Recap: Winnipeg Jets win Game of Thrones, topple the LA Kings 5-3

Marianne Helm

The Winnipeg Jets took advantage of a Kings team on the second half of a back-to-back and held on late for an impressive victory in their home opener.

The Winnipeg Jets can wear their crown, at least for an evening.

After managing to weather both an early storm in the first and a feverish finish from the visiting Los Angeles Kings, the Jets played well enough in the final two periods to both build a lead and hang on to it and improve to 2-0 following the 5-3 win. After Matt Greene opened the scoring on a fluky bank-shot off of Dustin Byfuglien's leg at the 14:17 mark of the first, the Jets responded with four straight to build up what barely proved to be the insurmountable lead.  Devin Setoguchi scored twice, while Evander Kane, and Olli Jokinen (with his 300th career goal) put the Jets up 4-1, and while Jeff Carter and Justin Williams added late PP markers to make it close, Bryan Little sealed the deal with the empty netter.

Next up: Teemu Selanne.  I suppose the rest of his Anaheim Ducks will also make the trip this Sunday, too.

10 Thoughts:

  • While it's still early, I'm not so sure that it's a stretch to begin the talk of anointing the line of Kane, Setoguchi and Mark Scheifele as the new #1 line. Whenever they're on the ice, good things happen. They combined for 3 goals, 4 assists and a +7 with 11 shots. That's good.
  • While Blake Wheeler has done very little to start the season, LLW has done a nice job of at least taking on the toughs and opening up some space for the Scheifele and Jokinen lines. I have no issues with this going forward, as the middle-six was tremendous again tonight.
  • Ondrej Pavelec stood tall in net for the Jets when the King were all over them in the first, and without him the game could have been out of hand early. Still, his first star selection over Kane was a little bit of a stretch. He still allowed 3 goals. While his 0.960 EVSV% tonight was pretty studly, his GAA is still 3.50 through two games. Oh well, he's also 2-0.
  • Olli Jokinen didn't get much of a cheer when he skated out for the pre-game player introduction, but the crowd gave him his due when he scored his 300th career goal. He also added an assist and has been great through two games. Good for Olli.
  • Michael Frolik added an assist tonight, giving him 3 points in his first two games as a Jet.  Taters had 10 points all of last season in Chicago. This is going to work out very well for all involved.
  • THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DEMOTE JAMES WRIGHT!  YOU HAVE A BETTER CHANCE OF WINNING!  Wright had the 2nd-least TOI, only playing more than Chris Thorburn, which is as it should be.
  • Seriously though, Evander Kane is a beast. A goal, two assists, +3, 9 PIM's, 7 shots, 5 hits and a blocked shot. Now THAT is a stats pack. He should get engaged more often.
  • Jacob Trouba played over 15 minutes through two periods, but the Jets eased off with him in the 3rd as he finished with 20:51 in total. He was good again, but he looked like a 19-year-old a few times tonight. That is not a criticism, it's just a fact. He's still looking tremendous.
  • The Jets' special teams, however, still leaves lots to be desired, as they allowed another pair of PP goals against. That's four through two games. It's a good thing their 5v5 play has been very good.
  • Scoring 5 goals per game will go a long way in helping the Jets win a lot of games, but it's highly unlikely they can keep up this pace. Oh well, let's enjoy this explosive output before it dries up!
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