The Winnipeg Jets withstood a late barrage, and rode the goals of Kyle Connor and Nikolaj Ehlers to a 2-1 victory in St. Paul against the Minnesota Wild.
Just 47 seconds into this one, the Jets appeared to score first on the power play when the puck hit some bodies in front and fell to Joel Armia, who promptly deposited the puck in the net. But hang on a second, the refs say no goal because of a hand pass.
Another look at the goal that was called off due to a hand pass. #NHLJets pic.twitter.com/0UpcJUR9AA— Scott Billeck (@ScottBilleck) November 1, 2017
That’s a goal. But yet...it remained 0-0.
Winnipeg scored a goal that actually counted 7:10 into the period, when Tyler Myers shot the puck towards the net, Mark Scheifele tipped it off a Minnesota leg, and with Alex Stalock committed to the initial shot, Kyle Connor pounced on the loose puck and scored his second of the year.
The Jets took a pair of penalties in the period while Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. Power plays resulted for Minnesota, but the Jets killed them off.
Five minutes into the second period, Stalock barely managed to handle a Scheifele shot, with a big rebound going to Dustin Byfuglien. Despite a yawning cage staring at him, Buff sailed the shot overhead. Tyler Myers took a high sticking penalty, but the best chance went to Mark Scheifele on breakaway, hitting iron.
Minnesota was soon killing a penalty of their own, despite the objections of Bruce Boudreau for a perceived missed call against Jacob Trouba. Don’t worry Bruce, your team got a power play of their own soon enough, probably due to your whining. Kyle Connor brought the puck to the net, but was pushed into Stalock. Unfortunately,
Stalock suffered a career ending injury from the sheer violence of the play Stalock flopped like a fish and the refs bought it. The WIld failed to capitalize. The Jets gave them another chance when Matt Hendricks committed arbicide (he broke a stick with a slash). Blake Wheeler had a breakaway chance short handed, but missed the net. The next notable note was Patrik Laine and Marcus Foligno going to the box for offsetting penalties for slashing and embellishment, respectively. This resulted in the teams playing four-on-four as the second intermission arrived.
Nikloaj Ehlers said “I’ll take that, thank you very much” and scored a dandy of a goal after a Minnesota turnover 43 seconds into the third. The Jets soon after had a three-on-one opportunity, but Mark Scheifele wasn’t able to do anything with it.
A textbook forecheck by Ehlers brings the #NHLJets up 2-0! #GoJetsGo pic.twitter.com/vcQCjHFPm9— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) November 1, 2017
The Wild took advantage and trimmed the lead to one after a strong forecheck by Nino Niederreiter resulted in the puck coming into the spot to Luke Kunin, who beat Connor Hellebuyck.
Alex Stalock made a nice toe save off Blake Wheeler near the halfway mark of the third, after some nice work by Kyle Connor.
The Wild maintained a lot of pressure throughout the period, particularly around the five minutes mark, with the Jets clinging to the lead. The Wild pulled the goalie with a couple of minutes left, but the Jets withheld the barrage
1st Period -
7:10 EV WPG 81 Kyle Connor (2) Assists: 55 Mark Scheifele (8) 57 Tyler Myers (2)
2nd Period -
Nothing to see here, folks.
3rd Period -
0:43 EV WPG 27 Nikolaj Ehlers (7) Unassisted
5:36 EV MIN 19 Luke Kunin (2) Assists: 22 Nino Niederreiter (1) 12 Eric Staal (4)
WPG 37 Connor Hellebuyck 28/29 .966 60:00 (6-0-1 .940 SV%)
MIN 32 Alex Stalock 17/19 .895 60:00 (1-1-1 .918 SV%)
Winnipeg Jets - 0/3 (5/37 - 13.5%)
Minnesota Wild - 0/5 (6/34 - 17.6%)
- Insert mandatory “Derek really likes the way Kyle Connor plays” thought.
- Sometimes...it’s like Dennis Beyak and tonight’s colour commentator Nick Boynton were watching a different game. Raving about a Matt Dumba play that never happened
- The power play sits at 13.5% and that seems high to me. Luckily, the Wild aren’t much better after the Jets killed off five Minnesota chances. Which is good, because giving up five penalties in a game in just unacceptable.
- Winnipeg keeps winning games where they are outshot and outpossessed. A big reason for that has been the play of Connor Hellebuyck, who now boasts a .940 save percentage on the year and a 6-0-1 record. He has been fantastic.
- Beating Minnesota always pleases me. I was also happy that I didn’t have to hear Devan Dubnyk’s name Duuuuuued every time he touched the puck.
- Nikolaj Ehlers can fly. And skate. I had the thought the other day that he can easily skate faster backwards than I could ever hope to forward. His work on his goal was stellar, and he had a couple of other shifts later in the third where his speed caused problems for Minnesota in their own end.
- The Jets finish October with a record of 6-3-2, a notable improvement on the 4-5-0 they managed last year. The Jets managed a 7-3-1 record in 2015-2016, and came in seventh in the Division. So while the results are great, and points in October are just as important as points in April, it’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll.
- That reffing was blaaaaahhhhhhhh.
- The first line was the only line with a 5 on 5 Corsi For percentage (CF%) above 50 per cent. The rest...not so good. Looking at you, Shawn Matthias and Brandon Tanev.
- The Jets next play against fellow Central Division club the Dallas Stars on Thursday evening. Dallas sits third in the Central with a 7-5-0 record, with Jamie Benn on 14 points so far this season.