The Winnipeg Jets and St. Louis Blues met in an exciting matchup that could not be settled in regular play. The game was decided in a shootout with the Blues picking up a 2-1 win and feeding Michael Hutchinson his first shootout loss.
Speaking of Michael Hutchinson, the Winnipeg Jets' young netminder had himself another strong showing and did nothing to shake his coaches confidence. Hutch stopped 28 of 29 shots for a .966 save percentage. He looked sharp and made some very difficult saves. Hopefully he keeps it up!
The nice thing for Hutch is that he wasn't forced to steal this game. The close nature meant he had to be strong, but the Jets handily outplayed the Blues. The final 5 on 5 Corsi counts were 55 to 38 in favour of the Jets and ZERO Jets players finished in the minus. Hard to imagine coach Paul Maurice will change much up heading into the next contest.
At the top of the possession table was Captain Andrew Ladd. He had himself a nice night, finishing with one assist, his hand in many chances and an incredible 10 hits!!
Also driving the play were the Jets big three D men. Dustin Byfuglien, Tobias Enstrom and Jacob Trouba moved the puck like elite D men tonight. They made it really hard for the Blues to set up their forecheck. Myers flashed some more big time skill as well. If they can keep this up the Jets will be a tough out for any team.
Toby also smashed today!
Vladamir Tarasenko scares me.
The new guy, Jiri Tlusty was solid tonight. He didn't do anything too spectacular, but he wasn't out of place. There was real potential for a mess with a 21 year old being asked to centre two players who remain relatively new to the team - especially given the depth of the blues. The second line played well. It was nice to see.
Holy crap! This team will look mighty fine if / when Mathieu Perreault and Blake Wheeler return. At that point they should have enough skill to roll three really strong lines. They will also have really strong defensive top four. Like. Like. Like.
Over their last 11 games the 5-2-4 for 14 points. That is points in 9 of 11! The fact that the Jets stacked this many points in spite of goaltending struggles is mighty impressive. A contributing factor, the Jets also posted a Corsi percentage of 53.5 in that span - only three NHL teams posted better possession numbers.
There are plenty of reasons for optimism as this team approaches the playoffs!
What did you think of tonight's game?