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Photo Credit: © Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Playoff Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: Jets Tie The Series In Overtime!

The first overtime game of the series helped produce one of the most exciting hockey games of the season. There was back and forth action all game as both teams managed to get on the board in the third period. Despite the low score, the game was an absolute joy to watch with the frantic pace and electric atmosphere.

The obvious thumbs up will go to Kyle Connor for netting the game winner, but there was a lot of other areas that were both good and bad.

Thumbs up to weathering the early storm. Everyone knew that St. Louis was going to rebound at the start of game four. As expected, they came out with a few strong shifts and quickly garnered a number of shots on Hellebuyck. This didn’t faze Winnipeg however, as they weathered the storm and were able to rebound as the first period went along. The Jets actually played well defensively as they kept most of the Blues’ shots outside of the dangerous areas in the early going.

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Thumbs down to the stretch passes. The Jets are at their best when they stay active in the neutral zone and stop the opposing breakout before it even begins. The only issue arises when Winnipeg makes a lazy line change. This happened a couple of times in the second period as Winnipeg was trying to change and St. Louis was able to make a long stretch pass to their player coming right from the bench. It didn’t result in any goals against, but the Jets need to be careful with the long range passes.

Thumbs up to the pace of play. That may have been the fastest second period I have ever seen. The play was continually going end-to-end as both teams created chances off the rush. The Jets would have a few solid shifts but St. Louis would answer right after. It was an absolute joy to watch as both teams were flying around and looking for the go ahead goal. That was playoff hockey at its finest.

Thumbs down to penalties. This seems like a reoccurring theme as the Jets have been burnt by the St. Louis powerplay far too often. Game four was a low scoring game which means you definitely don’t want to give up an easy chance. Winnipeg did exactly that as they took a penalty late in the second to give St. Louis their best opportunity of the game. St. Louis made no mistake and the Jets found themselves down because of another St. Louis powerplay.

Thumbs up and down to the third period. It was a polarizing third period as the Blues started strong with the go-ahead goal. It looked as though the Jets might not have an answer as Binnington was fantastic the whole night. It took a few minutes, but the Jets finally got the tying goal as Scheifele re-directed a beautiful pass from Connor into the top corner. The Jets had all the momentum after that as they came into the Blues end shift after shift. They didn’t end up scoring the game winner in the third period but it was a great effort from the whole team.

Lastly, thumbs up to the top line. Winnipeg’s number one line was fantastic in this game as they collaborated on both goals. Scheifele specifically was really good as he had multiple chances to score in overtime before Connor netted the winner. The top line has been performing all series, but they were even better in this game. The TLC line also gets an honourable mention as they played great all game. They controlled the play down low and completely neutralized the top line for the Blues.

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The Jets get to host another game on Thursday and they are hoping it goes a bit better than the first two home games. The Jets have seemed to find their legs and it should be a whole new series going forward.