The Winnipeg Jets didn't have their best game tonight, but luckily for them neither did Cam Ward and the Carolina Hurricanes. Despite giving up three one-goal leads, with two of them being given up less than 2 minutes after taking them, the Jets were able to persevere and win one for their fallen comrade, Zach Redmond.
The game started off great for the Jets, as Blake Wheeler snuck a long distance wrister past Ward to open the scoring less than 2 minutes into the game. Sadly, that was the only highlight for the Jets for the rest of the stanza, as bad passing and bad turnovers resulted in many chances against. And again, the Jets were unable to prevent a goal late in a period, as Jiri Tlusty converted a gorgeous/lucky feed from Alex Semin after a horrendous giveaway from Ron Hainsey.
The second period wasn't much better. In fact, the only interesting thing about it was that neither team was able to convert on extended 5-on-3 power-plays.
The third period, however, provided much more memorable moments (say that five times fast), as the teams traded a boatload of goals. Evander Kane took advantage of beneficial non-call on Nik Antropov by potting his 5th of the season 2:07 in. But just over a minute later, Jordan Staal bounced a knuckler through Ondrej Pavelec that the goalie would likely want back. The game would remain tied until the 14:03 mark, and then the game got crazy.
Andrew Ladd took advantage of a botched Hurricanes face-off win to deposit his 9th of the year, but the lead lasted 47 seconds before Tlusty tied the game right back up with his second of the night. Not to be outdone, the Jets took back that lead 16 seconds later as Wheeler added his second of the game, and luckily that ended up being the final tally of the game.
The game was ugly, the reffing was ugly and some of the goals were ugly. But the end result is another road win for the boys, who have now won three straight on the road.
- This was a poorly played game by both squads. I get that the Jets may have had their minds elsewhere following the Redmond injury, but what was Carolina's excuse?
- Mark Stuart was a shot-blocking BEAST. That bloody arm he earned on the 5-on-3 is a badge of honor.
- Andrew Ladd played in his 500th game tonight, against the team that drafted him, in the building that he was drafted in. That's pretty neat. What's even neater is that the Captain finished with a goal, two assists and the 1st-star. Not too shabby.
- The refs had a pretty bad night. Some soft calls were made, but blatant calls were missed completely. Including Nik Antropov, as he probably should have got a penalty right before Evander Kane's goal. Oh well!
- Blake Wheeler had a fantasy-hockey night to remember, as he scored twice (including the GWG), was +2, had 2 PIM and 5 shots. Welcome back Wheels.
- Zach Bogosian led the Jets in ice-time with 23:59 of ice-time, followed by Dustin Byfuglien at 23:31. Ron Hainsey was third at 21:43, while Kane led all Jets forwards with 19:12.
- Ladd's Little Wheeler finished with 3 goals, 3 assists and was +6. That's pretty good.
- Grant Clitsome, Paul Postma and Ron Hainsey all had some sketchy moments in their own end, as the Jets will be up against it defensively with Tobias Enstrom and Zach Redmond on the IR.
- I like the idea of Olli Jokinen on the point and big Buff in front of the net. Despite not scoring on the power-play tonight, I thought it at least looked dangerous at times.
- Well would you look at that? After the loss to the Bruins a few days ago, some among us (including myself) were looking at whether we should draft Seth Jones or Nathan MacKinnon. Now? the Jets are two points back of the Southeast Division lead. Huh.
The Jets now sit at 7-8-1 for 15 points on the season, and continue their 5-game road trip with an early matinee in Philly against the Flyers on Saturday, followed by the Devils on Sunday. Who knows - maybe they'll be leading the division on Monday morning? Dare to dream, right?