The Winnipeg Jets again put a lacklustre team performance on display in front of their loyal fans, dropping a 4-2 decision to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The loss drops the Jets to 2-5-0 on the season and to 1-3-0 on their current 5-game home-stand, and keeps them near the league basement. Things are not going well.
Steven Stamkos opened the scoring on a beautiful pass from Jonathan Drouin in the first, and than Drouin added his first NHL goal early in the second to put the visitors up two. Bryan Little scored on a the power-play less than a minute later to get to within one, but Vladislav Namestnikov fired back with a PP goal of his own later in the frame. Ondrej Palat then committed some Ondrej-on-Ondrej violence by scoring the 4th goal for Tampa, effectively putting the game out of reach.
Pavelec was pulled after two and Michael Hutchinson stopped all 9 shots he faced in the 3rd. And while Blake Wheeler scored mid-way through the third to get the Jets to within two, that was as close as they'd get. The Jets are digging a deep hole here, and sadly it is not surprising in the least.
- First things first, the MTS Centre did a wonderful job with their opening-game moment of silence and singing of Oh Canada. It was beautifully done. RIP, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo.
- This game is further proof of what good goaltending looks like, and how far away the Jets are from having it. Ben Bishop was under siege at times but looked calm and solid while Ondrej Pavelec was, well, Pavelecian with his 0.778 sv%. When the Bolts went up 3-1, Pavelec allowed both shots that he'd faced up to that point in the 2nd (at the 12:52 mark!!!) while Bishop had stopped nearly a dozen by then. Ugh.
- It wasn't for a lack of effort, though, as the Jets outshot the Bolts 42-27 and out-Corsi'd them 61-45. Goaltending is the ultimate equalizer. And if the defence is so poor in front of Pavelec that he can't be properly evaluated, why are they the still the exact same group?
- The best players continue to produce and be their best players. Little and Wheeler lit the lamp, while Toby Enstrom had a pair of helpers. But the supporting cast continues to not provide much support.
- Did anybody notice Dustin Byfuglien out there other than his scuffle with Radko Gudas? Having him up front is such a waste. Yeah, he scored a nice goal against Carolina. But he'd make an impact much more often on the blue-line.
- Stamkos and Drouin are going to score a billion points together. And what's that? They were both drafted inside the top-3 of their respective drafts? Shut the front door.
- The Jets scored on the power-play! The Jets scored on the power-play! But they also allowed a PP goal to end the night with a draw in the special-teams department.
- The 4th-line of Jim Slater, Chris Thorburn and Matt Halischuk saw 7:44, 3:13 and 3:02 of ice time, respectively. How this team still doesn't have a capable 4th-line in the 4th-season since coming to Winnipeg is beyond me. #freeodell
- Kevin Cheveldayoff should be embarrassed with the team that he's assembled/retained. This team cannot win with this collection of players. Again. Amazing how that works.
- Oh well. Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel look like nice players. But wow, is this going to be a long and painful season.