It wasn’t the worst game in the 2016-17 season for the Winnipeg Jets. But moral victories don’t mean much at this time of year. After falling behind 3-0, the Jets fought back and made a valiant effort, but eventually fell 4-2 to the Minnesota Wild at the MTS Centre. The Jets are now 0-3 against the Wild this season.
- The Jets surrendered two goals in the opening frame, but played pretty decently outshooting the Wild 12-11 and had better puck possession numbers. The difference was Minnesota cashing in on their scoring chances while the Jets missed theirs. The Wild got goals from Nino Niederreiter and Jason Pominville to set the tone. Andrew Copp had two glorious scoring opportunities but failed to capitalize both times.
- Pominville’s second of the night was enough to chase Ondrej Pavelec from the crease and Connor Hellebuyck was inserted. In fairness, Pavelec did suffer a lower-body injury but he still wasn’t very good tonight. 11 saves out 14 shots for a .786 save percentage won’t cut it 99.9% of the time. Hellebuyck did play well, including thwarting Mikael Granlund on a penalty shot in the third period. Hellebuyck didn’t allow a goal (Wild’s fourth goal was an empty netter) and looked sharp and confident. He should get the start Friday against Chicago.
- The Jets started their comeback in the second as Bryan Little and Joel Armia (man crush) pulled the Jets to within one. Armia, Adam Lowry and Shawn Matthias were excellent tonight on the forecheck as they hemmed the Wild in their own end on most of their shifts.
- A curious decision was made by Paul Maurice as he benched Patrik Laine, after his turnover led to Minnesota’s second goal. While it was a bad mistake by the rookie, leaving him on the bench for most of the third period with the team down by a goal is strange. The Jets don’t have many gamebreakers. However, Laine is one. I understand Maurice trying to send a message but this was the wrong decision.
- If Maurice wanted to bench someone, Dustin Byfuglien deserved to ride the pine after shooting an errand stick in his own zone towards Granlund, which made contact with the puck, thus the penalty shot was awarded. It was a dumb play by Big Buff and he should have known better. Hellebuyck did bail out his defenceman but still, it doesn’t excuse Buff. If Laine sat after a turnover, Buff should have sat after that brain cramp. Plus it shouldn’t matter whether it was a rookie or a veteran making a mistake.
89% of pavelecs saves are timely #nhljets
— Kyle Gagnon (@kgizzle187) February 8, 2017
As long as Paul Maurice is the coach Jets will never win anything. Must get rid of him at any cost #nhljets
— MattyIce (@ice_matty35) February 8, 2017
Laine benched because Pavelec can’t stop a routine shot. Makes sense, Maurice.
— Ren? (@originalsteel) February 8, 2017
— Burmi Fan Account (@BrianFromAIH) February 8, 2017
@NHLJetsNation This loss is on Maurice. Hitching the wagon to Pav. Laine on the 4th line? Questionable coaching all year.
— Brian Boddis (@BrianBoddis) February 8, 2017
@NHLJetsNation getting frustrating watching some players get punished for making mistakes and others just keep getting top pairing minutes
— Chris Neilson (@buckchops) February 8, 2017
Charts And Stuff:
All charts courtesy hockeystats.ca
GIF Of The Night: