This had all of the makings of a winnable game for the Winnipeg Jets. They welcomed Dustin Byfuglien back into the lineup following his hiatus due to a lower-body injury. They were a rested team as they hadn't played since their victory in Ottawa this past Saturday. And they were hosting a Philadelphia Flyers team that had to travel here after getting torched 6-2 last evening in Toronto by the Maple Leafs in a game that saw tonight's starter Ilya Bryzgalov get yanked after allowing 4 goals on 14 shots. This game was ripe for the picking.
Instead, the Jets ran into the Bryzgalov that doesn't suck, despite what numerous fans probably yelled at him during the game, and they were unable to take advantage of the tired team in a 3-2 loss to the Flyers. In fact, the Flyers outshot the Jets 11-6 in the 3rd period of a game that they were leading, while giving up two power-plays. That's just brutal play by the Jets.
Give the Flyers credit, though. They took advantage of some questionable reffing and won the special teams battle, going 1-4 on the power-play while going 3-for-3 on the penalty-kill. And they managed to convert their chances into goals, something that the Jets could hopefully learn from.
Despite controlling the first eight minutes of the game, the Jets gave up the opening goal as Brayden Schenn tipped in a beautiful pass from Jakub Voracek as the visitors opened the scoring. The Jets tied it up when Andrew Ladd fired a beautiful pass from Blake Wheeler short-side on a bang-bang play, but a late power-play goal from Kimmo Timonen had the Flyers take a 2-1 lead into the 1st intermission.
A scoreless 2nd period didn't see much action save for a flurry of chances that Evander Kane and the Jets had in the final minutes but those came up empty again.
In the third, a lethargic team emerged from the dressing room, but sadly for the Jets it wasn't the team that played last night. Ondrej Pavelec came out to take over for Al Montoya who left with a lower-body injury, but the Flyers came out strong and took a 3-1 lead when Tye McGinn redirected a Jakub Voracek pass with his skate, but the lack of a kicking motion resulted in the goal counting. After that, we were treated to two wasted Jets' power-plays that featured more missed nets than shots, and the shots that did end up on net were met by Bryzgalov.
Ladd's second of the night in garbage time ended up padding some stats and made the score closer, but it was too little, too late. A 3-2 defeat in a winnable game that was a total disappointment. Zach Bogosian, please come back on Friday.
- This was a game of missed chances and missed opportunities. The Jets out-shot the Flyers 26-22, but they also missed the net on another 16 and had 12 more blocked. Sadly a bunch of those missed shots were great opportunities. Gotta hit the net, boys.
- Anthony Peluso took Chris Thorburn's spot in the lineup, and in 2:49 of ice-time he took two penalties. In his defense, though, that second penalty was a garbage charging call. Still, it might be a while before he sees the ice again.
- Zac Rinaldo is a little puke. But he's an effective little puke.
- Dustin Byfuglien played 24:24 in his return to the lineup, which was second on the Jets behind Tobias Enstrom and his 25:52. Buff didn't have a great game, but he wasn't awful.
- The stat-sheet will show that Blake Wheeler had two assists and was +2, but I thought he looked pretty bad overall on the night. Plenty of missed shots, blocked shots, bad passes and overall sloppy play. Did anyone else notice that?
- Jim Slater won all 11 faceoffs that he took. Yet Bryan Little took the draw with 8 seconds left in a one-goal game. Go figure.
- Evander Kane looked dangerous at times, and he finished with an assist and 6 shots on net. But all I can recall is him passing up a wide-open Bryan Little late in the second. Sure, he rifled a wrister that led to a rebound, but a pass there might have tied the game. I don't know, maybe I'm reaching here, but I was yelling for the pass.
- Alexander Burmistrov led the Jets in hits with 5, and his possession game looked very solid again. Still, it looks like he's just trying to be a little too cute at times. Regardless, I want him on one of the top two lines.
- The home-stand doesn't get any easier, as they host the Penguins on Friday night and the Bruins on Sunday. Tonight's game is a tough one to come out from with zero points.
- Zach Bogosian is likely to return on Friday. He cannot come back soon enough.