If it wasn’t clear before, the setting became much more focused tonight. The Winnipeg Jets must be sellers at tomorrow’s trade deadline. This team is not making the playoffs. Despite overcoming a 5-2 deficit, a late third period goal by Jason Zucker gave the Jets a 6-5 loss to the Minnesota Wild in a crazy game at the MTS Centre. The Jets are 0-4 against Minnesota this season. Cue the sad trombone.
- Things looked good early when Patrik Laine notched his 31st goal of the season just over a minute into the opening period, giving him the outright lead in rookie goal-scoring. (The Leafs are playing as of press time so that might change.) But the Wild answered with three straight as the Jets bumbled and stumbled for the rest of the period. Perhaps it was rust from the bye week but the Jets were flat and out of sorts in the first 20 minutes.
- It was not a good night for Connor Hellebuyck. The young netminder surrendered 5 goals on 21 shots for a dismal .786 save percentage before being pulled in favour of Michael Hutchinson, in the second period. It is true that Hellebuyck didn’t receive much support from his friends in front of him, particularly the defence corps. But it is also true that Hellebuyck needs to be better than what he showed tonight or the Jets will turn to Ondrej Pavelec again because…well…the organization loves Pavelec, even though he isn’t very good.
- We mentioned the comeback off the top and it was fun to see. It started late in the second period with a Mathieu Perreault tally. Joel Armia’s (Man Crush) fluky shorthanded goal midway through the third pulled the Jets to within one. Mark Scheifele equalized as he finished off a pretty three-way passing play between he, Perreault and Laine. It was actually exciting and gave everyone hope.
- The Jets had a chance to win it late but once again, the power play failed them like it did all night. The Jets were 0/4 with the man advantage which included that late power play chance with four minutes remaining in the third period. That failed opportunity led to Zucker’s game winner as the penalty expired.
- Drew Stafford was being showcased as possible trade bait as the Jets used him on the first power play unit ahead of Laine. At least, that’s what I hope was the reason for Stafford’s promotion. Because if not, then some serious questions need to be asked to Paul Maurice on why the mediocre Stafford gets first unit power play time over the star rookie Laine. We can only hope that a team out there is desperate enough to acquire Stafford so that the Jets can move forward with Laine.
- We mentioned the defenceman earlier as well. Toby Enstrom and Dustin Byfuglien struggled. Mark Stuart and Ben Chiarot are bad just about every night. Paul Postma took a questionable boarding major in the first period. Rookie Josh Morrissey was the Jets best blueliner tonight. We miss you Jacob Trouba!
#NHLJets defense is a total joke
— Felipe Ferreira (@SqlBoy) March 1, 2017
Shame the deadline is tomorrow, Kevin Cheveldayoff could use another 5-6 years to get a better feel for whether Jets are buyers or sellers..
— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) March 1, 2017
Not Hellebuycks best game, along with the rest of this gong show of a team.
— fuelledbyexcuses-Ren (@originalsteel) March 1, 2017
762 is also the number of years on the Cheveldayoff extension
— AMAZING TWEETS (@wazoowazny) March 1, 2017
Lent starts tomorrow. Time to give up on the #nhljets season.
— Jeff Appler (@jappler82) March 1, 2017
Charts & Stuff:
All charts courtesy hockeystats.ca
GIF Of The Night:
Denzel’s not impressed with this one.