Game Recap: Winnipeg Jets defeat Nashville Predators 3-1

Frederick Breedon

The Jets were able to come away with the win Saturday afternoon over the Predators despite being out-shot 40-20.

The Winnipeg Jets were able to come away with a big divisional win over the Nashville Predators and overcome the obstacle of the weekend matinee game that has given them so much trouble this season.

The schedule says the game started at 2:00 pm CT, the puck drop happened shortly after that time but for some reason nobody informed the Jets. Nashville came out as the more aggressive team as the Jets looked stagnant and lethargic. Midway through the first the Preds were out-shooting the Jets 10-0. It doesn't matter if you're a fan of advanced stats or the eye test, you aren't going to win games if you come out looking like that.

While they were able to battle back in the shots department the effort just was not there for the remainder of the first period. As a result of their sluggish performance the team found themselves taking lazy penalties, including two from Tobias Enstrom.

Just when all looked lost the Winnipeg Jets were able to find their new hope, and it came forward in the form of Olli Wan:

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via pbs.twimg.com

(Photoshop credit to @ryanclassic, give him a follow)

Jokinen broke his goalless drought with the assists going to Evander Kane and Jacob Trouba. The Jets looked to be much more determined in the second period and played seemed to finally hit their stride. Thirteen minutes after Olli broke the ice the Jets were able to add some insurance with the all-facial stubble goal of Andrew Ladd with the assists going to Zach Bogosian and Michael Frolik.

The Predators were able to cut the Jets lead in half when Michael Del Zotto got his first goal as a Pred with the assist going to Mr. Underwood (Mike Fisher, not Frank). The Predators outplayed the Jets for the majority of the afternoon but the Jets were able to capitalize on their opportunities and seal the deal with just over three minutes remaining when Devin Setoguchi put home his eleventh of the season (assists to Blake Wheeler and STUUUU!)

Quick thoughts:

  • The Jets don't win this game if Ondrej Pavelec isn't fantastic. He stood on his head this afternoon and it's performances like this that cause the amount of frustration that gets directed his way when he plays poorly. It seems Pavs and the rest of the team have trouble getting on the same page. Either they play well and he can't stop a beach ball, or they play poorly and he decides to turn into Ondrej the giant.
  • The Jets and the Leafs are the hottest teams in the NHL since January. While it's nice to see the Jets mimic them in wins, they should avoid trying to rely on puck luck and not get out-shot 40-20 in their future tilts.
  • As mentioned above, this was a sloppy game for the Jets. They spent a total of 14 minutes in the sin bin. If they want to cap off their impressive turnaround to the season with a playoff berth they are going to need to try and shore things up and play more like they did at the beginning of the streak. It's tough to say whether some of the spark has faded due to the Olympic break, or if it's due to the new car smell from Paul Maurice beginning to fade. But if they can't find a way to play with the same motivation and discipline that they started this run with when they are now tied with Dallas in points, they never will be able to stay motivated.
Games like this happen where you just don't have it, especially in afternoon games. The fact that the Jets were still able to find a way to win is impressive. Enjoy you weekend folks. The Jets next play Tuesday when they take on the Islanders back home at the MTS Centre.

Be sure to keep checking in with us at AIH as we will have full coverage of next weeks trade deadline.

Celebrate the win! Enjoy the weekend and as always, go Jets go!


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