Coming into tonight’s game, you would have thought against a San Jose Sharks team that has struggled to prevent goals against and has had shady goaltending, that the Winnipeg Jets would be on full out attack mode to get back on the winning track in their playoff race.
Instead what we got was a lame first period effort, punctuated with repeated missed shots and a third period that lacked any kind of urgency. The Sharks took advantage, and did just enough against a Jets club that tried to get away with a 10 minute win that didn’t pan out as they lost 3-2.
Yet another slow start from the Jets who actually didn’t do that bad to generate scoring chances, but just couldn’t hit the net. The best scoring chance the Jets had in the first period was a Blake Wheeler shot from about five feet away that beat Sharks goalie Aaron Dell, but rank off the post.
The Sharks got out to a 13-3 shot lead in the first 20 minutes and they had a 1-0 lead going into the first intermission thanks to a goal mouth scramble that had looked like the puck went in after Connor Hellebuyck’s left pad was pushed in, but the officials and video review team felt it was a legit goal as his pad was pushed in as the Sharks went for a rebound.
The second period was a slightly better story for the Jets as they again couldn’t manage to get a shot on goal until six minutes in when Evander Kane took a penalty and the Jets doubled their shot output in the next 30 seconds with the man advantage. Kyle Connor scored an absolutely ridiculous between the legs power-play goal from about a foot away from Dell to tie the game, and then with a little momentum on their side the Jets took a 2-1 lead a little over a minute after that as Andrew Copp was moved to the second line with Blake Wheeler and Nikolaj Ehlers and it was Copp’s pass that found a wide open Wheeler.
That’s where the good news for the Jets ends on the night. The third period was a brutal display of a Jets team losing every little battle along the boards and not showing any kind of urgency to lock the game down. The Sharks owned the first eight minutes of the third, out-shooting the Jets 8-0 and picking up a couple of goals to retake the lead as Melker Karlsson and then Timo Meier scored in close a little over a minute apart.
The Jets did manage to wake up a bit near the end of the game and a couple of furuious scoring chances – helped along by another brutal Evander Kane penalty, along with the goalie pulled late – did give the Jets a 17-11 edge in shots in the third, but Aaron Dell did just enough to keep the puck out of his goal, and when the Jets managed to have him down and out and looking beat, they would either shoot the puck directly into him or worse, ring shots off the post.
TL;DR: Why The Jets Lost
A brutal first period effort, a third period that lacked urgency… The Jets couldn’t (or perhaps refused?) get any traffic in front of the Sharks goal or attack the net. The Sharks didn’t really out-play the Jets as much as the Jets slept through most of it.
The JetsNation Top Gun
Kyle Connor had a ton of chances – six shots on goal registered and a couple of missed chances on top of that – and was generally the best Jet on the ice in terms of trying to generate offense.
— JetsNation (@NHLJetsNation) February 15, 2020
The Next Flight
The Chicago Blackhawks will complete their tour of Western Canada by returning back to where they started it a week ago with one more Sunday night date against the Winnipeg Jets. Puck drop is set again for 6:00 PM CST with the game to be seen on Sportsnet and heard on TSN 1290.