Photo Credit: © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

JNR: Jets Humble Wild In Minny With 6-0 Shutout

Well if that game doesn’t put you in the holiday spirit, nothing will!

The Jets skate in to Minnesota and absolutely paste their division (and closest geographic) rivals by the tune of 6-0 on a very exciting day where Connor Hellebuyck picks up his second shutout of the season, Patrik Laine scores twice and delivers an all-time epic intermission quote, and speaking of all-time, captain Blake Wheeler assumes top spot on the Jets / Thrashers points lead with 616.

First Period

This wasn’t a typical “slow start” by the Jets, but it wasn’t a good one either as zone exits were very problematic early on. The Jets simply had a lot of issues dealing with a very aggressive Minnesota forecheck and at the same time couldn’t seem to get out of their own way for the first part of the first period. It didn’t feel like a very good sign from the start that Connor Hellebuyck had to be extra sharp on a tricky first shot of the game.

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The Wild pressure led to the Jets taking the first penalty which was a cause for massive concern given how that part of special teams has done lately, but a funny thing happened about a minute later…

The Jets have a 1-0 lead, Blake Wheeler ties the franchise’s all-time points record and with the penalty killed shortly after, we’re sudden;y feeling good about things.

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The second part of the first period is a little more balanced as the Jets start generating some scoring chances as well, but it’s the Wild with the more high danger chances and Hellebuyck is very key in making sure the Jets stay ahead by the slimmist of margins.

And just as the period is coming to an end, the Jets put together one last flurry of chances and end up with a 2-0 lead.

They league went back and forth on it a bit, but the goal was eventually credited to Mark Scheifele and despite being outshot 14-10 and out-chances 8-5 in all situations, the 2-0 goal feels like an early back-breaker against the Wild.

Second Period

The back and forth hockey continues on to the second with both teams seemingly taking turns at puck possession and taking shots on goal but as the minutes click forward it sure does feel like the Wild and just mere moments from breaking through with a goal that will get them back in the game and put the screws to Winnipeg.

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Then Patrik Laine happened.

Poor Alex Stalock had no chance.

The Wild resume their push to get something positive for their team in the second half of the period, but Hellebuyck continues to remain strong in net and the defense in front of him while still a bit leaky is at least doing a decent job of limiting second chance scoring opportunities. the Wild yet again out-shoot the Jets 11-9 in the period and have the better of the even strength scoring chances 4-1, but it’s the 3-0 score that matters the most with the Jets a perfect 12-0-0 this season when leading after 40 minutes of play.


Third Period

Any thoughts that there might have been for a Wild comeback were dashed a minute in as the Jets took advantage of some wide open four v four play.

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At this point Stalock is diving for pucks but chances are he’d like to dive right out of the game that the Wild pretty much abandoned. Score effects weren’t a thing in this one as the third proves to be the Jets strongest period with a 10-6 edge in shots.

Even the power-play gets into the act as Blake Wheeler sets up Patrik Laine to get point 616 and the franchise lead in points.

Even when Paul Maurice tried to get the bottom six forward group more playing time as a way to “call off the dogs” so to speak, they still couldn’t help but to score. Seriously, look how pretty this goal is and note that it’s Jansen Harkins first ever NHL point in his first NHL game.

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And there was still over 10 minutes left to play when the Jets made it a 6-0 game. Alex Stalock’s day was done and so too were the Wild. Winnipeg carries the play from there and thanks to a couple of Wild penalties at the end of the game, Hellebuyck’s 31 saves hold up for his second shutout of the season and a little franchise history of his own.

TL;DR Why the Jets Won

Hellebuyck was big time early on and his saves made sure the Wild didn’t have any life when they could have easily gotten back into a game that was only a one or two goal margin. It also didn’t hurt that Laine reminded everyone that he has one of the most lethal shots in all of the NHL to go with his new found playmaking skills and backchecking commitment.

JetsNation’s Top Gun

Lots of ways to go with this one as Wheeler had two points and Laine had two goals, and even Jansen Harkins had a really nice NHL debut with an assist and a really nice overall game, but it is the 31 save shutout by Hellebuyck that gets our nod.

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The Boxscore

Next Flight

The Jets have one more game before they head on the holiday break and that’s Monday night back at home against the Montreal Canadiens. Puck drop is at 6:00 PM CST can be seen on TSN 3 and heard on TSN 1260.

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