Now that is a heck of a way to close out the year!
The Winnipeg Jets completed a three game season sweep of Edmonton and won their third game in a row and rolled into the new year on top of the Central division with a 5-0 win over the Oilers.
After the game all I heard about from TV recaps and all I read about online was how poorly the Oilers played which resulted in the 5-0 loss.
From where I sit – and granted this is a biased seat – this game wasn’t as much about what the Oilers did or didn’t do as much as it was the Jets imposing their will on them. Were the Oilers bad in completing passes and getting into the offensive zone? Yes, but credit should be given to the Jets defense for forcing those bad passes and poor zone entries. Did the Oilers have a bunch of turnovers? Yes, but credit the Jets forechecking which was constant and pretty much relentless in the game.
As you’ll see in the numbers and charts below, it’s not like the Jets completely dominated the entire game. The Oilers had their chances with the main difference being that the Jets would get stretches of sustained pressure in the Oilers zone while the Oilers would at best get one chance on goal, maybe two at most and then be shut down either by the Jets being able to clear the puck and retain possession, or by Connor Hellebuyck who limited rebound chances.
What more can we say about Connor Hellebuyck? If you look back at his game here, he didn’t make any “ten bell” desperation saves because he never puts himself in a position to have to make them. Positionaly he was great, his rebound control was outstanding. Just another stellar night for him in goal.
Offensively, the Jets kept things simple. They used their speed to back the Oilers defense off the blue line to get into the zone, they consistently won puck battles in the corners and along the boards and as cliche as this is to say, they got pucks to the net. All five Jets goals came from no farther away than five feet from the Oilers net.
HOW DID THEY CORSI?
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
For Winnipeg: Kyle Connor – A goal and an assist for the kid who now has a four game points streak, a three game goal scoring streak and has quietly developed some great on-ice chemistry with Blake Wheeler.
For Edmonton: Connor McDavid – Even when the rest of the team is awful around him, there is something special about watching McDavid fly up and down the ice almost trying to will his team into scoring. It didn’t work, but it looked pretty at least.
The Jets carry their win streak into Denver to take on the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday for their first game of 2018. The Jets will be looking to avenge a previous OT loss to the Avs from back in November.