Coming off a 5-3 defeat in the series opener, the Winnipeg Jets were aiming to even things up at one game apiece, however, the Montreal Canadiens’ defense shined throughout Game Two and ultimately proved to be the difference-maker as they came away with a 1-0 victory.
Here are the hot and cold performers from Friday’s losing effort.

Hot Performer of Period One

The hot performer of the first period goes to the Jets’ defense. They held the Canadiens to only seven shots on goal during the first 20 minutes. There was that four-minute wave of offense from Montreal midway through the opening frame, but Winnipeg’s skaters relaxed, started to make clean passes and started creating pressure in the offensive zone once again.

Cold Performer of Period One

This accolade has to go to all of the icings that happened in the first period. I counted six of them in the opening frame and most of those icings were caused by lazy plays that would keep guys on the ice for close to two-minute shifts. Those plays gave Montreal the little bit of hope they needed and allowed them to generate additional scoring chances as well.
Advertisement
Ad

Hot Performer of Period Two

This one is hard to figure out, I watched the second period three different times to find someone or something that was amazing. Everyone worked so hard to try and sneak a goal past @Carey Price. Unfortunately, there was just no finish. Whether it was a pass that got broken up, a stick getting in the way or the puck taking a funny bounce, the Jets simply played against a solid defensive team. That said, I loved this team’s performance, they got quality shots off but just didn’t have enough traffic in front of Price. This feels like a cop-out, but I can’t even get them a hot performer because they were just lukewarm in the second.

Cold Performer of Period Two

It goes to two of Winnipeg’s top forwards, @Nikolaj Ehlers and @Blake Wheeler were major factors that led to this defeat. Failing to backcheck on the power play, Ehlers and Wheeler were positioned above the hash marks in the offensive zone and both fell way behind the play, which ultimately led to @Tyler Toffoli’s game-winning goal.
Advertisement
Ad

Hot Performer of Period Three

This award goes to @Neal Pionk, the guy has played solid all season and he had a near-perfect defensive performance in the third period. The 25-year-old kept the puck in Montreal’s zone several times when it could’ve easily entered the neutral zone. He had multiple crisp, short and long passes that were never worrisome. That final block of the game when the Jets’ net was wide open, he risked his body for a great block, which I thought was going to boost their confidence and help them tie up the game. Pionk has such a high hockey IQ and it was on full display during the final frame.

Cold Performer of Period Three

Not just one person can be blamed in the third period. I liked the Jets’ passion, they held the Canadiens to just seven shots on goal and took 14 shots of their own. But I’m going to call out the top-six forwards for their poor performance in the third period. I understand this team was missing two key pieces in @Mark Scheifele and @Paul Stastny, but the rest of the stars should have scored at least one goal on Price. They were lacking that last piece of the puzzle and couldn’t create nearly enough sustained pressure in the offensive zone.
Advertisement
Ad
Let me know who your hot and cold performers were in Game Two in the comments below or you can always hit me up on Twitter or Instagram – @angushout.