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Game Recap: Winnipeg Jets 5, Chicago Blackhawks 1

The Jets go into the holiday break win a big win.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Winnipeg Jets were looking to give their fans an early Christmas gift with a win over the Chicago Blackhawks. It obviously goes without saying that the Hawks are a tremendous team with the potential to look like an unstoppable death machine, and the Jets may be susceptible to such forces with their defensive corps in shambles.

However, that was certainly not the case in the first period. The Jets were dominant in the first period out-shooting Chicago 15-7! Not only were they limiting the amount of looks that the Hawks were receiving, they also were capitalizing on their own scoring opportunities. Mathieu Score-o got yet another goal and was joined by Bryan Little and Anthony Peluso as the first period twine-ticklers, giving the team a 3-0 lead after one. They even caused a Grinch to have his heart grow three sizes:

It was more of the same in the second period as Mathieu Perreault became Mathieu Score-Mo' with his second goal of the night. The four goal lead wasn't enjoyed for long, as Marion Hossa capitalized on a breakaway opportunity.

The Jets were able to remain in control during the third period and come away with a HUGE road win. Blake Wheeler added an empty net goal for good measure and the team go into the holiday break sitting in a playoff spot. The Jets will return to action when they take on the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.

Thoughts from the game:

  • Jay Harrison was a welcomed addition to the team given the injury situation. But his attitude and steadying presence has had an immediate impact on the Jets. But if you really want to find a way into my heart, light up Daniel Carcillo. He did just that in the first period, and it was beautiful.
  • Corey Crawford was unable to rise against the Jets in his return from his injury at a concert. The Jets did a great job in testing him and ultimately ending his night early.
  • On the flip-side, Michael Hutchinson was tremendous once again. He stood tall during a wild scramble towards the end of the second period and was consistently impressive throughout the night. When he was tested he answered the challenge. I was very skeptical of his ability to consistently perform at a high level in the NHL, but it really does seem like the Jets have a real winner in Hutch.
  • Dustin Byfuglien had a real solid game without the typical flash that is associated with his "good" games. He made a lot of smart defensive plays and played within himself. While I've always felt his deficiencies were overstated, it's clear that he is trying to play smarter to remain on the blue-line when everybody returns from their injuries.
  • Tonight was the first time the Blackhawks have allowed five goals this season. For a Jets team that had trouble scoring early in the season, it's impressive to see them start to consistently generate offense without sacrificing defense. It's a really encouraging development as the playoff race begins to kick into high gear.
  • In related news, Paul Maurice deserves a pat on the back for everything he's done for the Jets. He's had a massive impact and it's very evident when you look at how prepared the Jets are on a night to night basis in comparison the last three seasons.
  • Not really a thought from the game, but I hope everybody reading this enjoys their holidays. The whole AIH community is great and inspire all of us to volunteer our time to produce content and strive to constantly improve.  Stay safe, enjoy, and Go Jets Go!