicated.”
- The Blackhawks did have chance to put the Jets away in the third but Connor Hellebuyck rose to the challenge. It was nice to see the young goalie come through with a good performance after the struggles he’s gone through. Hellebuyck made 38 saves out of 41 shots for a .927 save percentage. It wasn’t perfect, but it’s a good building block for the 23-year-old netminder heading into the All-Star Break.
- Three goals in two minutes won this game for the Jets. Andrew Copp tipped home a Josh Morrissey point shot to tie it. It’s Copp’s third goal as in many games. At least one Jet can put together a three-game streak. Bryan Little gave the Jets the lead for good as his wrist shot beat Scott Darling high glove side. Mark Scheifele sealed this one by adding his 22nd of the season into an empty net.
- Speaking of Little, the question needs to be asked. Is he the most underrated player in the league? Every night he quietly does his job and produces consistent offence. If he were playing in a bigger market, he would get more national media coverage. Such is life playing in a small market.
- Despite the win, there is one concern. The Jets still take far too many penalties. Whether it be a discipline issue or the team is out of position or it’s lazy or a combination of things, the Jets need to address the problem during the break. If the problem isn’t solved soon, it will lead to more trouble, down the road.
Jacob Trouba is freakin’ amazing. The #NHLJets have their franchise defenseman. Have for a very long time. Maybe more people will see it.
— Harrison Lee (@HLLivingLoco) January 27, 2017
We own Chicago this year. #NHLJets
— James Crampton (@JimCramptonWPG) January 27, 2017
Sooo #nhljets to always take you to the point of pure despair and then throw you a little lifeline of hope.
— Stuart S (@stumanchuwpg) January 27, 2017
“We’ll always have Chicago ?” – #NHLJets at season’s end
— Dave Ranville (@DaveyDov) January 27, 2017
4-0-0 vs Blackhawks
19-25-4 vs everyone else#bizarro
— Ryan Blight (@arby_18) January 27, 2017
Charts And Stuff:
All charts courtesy hockeystats.ca
GIF Of The Night:
Jets win before the All-Star Break. PUPPY!