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Photo Credit: © Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

JNR: Jets Can’t Overcome Refs And Themselves In 3-2 OT Loss To Wild

The Jets struggles in the third period to hold on to a narrow lead were not helped by brutal NHL officiating as Winnipeg drops a rather disappointing 3-2 loss in overtime to division rival Minnesota Wild.

First Period

A rather quick start for the Minnesota Wild as one would expect given their recent struggles and what had happened two weeks ago by these two teams. A little more aggravating was how slowly the Jets played in comparison.

The Wild lead off scoring early on a really nice passing play that took advantage of some very bad and lazy defending.

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Neal Pionk took a couple of penalties back to back in the period, but thankfully the Jets were able to kill those off with no damage done and only a couple of shots faced.

Other than a decent PK effort, the Jets didn’t offer up much in a way of a push back against Minnesota. Final shots in the first frame was 13-7 as the Wild finished off the period with a flurry of chances that Connor Hellebuyck looked good in stopping.

 

Second Period

A “better” period for the Jets in that they were at least attentive for a lot more of it than they were in the first period. The Jets were still out-shot 11-10 but they at least were a far more active team. It started off well enough as the Jets picked up a power play goal thanks to Mark Scheifele.

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Speaking of penalties, things got a little crazy in the middle of the period as the Wild were tagged for a high sticking double minor, but seconds late the Jets were given an interference penalty to Patrik Laine and an even more dubious hooking call to Tucker Poolman to put the Jets down three on four.

All penalties on both sides didn’t lead to any scoring but it did help elevate shot numbers as the Wild edged the Jets 11-10 in the middle frame. The Wild also had a 3-1 lead in even strength high danger scoring chances in the period as the Jets continued to struggle to get to the Wild net.

 

Third Period

The good: Winnipeg scores on the power play yet again very early in the third to take a 2-1 lead.

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The bad: The rest of the period.

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The Jets for lack of a better word just “quit” after they get up 2-1 or at the very worst they play the most passive “try not to lose” hockey we’ve seen this club play this season. The Wild pepper the Jets net getting the next 11 shots in the game and puck possession was dominated by the Wild as the best the Jets could manage would be to chip the puck out to center ice before the Wild would collect the puck and enter the Winnipeg zone yet again.

The Wild finally breakthrough to tie things up with a little over five minutes left in the game.

Just before the play, Josh Morrissey was hit from behind along the boards in what was clearly a missed call.

With the game tied, the Jets finally woke up a bit and did get four shots on goal in the period – the final three shots came over 17 minutes after the Jets first shot of the period which was Blake Wheeler’s goal. If not for the work of Hellebuyck who looked a lot better in today’s game, this would have been over in regulation. As it was though, the third ends tied.

 

Overtime

In the third, the hit on Morrissey wasn’t the only call that was missed by the refs:

So it was maybe the most least surprising thing ever that Blake Wheeler was called for slashing 54 seconds into the overtime period after he knocked a stick out of the hand of a Wild player.

Sure enough the Wild take advantage of the four on three man advantage scoring the game winner on what looked like it should have been goaltender interference, but was ruled a good goal due to the NHL stating that Tucker Poolman and Anthony Bittetto “pushed” Zach Parise into Hellebuyck.

In the end it was a result that left Jets fans as well as players and coaches seeing red.

TL;DR: Why the Jets Lost

It would be easy to say “bad refs” and that certainly plays a part into things, but the Jets didn’t help themselves by disappearing for pretty much the entire third period. If anything, they were fortunate that the game got to OT.

 

JetsNation Top Gun

A really nice bounce back effort from Connor Hellebuyck who made 41 saves and looked a lot more like the “big and boring” Hellebuyck that earned him an All-Star Game nod. Funny enough there aren’t really any major highlight reel saves from Connor which is a great indication of just how sound he was positionally and how well he played his angles.

The Boxscore

Next Flight

The Jets fly northeast now as they will take on the Canadiens on Monday night. Puck drop from Montreal takes place at 6:00 PM CST with the game on TSN 3 and TSN 1290