It was an all-around disappointing performance from the Jets as they get shut out by the Predators this afternoon. Winnipeg came out extremely sluggish and deserved to be down by a goal after the first period. Connor Hellebuyck was spectacular and kept the team in it, but Saros in the other crease didn’t let anything get past him. Winnipeg went 0-2 on the powerplay and they failed to get anything dangerous all game long. The Predators shut the game down and earned the pivotal two points in this game. Nashville now sits only three points back of Winnipeg in the wildcard race.
It was a terribly sluggish start for Winnipeg as they appeared to be having an afternoon nap as the game began. They took an early penalty and had already given up eight shots on Hellebuyck in the first five minutes. Nashville was faster, stronger on the puck, and won nearly every puck battle as they spent most of the period in Winnipeg’s end. Given the strong start by Nashville, it’s no surprise that they got on the board first. It was a brutal giveaway in the neutral zone that led to a 2-0 breakaway. Hellebuyck didn’t stand a chance and the Jets found themselves down by a goal.
Brutal turnover and the Predators take advantage to take a 1-0 lead. pic.twitter.com/zIOPpTNgAe
— JetsNation (@NHLJetsNation) January 12, 2020
The goal was a bit of a wake-up call for the Jets as they started to get some more offense to close out the period. Regardless, they found themselves down 1-0 after the first period.
The second period was a bit of a different story than the first as Winnipeg finally woke up and started playing hockey. They still gave up too many chances, but they found themselves in the offensive end more a lot of the period. One item of note was that Tucker Poolman didn’t return to the game after the first intermission. He was officially ruled out after getting tangled up with a Predator player in the first period.
Winnipeg got their first powerplay of the game but weren’t able to score despite Laine unloading a rocket from the left circle. Saros made the really nice blocker save while moving across the net.
There really wasn’t much else going on the period as both netminders stood tall for the entire second period. Just like the first intermission, Winnipeg found themselves down 1-0 going into the second intermission as well.
If you missed the third period, you really didn’t miss anything as it featured much of the same from the second period. Both teams were able to get a few shots on net, but the goalies stood tall and got things done. Winnipeg got their second powerplay of the game but weren’t able to convert as they missed all of their chances.
As the time wore down, Nashville sat back at the defensive blueline with four players wide to prevent any offense from the rush. Winnipeg was repeatedly forced to dump the puck in and try to win the puck battles. Even with the goalie pulled, they couldn’t get anything too dangerous on Saros as everything was knocked away.
In the end, it was a rare 1-0 victory by the Predators.
TL;DR Why the Jets Lost
To put it simply, the Jets lost because they didn’t score a single goal. They missed their two powerplay opportunities and hit a few posts and crossbars as they couldn’t actually put the puck in the net. They struggled to get to the dangerous areas as Saros didn’t even make that many great saves.
Jetsnation Top Gun
The clear Top Gun of this game was Connor Hellebuyck. The Jets got shelled in the opening few minutes of the game but Hellebuyck was fantastic to keep the score close. In the end, he was only beat on one shot, which came from a 2-0 breakaway. Other than that instance, he was perfect in this game.
He gave the Jets a chance to come back but the team failed him in this one.
Winnipeg continues their homestand on Tuesday evening as they host Vancouver. The Jets have been brutal on home ice recently and they hope to right the ship during the all Canadian matchup against the Canucks. Puck drop is at 7:00 PM and you can catch the action on TSN 3.