So, can you breathe now Jets fans? The Winnipeg Jets sure like to do things the hard way but in the end, the home team did emerge with a 5-4 victory over the Minnesota Wild at the MTS Centre. It was the Jets first win in five attempts against the Wild this season.
- The Jets couldn’t ask for a better start. First period goals from Andrew Copp, Adam Lowry and Ben Chiarot gave the Jets a big lead in the opening frame. Yet, the Jets were outshot 14-7 and Minnesota led all the possession stats as well. Even odder was that it was players you don’t normally expect to hit the scoresheet for the Jets. It was a period full of anomalies.
- When Dustin Byfuglien made it 4-0 early in the second period, it looked like the Jets were in cruise control. But this is the Jets we’re talking about and nothing is safe. The Wild scored 4 times in 10:24 in the second to tie the game and send Jets Twitter into a panic mode that…well…has happened way too often this season. It was a nightmarish end to the period and everyone (myself included) thought the sky was going to fall.
- Coach Paul Maurice made a move to start the period as he pulled Connor Hellebuyck and put in Michael Hutchinson between the pipes. The move worked as Hutchinson stopped all 12 shots he faced while Josh Morrissey scored the only goal in the period to give the Jets the win. Hutch made some spectacular saves late as Minnesota pressed for the equalizer. Hutch was put into a difficult spot but he responded very well.
- This isn’t to say Hellebuyck played poorly. He was under siege in the first 40 minutes as the Jets iced a makeshift blueline due to injuries. Hellebuyck’s numbers aren’t great, .886 save percentage isn’t ideal, but the Jets were shorthanded defensively.
- Here’s how bad it was for the Jets defence. Jacob Trouba, Paul Postma, Tyler Myers and Toby Enstrom were all out of the lineup. The Jets were forced to use Mark Stuart, Brian Strait and Julian Melchiori with Chiarot playing an expanded role. They survived this one but defensive depth must be a priority for GM Kevin Cheveldayoff this offseason.
- The Jets were also fortunate that Minnesota did not get the best from Devan Dubnyk. Despite having a solid season, Dubnyk allowed 5 goals on 21 shots for a .762 save percentage. In future though, the Jets better not rely on the opposing goalie having a night off. It is not a recipe for future success.
— Marc Silva (@msilvawpg) March 19, 2017
Well, they came to play in the 3rd, thank goodness #NHLJets
— Jeff Cabiles (@ShOcKjOcK80) March 19, 2017
Anyone else shaking like a heroin addict going through a detox? No? Just me?#NHLJets
— Kristen Suderman (@KLSuderhand) March 19, 2017
— Paula (@PhawlShep) March 19, 2017
— Ross Romaniuk (@RossRomaniuk) March 19, 2017
Charts & Stuff:
All charts courtesy hockeystats.ca
GIF Of The Night:
After all that, we need to relax for a bit. Here’s a puppy and kitten celebrating the Jets win.