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Instant Reaction: A poor 2nd period costs the Winnipeg Jets in a 5-1 game 4 loss

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Photo credit:© Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Connor Baldwin
1 month ago
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Tough scenes for Winnipeg Jets fans tonight as they lost 5-1 to the Colorado Avalanche in game 4 of their 1st round series. I had to take some time after the game to really think about what went wrong this game compared to the Jets other 2 losses, and honestly, there were quite a few similarities. Overall, it was another game where a lack of undiscipline and the resulting penalty kills cost the Winnipeg Jets. Time to break down and summarize game 4 on this Sunday night.
The start of the game didn’t go the way the Jets wanted to once again. A common thread in the first 3 games is that the Avalanche have been generating more shots and chances than the Jets, particularly early in the games. That wasn’t any different in this game, with the shots on goal early on 11-1 for the Avalanche. The Avalanche scored on their 12th shot of the game, off a wrister in front from an unmarked Arturri Lehkonen, who picked up his 4th goal of this series.
The Jets got going a few minutes after the Avalanche got the opening goal, and Nate Schmidt tied the game for the Jets at 1. Schmidt shot the puck top corner on Alexandar Georgiev after a nice feed back from Mason Appleton, and the Jets were on the board.
The Avalanche challenged that the Jets entered the zone offside prior to the goal, but they were unsuccessful, resulting in a delay of game penalty. The Jets had a couple chances but were unsuccessful on their only powerplay of the 1st period. Shots on goal after the 1st were 13-9 for the Avalanche.
As you can see by my the title, the 2nd period was the one that cost the Winnipeg Jets in game 4. A pair of penalties from Logan Stanley gave the Avalanche 2 powerplays in the 1st half of the 2nd period but the Avs were unsuccessful on both attempts. The 2nd powerplay was only around 1 minute long because of an Avalanche penalty that made it 4 on 4. That being said, the Jets weren’t done yet taking penalties in the 2nd. 2 more undisciplined penalties before the period was over would end up being costly for the Jets.
Valeri Nichushkin tipped home a point shot from Cale Makar to give the Avalanche a 2-1 lead. There wasn’t really any instant feeling for me that the Jets were in any trouble after that goal, but I was kind of wrong in thinking that.
The next big moment in the game was simply a masterpiece of a goal from Cale Makar. It’s tough to pinpoint what the Jets could have done to stop Makar here, but most of the credit goes to Makar on this one, scoring a crazy end-to-end goal to give the Avalanche a 3-1 lead.
Things got worse for the Jets, as just 24 seconds before the end of the 2nd period Valeri Nichushkin picked up his 2nd goal of the night. After another prime example of some great puck movement on the powerplay from the Avalanche, Nichushkin picked up a rebound and shot it past Hellebuyck to give the Avalanche a 4-1 lead.
Shots on goal in the 2nd period were 17-7 for the Avalanche, partially due to 4 powerplays. The 3rd period was a little different for the Jets. Laurent Brossoit replaced Connor Hellebuyck in the 3rd, in a move that was likely just to give some rest for Hellebuyck before the Jets go home for game 5. A scary moment in the 3rd period saw Jets forward Vladislav Namestnikov take a redirected shot off the side of his face, and after the game he was sent to the hospital for an evalutation and any necessary repairs.
The shots on goal were 11-5 for the Jets in the 3rd. The Jets did well in taking no penalties in the 3rd, and even got themselves 2 more powerplay opportunities, but were not able to capitalize.
With 13 seconds to go, Valeri Nichushkin flipped the puck from centre ice into the Jets empty net to wrap the game up for the Avalanche, giving them a 5-1 lead. That goal was the hat trick goal for Nichuskin and was his 6th already in this series. Shots on goal as the final buzzer went were 35-27 for the Avalanche. The Avalanche pick up wins in both games in Colorado and now hold a commanding 3-1 series lead.
Before the series shifts back to Winnipeg for game 5 on Tuesday, there will once again be a lot of questions for the Jets after their 3rd straight loss. Tomorrow I’ll get into more detail about what went wrong for the Jets and react to what the players and coach Rick Bowness had to say tonight after this tough loss.
To quickly summarize tonight’s game though, there were a few noticeable causes for this loss. Special teams was one of them. 0/4 on the powerplay for the Jets and 2 powerplay goals from the dynamic puck moving offense of the Avalanche. The Jets made some game time line swaps, switching the wingers on the 2nd and 3rd lines. It didn’t work out in the end, and Rick Bowness says there will be some lineup changes for game 5. Will you see Cole Perfetti or another player from the bench enter the lineup?
That just about summarize tonight’s game though. There were moments, especially in the 1st and 3rd periods where the Jets showed some poise and seemed to be handling themselves well in a challenging atmosphere at Ball Arena. You also may have noticed that it seemed like the Avalanche went into defence mode in the 3rd period, seemingly not wanting to take any chances of giving the Jets any good scoring chances to get back in to this game.
It’ll certainly be interesting to see what kind of changes Rick Bowness makes for game 5. Although it hasn’t been a good series for Hellebuyck, he’ll be back in net for game 5, but what other changes could be made to help the Jets? They need both scoring and players to help on the penalty kill so they’ll have to figure out a way to create a well-balanced lineup to give themselves the best chance to win.
All you can do is speculate for now, and tomorrow I’ll give some more of my own thoughts on what the Jets could do going in to game 5. It’s going to be a win or go home scenario for the Jets on Tuesday night, so look for them to go all out to try and keep their season alive and force a game 6.
 

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