Oh yeah, this one felt good. The Jets jumped out to an awesome first period (as is their wont; it seems like a requirement that either the Jets or their opponents score in the first five minutes), and held on for the remaining 40 minutes. Ondrej Pavelec was the star, keeping them in it despite the best efforts of some of our players to make it a tie game. Numbers and thoughts after the jump.
2nd Period: No scoring
3rd Period: No scoring
Shots: Winnipeg 31, Phoenix 33
- Bryan Little was pretty phenomenal out there, and ironically it was on a less phenomenal play that he scored his goal. Nevertheless, he's really turned it around since a slow first 10-15 games. At one point, he jumped on a puck and dangled like nobody I'd ever seen before.
- To be honest, the entire team looked like it had gone to a stickhandling clinic over the last couple of weeks. Tim Stapleton had some good dangles, Evander Kane did, Blake Wheeler had his moments, hell even Mark Stuart had a dangle. Have to like it when your team looks like it's taking the opponent to school.
- Ondrej Pavelec had a freaky save near the end, where he seemed to magically steer the puck away from certain doom. In general, he made the saves he needed to make, and looked pretty steady, but still not steady enough for me to say I wasn't nervous.
- Steam Punk is really fitting his role well these days, as a bottom 6 forward and last guy on the powerplay. He's not quite top 6 caliber, but he does a great job taking advantage of matchups against 4th liners, and for what we pay him I'd say that's an ideal situation for both parties.
- Arturs Kulda: Claude Noel likes you, I like you, and I hope you stick around. You're a smart D out there, and nobody should blame you for that penalty. That was a diarrheal Chris Thorburn, and you trying to Pepto for him.
- Mark Stuart had a hell of a scare, taking a slapper off the top of the helmet. He returned to the game, but that's the second scare he's had this year (earlier, he took a shot off the side of the helmet). Occupational hazard.
- Andrew Ladd, I respect you, but sometimes I feel like the Swedish Chef has better hands.
- Alexander Burmistrov was really knocking on the door today; kid's in a little funk on the scoreboard but he'll be breaking through again shortly.
- It is a requirement for Dustin Byfuglien to look foolish at least once a game. Tonight, it was twice.
- Final note: seriously, Winnipeg fans, cut the booing. It was getting really stupid, especially when you were booing Mikkel Boedker (89) and Patrick O`Sullivan (18) because you thought they were Shane Doan (19). His comments about going back to Winnipeg at the time were the comments of any guy who had spent 14 seasons in Phoenix and is their captain. Plus, he played one measly year for us and was nothing to write home about, so let's not get too weepy over him. Get over it, it's not worth it. Save your breath for our exciting Jets, who are fun (and sometimes freaky) to watch.