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Winnipeg Jets Win Mild Over Wild

It wasn't pretty, but the Winnipeg Jets picked up an important two points Saturday night.

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

The Winnipeg Jets managed to take two points from the Minnesota Wild, despite their best efforts to give them away. The game itself was a sloppy affair - about what one would expect from two teams coming off their Christmas breaks - and was a stark contrast to the Jets win vs. Chicago going into the break.

Down 1-0 after the first, thanks to a surprisingly weak goal Wild winger Mikael Granlund, the Jets struggled to mount any sort of sustained attack, and as time wore on, Minnesota seemed to have all the momentum. A similarly weak goal by Jets center Bryan Little in the middle of the second period evened the score.

The Jets seemed to find life in the third period, with Adam Lowry knocking the go-ahead goal over a prone John Curry, the emergency call-up goalie the Wild were forced to go to after starter Darcy Kuemper was sat due to illness.

Silly season began in the middle of the third when Jason Pominville wired a shot to the far side and over Michael Hutchinson’s glove. The tie would only last 1:31 before Blake Wheeler would knock in an Evander Kane centering pass for his second SHG of the season.

The Jets lead would only last for 32 seconds, though. With Andrew Ladd still serving his holding minor, Tomas Vanek managed to get his stick on a Jared Spurgeon point shot, giving him the PPG and tying the game at three.

Each team took a late penalty, bringing some much needed excitement to what had been a rather tedious affair to that point, but neither power play unit was able to capitalize.

Overtime ended in a fittingly ugly fashion, as Andrew Ladd’s apparently harmless wrist shot went over the Wild net, bounced straight back, hopped off the top of the net, off of John Curry’s back, and into the net. While the Jets celebrated, the Wild were left waiting for a review that didn’t come.

This was not a game for the ages, and it didn’t help the Jets cause to give up a point to the Wild, but better to give up one, than to give up two.

Thoughts From the Game

  • "Selfish" Evander Kane comes away with two primary assists. It’s good to see him hit the scoresheet, and hopefully this will be the start of a lengthy hot streak.
  • Call a mechanic - the #Clutchinson seems to have a problem. Two weak goals gave the Wild life early, and kept them in the game. It wasn’t his best performance. It will be interesting to see if Paul Maurice decides to maintain his pre-Christmas rotation of goaltenders (in which case, expect to see Ondrej Pavelec start on Monday), or if this was the beginning of a longer stretch for Hutchinson. Despite the poor game tonight, his December (and season overall) have been superb.
  • The Jets need to shake off the turkey and find the game that got them to 4th in the Central going into the break. Tonights game was a hot mess, from start to finish. While the Wild got a couple weak goals, the Jets only managed to stay in the game due to some very lucky bounces. The urgency wasn’t there, nor was the execution.
  • The penalty parade really needs to stop. The Jets finished with two extra minors compared to the Wild, and gave up a PPG in the process. The increased aggressiveness is nice to see, but assuming this team makes the playoffs, they will not last long if they are being penalized constantly.
  • The Jets are now 9 points up on the Wild, sitting tied with the Blues at 45 points (Blues have two games in hand at this writing), and are 5th in the Western Conference. All those who saw this coming in October, raise your hand. Anyone who raised their hand is a liar. ;-)