Well, that was fun! After being thoroughly trounced by the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday, it was important for Winnipeg to rebound tonight, lest they fail to keep pace in the brutal Central Division. And rebound they did, earning a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, an opponent most talking heads might have expected them to win against anyways. It certainly didn't always look easy, however.
Flow of play: In the first period especially, the Maple Leafs at worst gave as good as they got. Indeed, the Jets seemed at least somewhat fortunate to come out of the period with a 2-1 lead. As the game went on however, the ice seemed to increasingly tilt towards Toronto's end; it was as if the Leafs were simply unable to hang with Winnipeg for a full 60 minutes.
Respect the beard: I don't think I'll ever tire of praising Mathieu Perreault. Even when it looks like he isn't doing very much at all, as with his two assists tonight, one gets the feeling he's creating space nonetheless. Opponents need to respect his relentlessness, shiftiness and creativity.
Couturier who now?: Another day, another strong game from Mark Scheifele. For what it's worth, he looks heavy on the puck when he has it, and doggedly determined when he doesn't.
Yes, Scheifele is the beneficiary of a fortunate deflection. But the play in its entirety does not happen without his going hard after the puck and stick checking Kadri near the corner. Maybe playing with Perreault is rubbing off on him.
Burmi the Bad: For much of this game, Alexander Burmistrov was Winnipeg's public enemy #1. Whether it was a dumb first period holding penalty in the offensive zone, a horrendously bad giveaway near the end of the second, or another facepalm-worthy penalty in the third, you could see the Winnipeg torches and pitchforks being prepped all the way from Toronto.
Dumb offensive zone penalty by #NHLJets Burmistrov. Now has 8 PIMs on the year.— M Remis (@mremis) November 5, 2015
Someone needs to remind Alex Burmistrov that he's now playing in the NHL and not the KHL. Brutal giveaway at end of 2nd almost cost #NHLJets— Joe Pascucci (@Pascucci015) November 5, 2015
Burmi the Glorious: And then came the redemption of Alexander Burmistrov. For at the conclusion of his third period holding the stick penalty, well, this happened:
Ladies and gentlemen, your game-winning goal. All is forgiven. Build the man statues. He was clearly just playing rope-a-dope with Toronto all night, fooling them into thinking he was some useless bum who left all his skill back in Russia, or worse, 2012. Glad we don't have to have that conversation tonight.
Burmistrov waiting to get out of the penalty box pic.twitter.com/9Ja4zbXNoz— Stephanie (@myregularface) November 5, 2015
#NHLJets fan: "F*ck Burmi go back to the KHL you piece of...(scores) YEA BURMI, YOU ARE THE BEST EVER!"— Baron Von Awesome (@CappyD) November 5, 2015
This Maurice reaction to Burmistrov, after he scored is top notch! https://t.co/mQxqyyRsrv— Sergei Enigmatov (@Pitty_Da_Fool) November 5, 2015
The Trouble with
Tribbles Trouba: It was another mediocre night for Jacob Trouba. Whether the problem is one of confidence, fatigue, injury, Mark Stuart, a mixture of some or all, I don't know. All I know is that he looks lost, he looks slow, and he's suffering from noticeable puck management issues. Remember that third period holding the stick penalty taken by Burmistrov? It probably doesn't happen without Trouba mishandling the puck earlier in the sequence. As Brohammed alluded to in tonight's Game Day Thread, maybe someone needs to take away Trouba's Halo 5.
Just one more hit: Mark Stuart. The takeaway narratives of tonight will be kinder to him because Winnipeg won the game, but they shouldn't be. Mark Stuart takes to hitting like a pachycephalosaurus to car doors. And tonight, mid-way through the second period, Mark Stuart put the stupid blinders on and hilariously left his position to deliver this hit on Nazem Kadri:
Stuart hit on Kadri right before the Leafs scored (was a delayed penalty) cc @PhilipAIver pic.twitter.com/SkkDoLcyRA— Stephanie (@myregularface) November 5, 2015
The direct result? A goal from Leo Komarov, assisted by James van Riemsdyk and Roman flipping Polak:
Komarov game-tying goal pic.twitter.com/d5WXuIYx3x— Stephanie (@myregularface) November 5, 2015
Sometimes, Mark Stuart hurts my brain. This was one of those times. Though maybe Trouba is keeping him up late with all that Halo 5 co-op.
Exhibit A as to why Mark Stuart is a bad d-man— Cassidy Dankochik (@GimliJetsMan) November 5, 2015
#TeamPavelec: Long story short, Pavelec was good again. 26 shots, 24 saves and a .923 SV%. He didn't have to be spectacular, but he without a doubt made saves at crucial moments in the game. Maybe he is just coming into his own, after all. I'm beginning to go into games expecting average-to-good goaltending from Pavs, and I find my newfound faith disturbing.
Ehlers' dad: Heinz Ehlers, father of moderate rookie sensation Nik Ehlers, found himself being interviewed during one of the intermissions. He spoke a lot about the team's patience with his son, how they've allowed him to make mistakes while playing a lot, and alongside good players such as Scheifele and Perreault at that. I completely agree with him, and am quite happy at how the Ehlers situation has unfolded thus far. Meanwhile, Nic Petan played beside Chris Thorburn and Anthony Peluso.
I am Nostradamus: I predicted a 4-2 Jets win, and so it has come to pass. The details are unimportant; one cannot fully account for the randomness of the universe, which as we may recall, is so humongous big.