Phew, that was close guys, the store was almost closed. The Winnipeg Jets 2 to 1 loss to the Nashville Predators was a pretty stark example of why we aren't in the playoffs...despite Ondrej Pavelec putting in a great performance, stupid errors and casual play by our top lines left us without any offensive punch. The coup de grace was Dustin Byfuglien's second minor penalty of the night, after pinching on a bouncer and, rather than opting to glove it, trying to bat it down with his stick. Why get my hopes up? Claude Noel is committed to playing Randy Jones despite his continued struggles with - y'know - hockey, and we have to lean on a line with two rookies and a former journeyman because everybody else has packed it in. Jets fans don't want to be done with this season yet, fellas.
1st Period: No scoring
2nd Period: 2:56 Nashville ES Goal, Matt Halischuk 13 (Alexander Radulov 1, Kevin Klein 14); 10:01 Nashville ES Goal, Gabriel Bourque 5 (Nick Spaling 10, Andrei Kostitsyn 16)
3rd Period: 12:53 Winnipeg ES Goal, Tim Stapleton 11 (Spencer Machacek 5, Ben Maxwell 4); 19:50 Nashville PP-EN Goal, Shea Weber 15 (Mike Fisher 24)
Shots: Winnipeg 25, Nashville 27
3 Stars: 3. Alexander Radulov 2. Ondrej Pavelec 1. Gabriel Bourque
Thoughts From the Tarmac
- Randy Jones...on the first goal, Mark Stuart had almost fully backchecked and was more than in-control of Radulov, which was your cue to pay attention to the other 2/3 of the ice. Instead, you pinched on Rads and left Halischuk with all the space in the world to rip off the blast. Then, inexplicably, you left Gabriel Bourque alone in front of the net to block a shot from the point about a foot in front of Ondrej Pavelec, effectively screening him and directing the puck over to where Bourque could put it home. Perhaps concerned that you would do something more to screw the game, you took a bad tripping penalty about a minute later. It was not a good night for you.
- There were reports this morning that had Grant Clitsome playing tonight over Jones. That didn't happened. The above happened. Get over your irrational love for this player, Claude Noel, for the sake of the team.
- Ondrej Pavelec played an incredible game, shutting down a number of excellent Nashville opportunities and, in general, playing like a damn hero. Part of me wishes you were on a team that didn't take this stuff for granted, Pavs.
- I'm pretty sure Evander Kane, Alexander Burmistrov, and Kyle Wellwood are still on the team, but it's hard to be sure.
- Zach Bogosian actually had a pretty good game, in the way he always seems to have a good game. He won't light up the scoreboard, but his lack of Byfuglien-esque gaffes puts him one-up in my book.
- Of course it would be Tim Stapleton, Spencer Machacek, and Ben Maxwell to provide our offence in this game. They apparently believe there's something left to play for.
- The playoff picture goes from bad to worse, as both the Sabres and Senators won tonight. The Hurricanes lost, but that means nothing. Carolina and us are but wee specks in the rearview mirror of those teams.
- 7 games left. Something needs to happen, or nothing will happen this spring. Suck it up, guys.
- Oh, and Coach Noel: Don't play Randy Jones. Don't play Jones. Don't play Jones. Don't play Jones Don't play Jones Don't play Jones don't play jones don't play jones dont play jones dontplayjones dontplayjonesdontplayjonesdontplayjones