The Winnipeg Jets fell to the Nashville Predators in a horrendous game at home where they struggled to get any quality scoring chances. Nashville got the perfect start as they scored a goal just over a minute into the game. Winnipeg tried to get back on track with three straight power plays in the first period but they looked very poor and failed to score any goals. The rest of the game wasn’t much better as the Jets continually had difficulty gaining the zone and getting any good shots on Rinne. With the chance to close out the series, the crowd on hand was phenomenal. Unfortunately there was nothing to cheer about and all the fans went away empty handed. Most experts predicted a long series between these two clubs, but the weird part is how lopsided some of the individual games have been. There were a couple thumbs up, but plenty of thumbs down in a game that left fans with a bad taste in their mouth.
Thumbs up to Kyle Connor. Kyle Connor was the best player on the ice last game after not scoring a goal in the first nine games of the playoffs. He scored two goals in game five and it seems to have bolstered his confidence. He looks great off the rush because of his ample speed and skill. He made a few nice moves in the first period and definitely looked dangerous. In a period where no Jets player scored a goal, Connor looks ready to break out.
Thumbs down to the power play. The Winnipeg Jets got down early in the game but had three great chances later in the period on the power play. The first power play yielded no chances as the Predators continually forced turnovers at the blue line and cleared the puck down the ice. The second power play was better and the Jets at least had a few chances. The third power play opportunity also failed as they were not moving the puck quickly or crisply. Late in the period the Jets could have scored the equalizer, instead they squandered their chances and were still down after the first period.
Thumbs up to the top line. The Jets are finding it tough to generate speed through the neutral zone as Nashville was content to sit back and defend a two goal lead. Scheifele, Wheeler, and Connor were good throughout the game and were the only line generating really good scoring chances. They were getting lots of offensive zone time because of their speed through center ice and their strong forecheck. Someone is going to have to score if the Jets want to win, and the top line looks like the ones who will do it.
Thumbs down to Chiarot and Myers. Ben Chiarot has not played well during this game. Chiarot’s main strength is his ability to throw hard hits and make other people think twice when they go into the corners. Chiarot has not been as physical as he can be and it lessens his effectiveness. Chiarot also got beat on the second Nashville goal as he lost Forsberg behind the play and then got beat to the puck as Forsberg walked in and scored. Myers had his own problem when he turned the puck over in the neutral zone after trying to stick-handle through four Predators. The pairing has not been good and when they are on the ice the play seems to end up in the Jets end.
Thumbs up to… Nothing. There was no thumbs up in the third period as the Jets let a two goal lead get to three and eliminate any chance of a comeback. It was an uninspired effort in a series clinching game.
Thumbs down to not allowing the fans to cheer. Winnipeg Jets fans are passionate. They want to get into the game so badly but the Jets did not give them anything to cheer about throughout the entire game. The physicality that was there against Minnesota is almost entirely gone, so there are not many big hits to cheer about. Then the Jets got multiple power play opportunities and there was a sense of anticipation in the building. The 15,000 inside and 25,000 outside were just waiting to explode. That moment never came as the Jets couldn’t get anything past Rinne. On the other hand, Nashville scored early and took the crowd out of the game. Whenever the Jets were getting on track Nashville would score another goal and the crowd would be silenced. A big thumbs down to not allowing the amazing fans to cheer after the Jets were the best team at home all season.