Winnipeg recently clinched a playoff birth with a win against the Nashville Predators. Tonight presented an opportunity to get closer to clinching first place in the Central Division. Before the Jets stood the Dallas Stars, a pesky team getting some absurd goaltending right now. The Stars haven’t been scoring much, but Ben Bishop has made the lack of offense moot. Beating this stingy, goalie-driven Stars squad wasn’t going to be an easy affair.
The First Period
The Jets were, quite bluntly, awful this period. The version of the team that trounced the Preds was notably absent to start. Dallas had the more effective forecheck, passing, offensive possession, and dangerous scoring opportunities. Winnipeg, meanwhile, looked completely incapable of clearing the defensive zone. The defenders weren’t the only ones withering under the Stars’ forecheck....everyone was bad.
Dallas generated a ton of chaos in front of Hellebuyck. With Winnipeg’s skaters moving in quicksand, the Stars had one unbelievably dangerous chance nearly hit paydirt. Mark Scheifele’s goal-line stick save kept it 0-0. Scheifele also had a near-breakaway late in the period, but Bishop’s strong performance in net kept the Jets off the board. The rest of Winnipeg’s efforts were very underwhelming, and it served as a stark reminder that the Jets aren’t as good as we want them to be.
The Second Period
The Jets we’ve come to expect started to show some signs of life. The first few minutes of the period showed a positive progression, with Winnipeg breaking up Dallas’ offensive zone possessions and rapidly countering. For a time, the Jets even outshot the Stars and things looked markedly improved. Towards the midway point, Winnipeg started to fade out, and Dallas must have smelled blood in the water. Esa Lindell wristed a point shot that came at the end of some offensive zone chaos. Hellebuyck, who’d made several robberies just a few minutes prior, lost track of the puck and couldn’t bail the Jets out.
A minute and a half later, Radek Faksa put the Stars up 2-0, effectively silencing what hope the Jets had left. Tyler Seguin put the likely nail in the coffin on the power play, and Winnipeg looked pretty cooked. A promising start did not make a promising end, sadly, and the Jets looked like a team already counting its playoff eggs. It’d be far more preferable to avoid getting embarrassed at home, especially with the Central title at stake.
The Third Period
With a 3-0 lead, Dallas mostly compacted the ice and allowed Winnipeg to gain offensive space. The Jets didn’t really take advantage, instead opting to dump and chase the puck. Unfortunately, they didn’t really win any puck battles, and the Stars never seemed like they were all that concerned with Winnipeg’s offensive pressure. The Stars then tacked on another power play goal after a weak call against Kyle Connor. Not ideal.
Connor must have been pissed because he scored just a few seconds later, restoring the deficit to 3 goals. The Jets then earned a late power play, and Patrik Laine hit the jackpot for his 30th goal of the season. He’s been snakebitten recently, despite stronger play, and desperately needed this one. Happy for the Finnish Finisher. That was all the scoring the Jets could muster, and Winnipeg was left to rue an extremely sloppy, lethargic performance.
- Hellebuyck was much better than the scoreline would have you think.
- Laine scored!
- “Tyler Myers makes great puck decisions.” Funniest quote of the night.
- Pretty terrible performance from the Jets. I don’t really need to say more.