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Recap: Winnipeg Jets vs. St. Louis Blues

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The Jets continued their winning ways in St. Louis, winning a hard fought 1-0 game on the back of Ondrej Pavelec's solid, 30-save performance.

The Jets post-game hand shake - a great sight after another massive win
The Jets post-game hand shake - a great sight after another massive win
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
As usual, the Jets and Blues played a tightly contested affair. Chris Thorburn scored early in the second period on a rebound, and the Jets were able to grind out yet another road win against a tough opponent with a 1-0 win. Ondrej Pavelec made 30 saves for the shut-out and earned first-star honours.

Thoughts


(1) Does this term accurately describe the life of a Jets fan in the past few months?

Roll-er coast-er

verb
1.
move, change, or occur in the dramatically changeable manner of a roller coaster.


From the All-Star break cushion, to the 5-game losing streak which brought them back into the thick of the race, getting back on track, followed by the Pavelec-Jackman affair, a 5-game winning streak, a pair of late-game losses against Chicago and New York, and now a home win against Vancouver, and two huge, back-to-back road wins against very good teams. Roller-coaster indeed.

(2)
Ondrej Pavelec has back-to-back shutouts.
He has now played incredibly solid hockey in back-to-back games. His rebound control has been good, and he's been jumping on pucks around the net like a cat on a mouse. Did the Jackman goal change his career? Too early to say, but I think it might have saved his season, and maybe the Jets' too.

(3) The Jets' winning goal today came from Chris Thorburn, assisted by Jim Slater and Adam Pardy.  Jay Harrison was also on the ice, along with Jiri Tlusty. The 4th line has now scored in 4 of the past 6 games. They are becoming an integral part of the attack. THE FOURTH LINE IS BECOMING AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE JETS' ATTACK. What kind of bizarro world
have we entered?


(4) Blake Wheeler - please deke on breakaways from now on. You shot twice tonight, and neither was all that close to going in. Your hands are silky smooth. Your speed is terrifying. Your reach is immeasurable. Use the force - which in this case, means deke.


(5)
Is David Backes
getting suspended for his Byfuglien-style cross check on Mark Stuart
? Allow me to field this one - no, no he isn't. The puck was there, Stuart was fine, and most importantly, Bettman and the entire city of New York won't see it. Will Jets fans complain? You bet.


(6) Do the
referees suddenly love the Winnipeg Jets? There was no call on Stuart's wild (albeit accidental) slash to the face of a Blue, which would have been particularly crushing as it came right after Drew Stafford took a tripping call (dive much?) on Jaden Schwartz. There was no call on the trip that led to a Blake Wheeler breakaway late in the game. Most of all, the Paul Stastny slash on Tyler Myers was a gutsy call, given that it robbed St. Louis of the tying goal. Not saying it was a bad call, but it's not one you often see. I don't think Kevin Shattenkirk was thrilled - he had a nice mock-clap for the refs after the game.


(7) A pleasant conversation between David Backes and Andrew Ladd at game's end:

Backes: "Andrew, you guys played a great game tonight. You really deserved the win."

Ladd: "Thanks Dave, that's so nice of you to say. I think we played well, but you guys gave us a real battle!"

Backes: "Well, it's good to see you all playing so well. I really like you and all of your teammates. Good luck in the playoffs!"

Ladd: "Thanks man, you're a gentleman and a scholar".

(8) Thanks to the Edmonton Oilers beating Los Angeles, if the Jets beat Colorado on Thursday, the Jets clinch a playoff spot. Can you believe that? It almost doesn't seem real. If the Jets run the table, beating Colorado and Calgary, they'll finish with 100 points. Given the low expectations going into the season, and all the adversity they've faced, is there any way Paul Maurice doesn't win the Jack Adams as coach of the year?

(9) As much as I want the Jets to get 8th and play (likely) Anaheim first round, how exciting would a St. Louis-Winnipeg first round series be? Skilled, physical, nasty, and full of hate; not for the faint of heart. That said, if the Jets get the second wild card and face the Ducks, and manage to upset, then they are clearly in the weaker bracket and would have a great chance at getting to the conference final. Again, hard to believe I can even write that.

(10) In Jets' prospect news, Nikolaj Ehlers scored the game 7 OT winner tonight against Shawinigan. He had 15 points in those 7 games, and leads playoff scoring by a healthy 5-point margin. Go Jets Go, both present and future.

Comments are welcome!