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The Afterburners: Things Fall Apart

Things fall apart,
the centre cannot hold;
mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.
- William Butler Yeats
"The Second Coming"

Well, as fetch mentioned before the game it was probably best going into this game to think of it as a "no point night". But after the 1st and 2nd periods, I just couldn't. We were actually playing a solid game, and probably should have been winning. I had a pretty new pet, I pet it, I massage it...and then I take my naughty pet and I go crriiicckkk, cricccckkkk...ooohhhh, I killed it. And that's when we blew it.

I guess it wasn't all that bad, but it sure was depressing to think we might have had them until it all came crashing down. No matter, there's egg nog for that (at least for texan, I can't stand the stuff). Alexander Burmistrov had a goal on a nifty Blake Wheeler pass, 'cause that's how he do. Ondrej Pavelec did pretty well against an onslaught, though the last goal was probably one he'd like to have back. The boys get some time off now, and all-in-all they've played admirably to this point, so a holiday vacay well-deserved.

Info and thoughts after the jump.

Final - 12.23.2011 1 2 3 Total
Pittsburgh Penguins 1 0 3 4
Winnipeg Jets 0 1 0 1

Complete Coverage >

1st Period: 13:59 Pittsburgh ES Goal, Joe Vitale (2) (Alexandre Picard [4])

2nd Period: 9:11 Winnipeg ES Goal, Alexander Burmistrov (8) (Blake Wheeler [20], Evander Kane [11])

3rd Period: 0:22 Pittsburgh ES Goal, James Neal (20) (Evgeni Malkin [25], Chris Kunitz [11]); 4:14 Pittsburgh PP Goal, Jordan Staal (13) (Chris Kunitz [12], Steve Sullivan [12]); 4:54 Pittsburgh ES Goal, Pascal Dupuis (10) (Tyler Kennedy [11])

Shots: Winnipeg 19, Pittsburgh 39


  • Eesh, look at those shot totals. The 1st period yielded a weirdly lopsided shot total (in PIT's favor) despite the Jets playing very well, but the 3rd was an out-and-out disaster. Poor Ondrej Pavelec, not only does he have to wear the most boring pads in Winnipeg, but he also gets pummeled like a slow kid in dodgeball.
  • Much like Alexei Emelin last night, it looks like Matt Cooke was the target tonight. Everybody was running the fool, and he was doing his damnedest to deserve it. Despite his claims, he is definitely still Matt Cooke.
  • AC (Jim Slater) got a breakaway and mucked it, because that's who he be.
  • I think Andrew Ladd drove me the most crazy, mucking a number of prime opportunities by missing the net.
  • Tanner Glass executes a perfectly clean hit on Evgeni Malkin, then Arron Asham goes after him. Because that makes sense.
  • Joe Vitale scored his goal thanks to Boogie with Stu (Zach Bogosian, Mark Stuart; mostly Stuart) not noticing he had slipped behind them. Goaltenders are trained to get the first shot, and do what they can with the rebound - and that rebound needed to be cleared. Unfortunately, it wasn't, and because he's such a diaper dandy Vitale put it home. This happens way too often to us.
  • Not only did Bubba Blake get it done with the assist, but he had an awesome backcheck in the 2nd to disrupt a 2-on-1. You are playing your way into my heart, son.
  • Stuart also got taken to school by James Neal. Like literally, Neal made his lunch for him, brown-bagged it, tied his shoes, and dropped him off at the double-doors. That bad.
  • Things really started to unravel after Dustin Byfuglien was called for a questionable goaltender interference penalty, which apparently also applies if a teeny weensy Pittsburgh defenceman tries to hit you, gets blown back, and hits his own goalie. There was literally no intent there to hit the guy into Marc-Andre Fleury, but sometimes you get big, and sometimes big gets you. Edit: As mentioned below, Buff was called for interference for bumping the little guy, not for Fleury. Last part still applies ("Sometimes you get big, and sometimes big gets you").
  • This was another one of those nights where I was really impressed at what this team is capable of. I have to admit that I wasn't overly optimistic about the Jets' prospects this year, but now I'm far more confident that we're looking at a team that could finish around 85-90 points and possibly sneak into the playoffs.
  • I was really hopeful, now I'm sad. I need presents. Happy Holidays, Jets and Jets fans, it's been a real gift so far...