“Hear my soul speak. Of the very instant I saw you, Did my heart fly at your service.” William Shakespeare. The Tempest.
If there was a civic election happening in Winnipeg right now, Patrik Laine would receive many write-in votes. The 18-year-old rookie was at it again, recording his third hat-trick of the season as the Winnipeg Jets downed the Dallas Stars 5-2 to send the lovebirds home happy on Valentine’s Day.
- Where else to begin other than the Finnish rookie. Laine’s shot was more accurate than Cupid’s arrow tonight. He now has 26 goals on the season which puts him a goal behind Auston Matthews for the rookie goal scoring lead. This hasn’t been a banner season for the Jets but Laine is a bright spot. (Understatement.) He will light up this league for many years. Now if they would just use him on the first unit power play. That’s for another day.
- For the first time since January 9, the Jets gave up less than three goals in a game. While we won’t be planning a parade down Portage Avenue any time soon, it is a step in the right direction. Connor Hellebuyck was instrumental for this, stopping 34 out of 36 shots for a .944 save percentage. It was an excellent bounce-back performance for the young netminder after he struggled on Saturday night versus Tampa Bay. While there are issues with defensive zone coverage, Hellebuyck bailed them out tonight with good, fundamental positional play.
- Joel Armia (Man Crush) seems to play his best games against the Stars. The One Man Armia notched his fifth of the season while playing another solid two-way game. Dear Jets Management: For the sake of my fragile heart, please don’t expose Armia in the expansion draft this summer. I couldn’t take it if he wears a Las Vegas Golden Knights jersey next season.
- Even though the Jets won, there were some down spots. The special teams were mediocre tonight. The power play went 0/3 while the penalty kill unit surrendered a goal on four Dallas power play opportunities. Both areas do need addressing, especially the power play who couldn’t tickle the twine against the league’s worst penalty kill unit. (Laine one first PP unit please.)
- Neither team is having a good season but the seeds are being planted for a potential rivalry. Antoine Roussel might be the most hated player the Jets play against. He and Dustin Byfuglien in particular are continually chirping and battling each other whenever they’re on the ice. There seems to be an extra air of angst whenever the Stars and the Jets hook up and it isn’t because they didn’t give each other flowers and chocolates on Valentine’s Day.
— Patrick Wilson ?✈️ (@WPG_VIP) February 15, 2017
— Dave Zubricki (@davezubricki) February 15, 2017
Patrik Laine is my Valentine. ❤ #NHLJets
— Alan (@sliiiiip) February 15, 2017
it took forever for a Jet to get a hat trick. the 18 year old kid has three and we are supposed to believe it’s lost season because of youth
— Roddy Bats 13 (@BigPapiPegCity) February 15, 2017
Hey we didn’t give up 3 goals tonight! #NHLJets
— Scott ? (@crazyindapeg) February 15, 2017
Charts And Stuff:
All charts courtesy hockeystats.ca
GIF Of The Night:
How most Jet fans feel about Patrik Laine. Happy Valentine’s Day.