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Photo Credit: © James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

JNGD.S8.G30 Recap: Jets Strong First Period Lays Foundation For 6-3 Win Over Chicago

The Chicago Blackhawks came into tonight’s contest on an eight game losing streak and with a much improved Edmonton Oiler club looming on Thursday, there was a chance for this to be a bit of a trap game for the Jets.

Thankfully a supurb first period helped pace Winnipeg to an eventual 6-3 win over the Hawks.

FIRST PERIOD

Any worries about a slow start much like the game against Philly on Sunday were quickly taken care of as the Jets blitzed the Hawks early and often. The Jets could have made it a two goal lead early on as Blake Wheeler just missed an open net chance and Tyler Myers rang a backhand shot off the crossbar. They also did well to prevent any Blackhawks shots for the first 14 minutes of play.

While the Jets were preventing shots against Laurent Brossoit, they started putting pucks past hawks goalie Cam Ward.

Three goals in six minutes and it looks like this could be a blowout early on as the Jets were simply dominant while the Hawks looked lost on how to do zone exits and even when they had chances to get the puck on net, shot the puck well wide of the net.

The Hawks did finally get some shots on goal and a little bit of momentum back after Dustin Byfuglien took a rather weak penalty that he didn’t seem to agree with a whole lot.

But it was possibly the Jets best opening period of the season while also highlighting how bad the Chicago Blackhawks have gotten.

SECOND PERIOD

The onslaught continued early into the second.

But just in case you thought this game was well over, the Winnipeg Jets are here to remind you that they are indeed the Jets and nothing ever comes easy as 20 seconds later, the Hawks got on the board.

Ryan Strome makes a fantastic move in the slot area to avoid any defensive effort by the Jets there, and yes the shot is perfectly placed, but it sure seemed like Brossoit would have been better served to not come out and chase the play quite as much as he did.

The Hawks got it witin two goals five minutes later.

The Jets if anything were a bit guilty of “taking their foot off the gas pedal” after they raced out to a 4-0 lead and whie “score effects” can be expected of pretty much any team with a four goal lead, you’d like to think the higher level of talent and expectations on the Jets to be a better defensive team than they have been would keep them from easing up on any effort.

Thankfully the Jets did pick up their play once the Hawks picked up their second goal. They did get out-shot 17-10 in the middle frame but Jets did well to keep high danger scoring chances even with both teams only having two each in the second period. The Jets second of those two high danger scoring chances was a bid by Kyle Connor to net a hat trick, but he was denied…

THIRD PERIOD

Cam Ward – even having given up four goals – had made a handful of good saves to keep the Hawks in the game and with more than 40 minutes of hockey to play, you knew there was a chance the Hawks could make a run at a comeback. In the second period the Hawks started to claw back thanks to an eased up effort by the Jets and some questionable goaltending from Laurent Brossoit.

That questionable goaltending reared it’s ugly head on the Hawk’s second shot of the third period.

That’s simply a shot that can’t get past an NHL goalie. Yes the Jets again struggled with getting out of the zone, but Brossoit – who looked a lot more like “Edmonton Oiler disapointment Brossoit” rather than “Winnipeg Jet pleasant surprise Brossoit” on this night – had a very poor angle on this goal against.

Thankfully the Jets got their two goal lead back thanks to a goal by Mathieu Perreault but was more about the play of Nik Ehlers leading up to the goal.

Nik’s speed when teams give him just a little bit of room is something to behold. and I don’t know how teams stop it outside of trying to outright tackle him at the line.

The Jets salted things away with a Brandon Tanev empty net goal as they did tighten up on the defensive side of things in the last ten minutes of play.

THE BOXSCORE

 

PLAYERS OF THE GAME

For Chicago: Dylan Strome – Friend of the blog Murat Ates asks a question I kept asking myself as I watched him this entire game…

Great night for him as he had that great goal and a couple of shots on net, but he sure seemed like he was all over the ice and has stepped up his game as a Blackhawk.

For Winnipeg: Kyle Connor – Two goals on the night and you could tell he really wanted that third goal. Five shots on goal

  • If the Jets keep starting games like they did against the Blackhawks and keep the pressure on the entire game they are going to be tough to beat. The last 7 games the Jets have had a different player or line step up to control the game so teams can’t just concentrate on shutting down 1 player or 1 line.