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Recap: Winnipeg Jets turn Nashville Predators into prey

The Winnipeg Jets were birds of prey tonight, taking flight against the Nashville Predators.

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Winnipeg Jets went to Nashville to play the Predators in a key Central Division matchup. The back and forth affair was capped off by a Brandon Tanev(!) goal with less then two minutes to play. While Connor Hellebuyck once again gave up move than two goals, they were not bad goals.

The Jets also managed to avoid getting into penalty trouble. While they still take a lot of penalties, it seems like they take far fewer dumb penalties and rarely get called for fighting anymore. It is nice to see the Jets actually start to look like a team that is not constantly chasing.

Finally, Blake Wheeler and Andrew Copp were great at blocking shots when the Preds were playing six on five in the final minute. Wheeler’s empty net goal was just the icing on the cake.

Ten Thoughts:

  1. I’ve been watching a lot of games on the opponents broadcast this year and the Preds broadcast is quite enjoyable from what I have learned this game. They are also home to former Winnipeg Jet Chris Mason.
  2. This game had the potential to be a goalie duel, but ended up being something else altogether. Both teams’ offence came alive in the back and fourth game. The Jets opened scoring with a well-earned goal, only to give up two quick goals in the final minute of play.
  3. The Jets somehow have managed to survive to an extent without Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom. Say what you want about Enstrom, but he is very important to the Jets balance on defence and not having him and Byfuglien is really hurting the Jets.
  4. The Jets third line would make a fine fourth line. They are a fine line, but they really need to be playing as the fourth line if the Jets want to be able to consistently hang with all teams. That said, they are doing fine
  5. Can Mathieu Perreault please be placed on a line where his offensive instincts are not met by Matt Hendricks and Joel Armia. Perreault is one of the Jets most efficient offensive producers and he is having a harder time producing with those two as his linemates. Fourth Line Jesus deserves to be Third Line Jesus by now.
  6. Patrik Laine can be having a mediocre game and change everything with one shot. That is a hell of a talent for a player to have and hopefully he gets back to what was making him tick so well as a rookie.
  7. Things Nikolaj Ehlers is good at: zone entries, driving the net, passing the puck, scoring goals, getting shots on net, making defencemen look bad. Another two goals for Ehlers tonight proves this entire list correct.
  8. Connor Hellebuyck needs to stop making saves with his noggin.
  9. Brandon Tanev has improved a lot from last year, but he is not a third line player. And Pekka Rinne, what were you doing on that goal, son?
  10. How good is Kyle Connor and how great of it was for the Jets to draft him the same year they drafted Jack Roslovic? Good player, seemingly great first round draft that year for the Jets.