After a four game losing streak, and much vocalized frustration, the Winnipeg Jets returned action Tuesday night versus the downtrodden Carolina Hurricanes. The Winnipeg Jets played a solid 60 minute game and walked away with a 3-1 win. The Hurricanes remain the NHL's lone winless team.
The Winnipeg Jets were clearly the better team tonight - and they should have been - the Hurricanes roster was a mess and they handled the puck like an AHL squad for much of the game. It was still nice to see a pillar to post effort though. The Jets kept their foot on the gas through the third period and were rarely hemmed in their defensive zone.
Grant Clitsome made his grand return to the lineup and he played hella well. Clitty quickly found himself on the score sheet early and before the end of the game he even logged some powerplay time. Did he do enough to stay in the lineup? Hard to imagine he hurt his chances.
Matt Halischuk was also returned to the lineup tonight. He made a few plays, but didn't stand out in a big way.
TJ Galiardi has yet to provide any offense, but his is definitely earning his ice time. Galiardi is providing strong play on the penalty kill and since being moved up to the third line he has been generating chances at 5 on 5. If he keeps it up, he will score soon.
Speaking of that third line, the youngster Adam Lowry had himself a game. He was voted the second star in the arena, but there is a case to be made he should have been first. Lowry led the team in hits with 5, played sound two way hockey and netted his first NHL goal. Congrats kid!
The Captain is back. During the lockout season, Andrew Ladd was being discuss as one of the best captains in the NHL. Leading up to this games, some fans wanted to strip him of his "C". The big guys stepped up and likely silenced the critics for the time being. Ladd scored his first goal of the season and piled 6 shots on net.
Ondrej Pavelec had himself a nice bounce back effort. He stopped all of the pucks that he had to. His night was relatively easy, but he also played well.
Anton Khudobin didn't get off so easy. Despite only being credited with 23 three saves, and finishing the night with less that stellar numbers, he made a number of impressive stops.
It was nice to hear Evander Kane along side Denis Beyak in the booth. The kid seems to be in good spirits and hopeful about a return the the lineup in relative short order. I believe he said he is hoping to pick up a stick (which could perhaps mean he is back in the lineup) before the end of the month, but he obviously isn't a doctor.
The Winnipeg Jets fourth line continues to be a sore spot. They didn't play much (Chris Thorburn played just 3:44), and when the did play, they didn't play well. The fourth line was the only Jets line that ended the night with negative Corsi numbers. They also broke out their patented 5 on 5 penalty kill once again tonight too. The Jets need a fourth line that they can play versus real NHLers and if you can't keep your head above water versus the dregs of this Canes team, there is little hope for the long run.
Mark Stuart and Jacob Trouba were also buried by the fancy stats. Trouba himself buried more than a handful of people and that won over the masses, but that pairing can't continue to get shelled on the shot clock if this team wants sustainable success.
I think that was eleven thoughts. The Winnipeg Jets are back in action on Friday versus the Tampa Bay Lightning, be sure to enter our most recent edition of our Jekyll and Hyde's contest prior to game time. What did you think of the game? Share your thoughts below.