Today’s matinee against the Colorado Avalanche was a must-win game for the Winnipeg Jets.
The game was not a “do-or-die” matchup, but rather, a game that simply had to be won. In the air tight western conference wild card race, any ounce of leverage is crucial and the Jets blew their chance to get ahead of the pack. Winnipeg rolled in to Denver riding a three game winning streak only to have their streak halted by the Colorado Avalanche, the NHL’s worst team by a considerable margin.
Let’s dive in to the frustrating affair.
- This loss isn’t entirely on Pavelec’s shoulders, that’s a fact. Except it’s excruciatingly difficult to win a hockey game when your all-but-guaranteed to allow three goals. With that in mind, the way the Jets are operating in their own zone is a disaster. The trailer is often unmarked entering the offensive zone and furthermore, the traffic in front of Pavelec is hindering his ability to do his job.
— Scott Billeck (@ScottBilleck) February 4, 2017
- It’s also very strange that Connor Hellebuyck didn’t get the start this afternoon. Hellebuyck is not only statistically better than Pavelec, but burying Hellebuyck behind the scenes for much longer is going to hurt his confidence.
- Another issue the Jets are facing is their turnovers. The Jets are playing way too fancy in the neutral zone and as a result of that, they are turning the puck over. We’ve seen this a few times with Patrik Laine and Nic Petan and of course there’s a learning curve still be had with those two, but the team as a whole needed to clean up the sloppy play between the blue lines.
- Speaking of Nic Petan, it seems as if hhe’s on the cusp of a breakout. He’s handling the puck for longer periods of time and creating ample opportunities. Once Drew Stafford returns, the Jets fourth line will likely feature Mathieu Perreault, Nic Petan and Stafford. Having two veterans like Perreault and Stafford on Petan’s wings could see him hit the scoresheet more often.
- My two cents on the Zadorov hit on Scheifele- It’s a clean hit.
Good clean hit. Zadorev has been a wrecking ball out there. pic.twitter.com/8SVignjLpv
— GameTimeArt (@GameTimeArt) February 4, 2017
- Hat-tip to Adam Lowry. Scored both of the Jets goals after a 21 game scoring drought.
What did twitter think?
— Garret Hohl (@GarretHohl) February 4, 2017
— Jeremy Wiebe (@jstar1973) February 4, 2017
#NHLJets losing to last place team after 3 straight wins is why Winnipeg can’t have nice things.
— randy turner (@randyturner15) February 4, 2017
#NHLJets Ondrej Pavelec is 8-2-2 in his last 12 NHL starts. Have at it.
— Rick Ralph (@RickRalphTSN) February 4, 2017
As of now, the Jets sit three points out of a wild card spot. The Jets will face central division opponents this upcoming week when they open up a four-game homestead against the Blackhawks and Wild.