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Recap: Golden Knights slash through Jets to get the win

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You can’t win them all.

Vegas Golden Knights v Winnipeg Jets

The Winnipeg Jets lost on a controversial goal from Eric Haula, but did not play particularly well either way and deserved the loss either way. Overtime was a highly entertaining affair with the Jets twice pile-driving Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. Oh well.

The game was fun and entertaining with a dash of controversy. The Jets struggled to adjust to the aggressive penalty killing of the Golden Knights, which is something to watch for as the playoffs near. Outside of that, they kept their composure when faced with controversy and still managed a point with Mark Scheifele inching closer to return by the day.

Ten Thoughts:

  1. Blake Wheeler has been fine at centre, but the Jets seems to lose a player who is excellent at controlled zone entries that lead to offence and you can tell. While it is a benefit to the Jets to have him at centre, he is a bigger asset to the team at the wing where he can help them gain the zone and defend through offence more.
  2. Connor Hellebuyck might not be as much fun to watch as Ondrej Pavelec, but his big, blocking style is way more effective and therefore enjoyable in the long and short term.
  3. The Jets have legitimate speed this year and that was shown on the opening goal. As much as I do not like Matt Hendricks, his forecheck was vital for that goal as he got in on the puck early and cleaning, giving Joel Armia a shot at an empty net.
  4. Jack Roslovic has been excellent since being called him. The time that both him and Kyle Connor had in the AHL has been instrumental to both players being NHL contributors at a young age. Using developmental leagues for development is going to be key for the Jets going forward as they get more and more young players needing a good place to play.
  5. I know we all notice the big, cross-ice passes, but there are sometimes some small passes that allow players to not have to fight for control and allows them to make some more skilled plays. There was one such pass led to a wonderful chance by Patrik Laine with Laine cutting to the middle.
  6. The Jets allowed a bizarre short-handed goal after they were hemmed in their own zone by an aggressive penalty kill. The Jets are sometimes struggling on zone entries and exits and this sequence was the perfect example of this. They had no way to get out of a two-man forecheck and eventually they paid for it.
  7. Brandon Tanev is not as bad as he was last year, but for him to be playing above Connor or Armia is crazy. He is a fourth liner at best and while he is fast, does not bring much else to the third line.
  8. The Golden Knights second goal was highly controversial as Connor Hellebuyck clearly got slashed in the face beforehand. I had no clue if that would matter though because as the GIF below shows, you can drag a goalie out of his net and it does not automatically count as goalie interference in the NHL.

9. A word about reffing in general: it is inconsistent as hell, but that is the human element of it. The play on Hellebuyck should have been called a slash and not goalie interference, but it was missed. If the goal was not scored, not one would still be talking about it.

10. The talk around Matt Hendricks reminds me of the time Shawn Thornton was credited with helping the Boston Bruins win a game by counting. I’m serious.