Michael Hutchinson received no run support from his fellow teammates as the Winnipeg Jets fell to the Minnesota Wild by a 1-0 final. The only blemish on his record for the night was a Charlie Coyle goal early in the second period which came on a nice feed from Wild captain Zach Parise. Hutchinson made sixteen saves in a losing effort while his counterpart Ilya Bryzgalov recorded a twenty-four save shutout victory.
Hutchinson is the fourth different netminder to start a game for the Jets since relocation, etching his name in the record books next to Ondrej Pavelec, Chris Mason and Al Montoya. In three years and despite less than stellar results, it's amazing Winnipeg has used such few netminders.
With regulars Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien, Zach Bogosian, Mark Scheifele and Grant Clitsome among the Jets' walking wounded the team had an inexperienced group on the ice this night. Recently recalled Carl Klingberg played his first game of the season which was his first in the NHL since November 2011. Also seeing increased ice-time was Paul Postma, Eric O`Dell and Eric Tangradi who filled larger roles in the loss.
Tangradi and O`Dell were first and second on the team in hits with 5 and 4 respectively while both Paul Postma and Michael Frolik led the charge for Winnipeg with four shots apiece.
1) A solid debut for the much talked about Hutchinson. He wasn't asked to do a lot, but made one great save off Zach Parise on a cross ice pass. He was controlled the puck and kept his positioning tight, preventing rebounds.
2) Postma continues to progress, showing good awareness on the blue line. He stepped up frequently and got his shots through from the point.
3) O`Dell continues his strong audition for a job next year, even earning some time on the power play. He's been very smart positionally in the offensive zone and is getting better every game at winning battles.
4) Klingberg looked good in his first game of the year. A top five in the AHL in even strength goals this year, he has gone from afterthought last year to real prospect again. He drove the net well and battled hard, finishing with two hits in 7:26 in ice-time.
5) Adam Pardy continues to showcase his nice set of hands. He played strong positionally as well. Pardy certainly looks better when the other team doesn't have any speed, which worked well against Minnesota tonight. He could be a player the Jets look at retaining as an extra body.
6) Coming off being scratched in Toronto, the enigmatic Evander Kane did, well, not much. He made some bad decisions on the power play and tried to drive wide and shoot to puck from bad angles.
7) One thing you have to love is Matt Halischuk's motor. Even with their playoff hopes dashed, that guy just keeps on going at 100 miles per hour. He works his ass off to make up for his lack of skill.
8) This game demonstrates the need to keep Dustin Byfuglien around. The power play was a complete mess without him back there controlling the puck.
9) Nice to see Paul Maurice recognizing the play of some of the youngsters with O`Dell and Postma out there in the dying seconds of the game.
10) Did anyone make it through that entire game awake? Man, that was boring.