Instant Reaction: The Winnipeg Jets end their 2023-24 regular season with a 4-2 win against the Canucks

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Connor Baldwin
8 days ago
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That’s a wrap on the Winnipeg Jets 2023-24 regular season. The Winnipeg Jets went into their final game at home against the Vancouver Canucks, looking to end the season on a 8 game win streak. The Jets also came into this game with 51 wins, one win shy of their franchise record 52 win season in 2017-18. Perhaps less noteworthy, but both teams were looking to get the 2 points to secure 2nd place overall in the Western conference. It may not be a significant achievement, but it could affect who gets home ice advantage if either team makes a deep playoff run.
The Jets lineup looked a little different tonight, with some of their regulars sitting and the 5 scratches from Tuesday night’s game getting some play time. It was also a double NHL debut for the Jets, with Nikita Chibrikov and Brad Lambert getting the call from the Manitoba Moose for tonight’s game. After it was all said and done, the Jets were successful in finishing their regular season on a high note, with a 4-2 win tonight. The game looked to be anyone’s early on, but the Jets eventually took control of the game to secure the victory.
But how did this game all go down? Let’s get into the action and game summary from the season finale on Thursday night!
The game started out a little slow, with both teams just trying to get their legs going in this final regular season game. You could tell that the priority for both teams was just to stay healthy. The Jets got a couple decent chances early on, but it was the Canucks that opened the scoring 6 minutes in. Dakota Joshua brought the puck in front, sort of half passing it towards the crease, and it was re-directed in front by Conor Garland for a 1-0 Canucks lead.
The pace of the game started picking up after that goal, with both teams seemingly trying to get the puck quickly up the ice whenever they got a chance. 6 minutes after the Canucks opened the scoring, Brad Lambert passed it down low to Alex Iafallo, who protected the puck before tapping it in front where he found Gabe Vilardi. Vilardi picked up the puck, deked to the other side of the crease and shot it past Demko to even the game at 1.
Brad Lambert registered his first career NHL point, picking up the secondary assist on Vilardi’s goal which tied the game at 1. A few minutes after the game got tied up, the Canucks took a too many players on the ice penalty with 6 minutes to go in the 1st. The Jets got a couple decent chances on the powerplay, but Thatcher Demko made some key saves for the Canucks.
The solid play on both sides continued until 1 minute left in the period where the Jets took their 1st penalty of the game. The Canucks got a chance to take the lead before the period ended, but Laurent Brossoit shut the door to keep this game even at 1 after 1. Shots on goal were 9 to 8 for the Canucks, and each team had some positives that they were looking to bring into the 2nd with them.
It was a rapid start to the 2nd for the Jets, as Mr. Cole Perfetti gave the Jets a 2-1 lead just 1 minute in. Mason Appleton came down the wing and passed it across to Perfetti who wristed the puck past Demko.
From there, the Canucks got the next powerplay of the game, but were unsuccessful, with Brossoit making some good saves in front. The Jets got their 2nd powerplay of the game a few minutes later, but similar to the Canucks powerplay, were unable to capitalize thanks to some big saves by Thatcher Demko. The Canucks then got their 3rd powerplay of the game due to an unfortunate puck over the glass penalty by the Jets. 3rd time was the charm for the Canucks powerplay, as a Quinn Hughes shot from the point was tipped in front by Elias Lindholm to tie the game at 2 late in the period.
The rest of the period slowed down a little bit, as both teams were looking to hold their positioning together to try to stay tied going into the 3rd. Shots on goal after the 2nd period were 16-15 for the Winnipeg Jets. The 2nd period gave indication that this game could very well come down to one deciding goal, and that both teams needed to try to stay out of the penalty box in the 3rd.
The first few minutes of the 3rd period were very similar to the start of this game, not a lot of pace. That all changed when Nikita Chibrikov, making his NHL debut for the Jets, put the Jets back in front 3-2. The eventual game winner was set up nicely by Nino Niederreiter, who made a great play behind the net to set up Chibrikov for the go ahead goal.
The intensity picked up once again after the Jets took back the lead. There were some scrappy moments, which eventually led to the Jets 3rd powerplay of the game. Once again they had some chances, but were 0/3 on the powerplay after another unsuccessful attempt. The Jets got a 4th powerplay around 6 minutes later, but once again were unable to score on the advantage. The Jets would finish this game 0/4 on the powerplay.
The Canucks began to really push back with around 3 minutes left in the game, where a mad scramble ensued in front of the net. Brossoit lost his goal stick and the Canucks had possession for nearly a minute. The Canucks pulled their goalie with 2 minutes left, and after some great pressure, turned the puck over to Cole Perfetti, who fired the puck all the way down the ice and into the empty net, giving the Jets a 4-2 lead.
The Jets held on to this 4-2 lead, and in the last minute or so of the game the two teams just played it out slowly to conclude their regular seasons. The final shots on goal were 26 to 20 for the Jets, and the fans were on their feet as the final seconds of the regular season ticked down. A successful final regular season game came to an end for the Jets, who are now going into their first round matchup against the Colorado Avalanche with all the confidence in the world. An 8 game win streak and a franchise best trying 52th win is one great way to end off a season!
The schedule for round 1, game 1 for the Jets was announced during the game, and they will be playing game 1 at home against the Avalanche on Sunday night at 6 PM CDT. Bring on the playoffs!


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