Winnipeg, fresh off of an encouraging overtime win against the Chicago Blackhawks, had a chance to go into Thursday with 2 consecutive victories. Tonight’s match-up against the Minnesota Wild, who’ve won every previous game, already looked a bit concerning on-paper. Eric Comrie got the nod in net (correctly, I may add). The more baffling decision, however, was the line blending Maurice did. He replaced Ehlers on the first line with Little. Why? That top line is already bad. Why put another problematic forward in Ehlers’ spot? Maurice said he was sticking with the status quo yesterday, and it generated a win. Why make a pointless swap?
The First Period
The Jets looked decently strong for the first few minutes of the period. An early power play also got close to putting Winnipeg up 1-0. As it was, Dubnyk held the fort and the game remained scoreless. The Wild didn’t get much going, but Zach Parise made the best of his limited opportunity when he popped the puck over Tyler Myers’ stick. The puck elevated up, up, up, and away.....falling behind Comrie’s back and into the net. Parise then nabbed a quick second goal shortly after, undressing Ben Chiarot (who definitely quit skating for some reason) to pad Minnesota’s lead.
Comrie looked very rattled, and Victor Rask took advantage of his frazzled mental state. Rask snuck a shot between the post and Comrie’s side, a puck that most replacement-level goalies would immediately seal off with proper post coverage. Gross. Just gross. The joyous memories of last night sure didn’t last long, and tonight was a stern reminder that Maurice seems to have absolutely no idea what does and doesn’t work with this team. The playoffs loom large, and I can’t say stuff like this makes me anticipatory of the experience.
The Second Period
Hockey was definitely played, most of it not very good. Technically, Winnipeg had some decent netfront scoring opportunities and all, but you’d be forgiven for calling this performance listless. The Wild are, for the most part, a “park the bus” roster, and it showed enough to limit the scoring chances in Winnipeg’s favor. The only event of note was a fun Trouba shorthanded goal, which is putting him right on the cusp of a 50-point season. Neat.
Have a dog photo because the rest of this period wasn’t worth talking about:
The Third Period
The Wild scored again. That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. Please have more dog pictures.