Minnesota (1-2-2) had plenty of time to prepare for this game, having last played six days ago in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
A problem the Jets have routinely faced this year is slow starts, but this was not the case tonight as the team came out firing early and often. Having only six seconds of power play time against Columbus was also something the team improved upon, as Nikolaj Ehlers drew a penalty from Mikko Koivu. On the ensuing power play, Patrik Laine found the back of the net on a one timer. A short time later, Nikolaj Ehlers laced one into the net that was in and out so fast it had to be reviewed. the WIld pulled one back under suspect circumstances before the 1st period was over. Chris Stewart squashed Josh Morrissey from behind, then took advantage and scored. I guess the refs were admiring the architecture on that one.
Nothing too exciting happened in the second period until an ill-timed pinch by Jacob Trouba resulted in an odd man rush that saw Koivu score to tie up the game. The WIld kept at it, with Dustin Byfuglien in the box, a seeing eye shot from Mike Reilly eluded Connor Hellebuyck to give the Wild the 3-2 lead. Minnesota took a penalty just before the period was to end and the Jets capitalized with the extra man again. Patrik Laine slapped in his second power play goal of the night, with Dubnyk staring daggers at his captain for deflecting it. This one was all tied after two.
With 11:18 left in the 3rd, Blake Wheeler went hard to the net, and in the ensuing scramble Mark Scheifele poked it across the line. Bruce Boudreau challenged the goal for the Wild, and was successful to keep it tied. That didn’t last, as it never could in the shootout era. Jacob Trouba picked the pocket of a Wild forward, sending Kyle Connor and Blake Wheeler in. A deft backhanded pass found the captain, who deked Dubnyk out and scored his first of the year, giving the Jets the lead with 6:46 left. The Wild put some pressure on with the extra attacker, but the clock hit zeros and the Jets moved to 4-3-0 on the year.
1st Period -
8:07 PP WPG 29 Patrik Laine (3) Assists: 26 Blake Wheeler (7) 55 Mark Scheifele (4)
9:49 EV WPG 27 Nikolaj Ehlers (6) Assists: 39 Toby Enstrom (1) 33 Dustin Byfuglien (4)
19:06 EV MIN 10 Chris Stewart (5) Assist: 16 Jason Zucker (3)
2nd Period -
10:51 EV MIN 9 Mikko Koivu (3) Assist: 16 Jason Zucker (4)
15:39 PP MIN 4 Mike Reilly (1) Unassisted
19:27 PP WPG 29 Patrik Laine (4) Assists: 55 Mark Scheifele (5) 33 Dustin Byfuglien (5)
3rd Period -
13:14 EV WPG 26 Blake Wheeler (1) Assists: 81 Kyle Connor (1) 8 Jacob Trouba (3)
WPG 37 Connor Hellebuyck 24/27 .889 60:00
MIN 40 Devan Dubnyk 26/30 .867 60:00
Winnipeg Jets - 2/3 (4/23 - 17.4%)
Minnesota Wild - 1/1 (5/15 - 33.3%)
- 43.1 Checking from Behind – A check from behind is a check delivered on a player who is not aware of the impending hit, therefore unable to protect or defend himself, and contact is made on the back part of the body. When a player intentionally turns his body to create contact with his back, no penalty shall be assessed.
- The Jets have allowed 13 second period goals compared to 26 total allowed. They need to find a way to play better hockey in the middle frame, as the possession stats showed Minnesota was the better team, and the scoreboard agreed. The Jets allowed 94 in the second period in 2016-2017, which lead the NHL.
- Kyle Connor may not be the best player on his line, but he continued to impress in his second game of the year. His assist on Wheeler’s goal was quite nice. Not quite Connor McDavid last night nice, but nice nonetheless.
- The Jets were scored on on their one penalty kill, but managed two goals on three power play opportunities. Their season efficiency numbers are now 72% on the penalty kill and 17.4% on the power play.
- Connor Hellebuyck is 4-0-0 on the year and, though this was his worst game of the season statistically, is staking more and more of a claim to be the Jets Number 1 goaltender. Not 1A. Not 1B. Number 1.
- The Jets held the Wild to just five shots against in the third period, making things easier for Hellebuyck, who stopped 24 of 27 for an .889 save percentage on the night, which drops his season total to a still very good .928.
- There needs to be a time limit on challenges. If it’s not obvious enough on the ice, and after two minutes you haven’t made up your mind, the decision on the ice stands. That goes for every league with video review.
- It took Blake Wheeler a while to get his first of the year (and 200th of his career), but it was a heck of a time to do it. Putting the disallowed goal behind him, he left Devan Dubnyk swimming and neatly potted in the game winner.
- Rookie stat line: 9:53 of ice time, two hits, CF% 46.15. Not bad, not great for Brendan Lemieux. Veteran defenders stat line: Tyler Myers 34.78 CF%. Ben Chiarot 36.36 CF%. That’s impressively bad.
- Jets get six days off coming up, before back-to-back road games on Thursday and Friday against the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets, respectively.