Things are a bit restless in Jetsland. Winnipeg has been substandard for the past several weeks, and it’s having an impact on the recent on-ice results. The Jets got smoked by the Flyers last night, and having to face the Bruins didn’t allay my concerns about the quality of play. Boston isn’t a powerhouse, but the lowly Flyers kicked Winnipeg’s teeth in during a dominant effort. If the Jets were to bounce back, they’d need a quality showing from their top scorers and some decent saves in net. They kinda got some of those things...
The First Period
Connor Hellebuyck was tested early and often, with the Bruins immediately winning every puck battle, forcing turnovers, and harassing the Jets puck-carriers in all zones of the ice. Winnipeg could barely string a series of passes together, and had trouble finding seams to spring breakouts from the defensive zone. The Jets found themselves hemmed in their own zone for long stretches, relying on Hellebuyck to bail them out when hell broke loose in front of the net.
Eventually, the dam broke for Boston and Patrice Bergeron slipped between defensive coverages to one-time the puck past Hellebuyck. Myers and Chiarot were badly exposed, but every Jet on the ice was to blame for a thoroughly sloppy sequence. A power play a few minutes later settled things down, with Josh Morrissey snapping a shot from the point that somehow beat Halak. The Bruins looked undeterred, and took the lead once again before the end of the period. David Pastrnak is pretty good on the power play, so you can guess what happened when the PK diamond ignored his presence on the left side. Winnipeg limped out of the period with a paltry 8 shots for, and an alarming 20 shots against. That the scoreline wasn’t worse than 2-1 is a minor miracle.
The Second Period
The Jets did some things, which is more than I can say for the opening 20 minutes. Tanev and Lowry got into some silly fights against tough customers, with Tanev getting thoroughly cleaned out by rookie Trent Frederic. The rest of the middle frame really didn’t have much action. Winnipeg was slightly better at trading scoring chances with the Bruins, but that’s faint praise after the first period travesty. Still, Hellebuyck continued his trend of some excellent saves and gave the Jets a fighting chance. Would they repay his valiant efforts, or fall by the wayside yet again?
The Third Period
It was apparently a night for players bearing the “name” Connor. Hellebuyck had kept the Jets afloat, and Kyle Connor did the rest. None of Winnipeg’s skaters were good, but the top line had two sequences of quality play that saw Connor deposit the puck twice in the span of 30 seconds. Somehow, the Jets were in the lead, and my remaining ability to comprehend this team vanished. Winnipeg is weird, y’all.
The lead wasn’t safe, and Bergeron tied the game just over the halfway mark of the period. Given how good the Bruins were for the rest of the game, one could hardly fault Hellebuyck for finally surrendering the 3rd tally against. Thankfully, Winnipeg didn’t give the Bruins another goal before the end of regulation, and overtime was a new opportunity to seize victory. I can’t lie, I didn’t have great feelings about 3-on-3 action...
Overtime and the Shootout
The 3-on-3 period was eventful, but neither team could find paydirt before the end of the 5 minute overage. The Bruins probably had the best look on a Bergeron-led 2-on-1, but Hellebuyck stood tall. During the shootout, Hellebuyck again answered Boston’s challenge, stonewalling the Bruins on some wonderful opportunities. The toe-save on Pastrnak was an absolute dandy, and will live on in Jets regular season lore. Kyle Connor scored the only shootout goal to secure 2 points for Winnipeg and the Jets escaped with an ugly, necessary win. Phewee.
- Hellebuyck stole this one. Just awesome stuff.
- Kyle Connor scored some lovely goals.
- Kyle Connor and the rest of the forwards were still pretty bad. Yikes.