So much for taking advantage of another tired team with their backup in net.
The Winnipeg Jets made Carter Hutton look like a Vezina Trophy candidate as the Nashville Predators coasted to a 3-1 win despite having played in Montreal the night before. The home team fell to 2-3 on their current six-game home-stand and 3-4 on the season at home in the MTS Centre, and are now 1-3 against #ConferenceIII (the Central, for the uninitiated). For a team that has struggled mightily on the road in each of the past two seasons, failing to stock up these critical points at home is a recipe for disaster.
The Jets managed to start the game off right for a change by out-shooting the Preds 15-12 in the first and entering the intermission in a scoreless tie, but the 2nd period was their undoing and it started only 20 seconds in to the frame as Eric Nystrom scored a shorthanded goal 10 seconds into a Jets power-play. Two more goals in the frame, from Patrick Hornqvist and Matt Cullen, gave the stifling Predators a reason to sit back and relax and they coasted the rest of the way.
Evander Kane managed to break Hutton's shutout bid midway through the 3rd period on a goalmouth scramble, but that was the only time the Jets lit the lamp. Despite some power-play chances late in the game, the Jets never really threatened again and that was the ballgame.
- The Jets outshot the Predators 38-26, but very few of them were legit scoring chances. And when you fall behind by three goals again, teams sit back and protect. Hutton really didn't have to work that hard for his win.
- A lot went wrong on the play that led to Eric Nystrom's shot-handed goal that started with the block of Dustin Byfuglien's shot, but Ondrej Pavelec needs to make that save. Tobias Enstrom took away the pass like he was supposed to, but the shot still beat him clean.
- What more can be said about the second goal, though? I mean, Pavelec is no maestro when it comes to handling the puck, but that's still a crazy unfortunate bounce. Can't pin it all on the goalie, but it was another sub-0.900 sv% evening for the starting netminder.
- Evander Kane continues to show why he should be wearing a letter on his chest. Day in and day out, he's been our best forward this season, but even without the goal he's one of the few that looks like he cared. 10 shots on net shows that he wants it, too.
- Mark Scheifele is only in the NHL simply because the Jets don't have any other options at center. He was nearly invisible again, and got bumped off of the second unit as Olli Jokinen got the battlefield promotion. He should be down in St. John's.
- David Poile was in the building to check out not only his own Nashville squad but a number of USA Olympic hopefuls. Dustin Byfuglien likely helped his cause. Blake Wheeler and Zach Bogosian likely did not. Yuck.
- Shea Weber and Seth Jones led the Preds in ice-time tonight (27:26 and 26:23, respectively). That's ridiculously impressive for Jones. How did he fall to 4th-overall in the draft?
- Buff, Kane, Toby, Grant Clitsome and Bogo were the Jets that break the 20-minute mark (27:18, 24:58, 22:00, and 20:35 and 20:30, respectively), while only Patrice Cormier (7:58) and Anthony Peluso (8:45) didn't get to 10 minutes. At least Noel rolled four lines.
- Adam Pardy and Paul Postma did a fine job as the bottom pairing, and the bottom-six looked okay as well. They weren't the problem...
- The Jets have played a league-high 7 games on home-ice so far this season (compared to two on the road), with another one on Tuesday night against the Washington Capitals. I'd suggest that Tuesday's game may be a must-win or else some changes may be made.
- Bonus Thought: Is Claude Noel in desperation mode? He broke out the vest before the ten-game mark on the season, and it didn't work...