The Winnipeg Jets have yet to find the magic that they had last year at the MTS Centre, and lost for the 6th time at home this season, putting up a stinker of a 3-0 loss to the Washington Capitals on Saturday afternoon.
The Jets came out strong in the first period, and looked like they would control the game against a Capitals team that has not been very good this year. Despite not finding the scoreboard in the first, the Jets outshot Washington 15-5 and were buoyed by a high spirit fight in which Anthony Peluso rained fists of fury upon Aaron Volpatti, and the new Cap would regret taking on Tony P. However, despite the beatdown, Volpatti only required stitches, while Peluso left the game with an upper body injury.
The Jets put in an "Atlanta" effort in the second period, if you believe what Glenn Healy had to say on the matter. The Jets were unable to get the same amount or quality of chances they had in the first period and the Capitals capitalized. With Blake Wheeler down on the ice after blocking a shot off the knee area, it was suddenly an impromptu power play. Mike Ribeiro found Matt Hendricks, who tipped one by Ondrej Pavelec and it was 1-0 Washington with 9:04 to play in the second period. The Jets would get a late power play opportunity to perhaps tie things up before the second intermission, but were unable to get anything out of it, as the power play continues to look rather anemic.
The Wheels on the bus fell off in the third period, despite Wheels returning to the game after his injury. The Capitals pulled away after an extremely soft goal by Troy Brouwer fluttered by Pavelec, who absolutely needed to stop a puck that was barely moving. Less than a minute later Mike Ribeiro knocked in a rebound after Alexander Ovechkin made Ron Hainsey look as effective as a
poopy flavoured lollipop chair with three legs. With the score 3-0 the game was all but over and there was still over 15 minutes left to play. The Jets would get a chance on the PP again, after Zach Bogosian got mugged, but the power play continued to struggle and nothing came of it. A double minor by Mark Stuart effectively ended the game with 5:14 to play.
- Good news: The good news is the penalty kill has been on a roll lately, and went 3 for 3 against the 3rd best power play in the NHL.
- Bad news: The power play continues to give no hope of scoring, and looked as dreadful as usual in going 0 for 3, although the late power play generated some quality chances.
- Injury woes: Anthony Peluso left with an upper body injury after demolishing Volpatti. Hopefully it isn't too serious, but a broken bone could keep him out of the lineup for a while. This would be welcome news for Kyle Wellwood, who has been a healthy scratch for 4 games. Blake Wheeler returned to the ice after blocking a shot, and will no doubt be sore, and the Jets will likely keep a close eye on him as they head back on the road.
- Pavelec: The two Ondrej Pavelecs reared their heads in this one. There was the Pavs who makes sensational saves and keeps his team in games through 40 minutes, and then there was the Pavs who allows 2 goals on 3 shots in the third period, including a puck that could not have been travelling 20 miles per hour.
- Holtby: A solid afternoon by the Saskatchewanian, as he stopped all 35 shots the Jets threw his way. Not bad for a guy who entered the game with a save percentage worse than Ondrej Pavelec's.
- 6 shots: That's how many both Dustin Byfuglien and Evander Kane each put on Holtby, but the Caps goalie was equal to the task.
- Peluso: The line of James Wright, Olli Jokinen and Anthony Peluso had been electric of late, but when the lineup had to be shuffled with big Tony down, neither of his linemates were able to get anything going. Jokinen looked very much like the Jokinen that had been frustrating Jets fans until his recent hot streak.
- Mismatch: Grant Clitsome and Ron Hainsey were on the ice against the top line for Washington. The inevitable happened and suddenly it was 3-0. Poor job by Noel there.
- Home Ice Woes: I was actually glad I was not at this game, as the on ice product was ugly for the final 40 minutes. Getting shut out at home is always embarrassing, and the team falls to 4-6 at home this year