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Hellebuyck Freezes Over as Jets Beat Leafs

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Jets send the crowd home happy with dominating performance

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

All systems were a go tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs with the Winnipeg Jets getting the win with a spectacular 6-1 victory. Michael Grabner kicked off the scoring with a goal for the Leafs, but Drew Stafford answered back with two goals of is own, one of them being on the powerplay. The Jets entered third with a two goal lead, but goals by Mark Scheifele, Andrew Ladd and Bryan Little helped seal the deal. Even Anthony Peluso was able to get a goal! After a tough few games it was nice to see a great game by the entire team, but since this was the Leafs, I'm not holding my breath that this is a sign of things to come.

Some Quick Thoughts

  • I was both shocked and disappointed that Joel Armia was not put into the lineup in place of Anthony Peluso for two reasons. First, the Leafs are one of the worst teams in the league so it would be a great opportunity to see what he's got. Secondly, the Leafs have had exactly zero fighting majors this year making it highly unlikely that Peluso's services would have been needed. Like Petan, is having Armia with the Moose playing instead of sitting in the press box better for his development? I would think so.
  • Paul Maurice used his coach's challenge and overturned a goal. I was surprised it worked.
  • The second line was on fire tonight with goals by Mark Scheifele and Drew Stafford. Let's hope this continues. Stafford has been extremely streaky so far this year. I hope he can find some consistency.
  • I wasn't a fan of the interference on Tyler Myers. From my perspective, Kadri was trying to get to the puck and was skating directly into Myers. What was he supposed to do? Let Kadri run into him?
  • Considering how awful Michael Hutchinson has been as of late, I think the Jets should ride Connor Hellebuyck. With Ondrej Pavelec out for at least another month, this gives the Jets the best chance to see what they have with him at the NHL level. Hutchinson is an RFA at the end of the season while both Pavelec's and Hellebuyck's expire at the same time. If Hellebuyck is able to get a death grip on the starting job, I expect Hutchinson to become a trade piece and the Jets just grit their teeth and ride out Pavelec's final year as a back up.