The Winnipeg Jets played almost as well as you can play the Toronto Maple Leafs last night and they lost. They made two mistakes and they lost. They kept the Leafs from recording a shot for the first nine minutes of the second period and they lost. They did everything they could to turn the game around after an uneven start and they lost.
Last night’s game was always going to have to be near-perfection to win. The Leafs are rolling right now and breaking a streak can be hard. The Jets had the game plan and the skill to pull the game off until it all fell apart. It didn’t take much, but the Leafs superior skill prevailed in the end.
- This game was lost by mistakes. Connor Hellebuyck made a puck handling mistake on the first goal and Luca Sbisa made a puck handling mistake on the second goal. Sbisa has been okay for the Jets, but he should not be out there on the second pair and the fact he has spent most of the season there is a failure on Kevin Cheveldayoff’s part. The defence has been suspect from the beginning and has needed reinforcements via trade for the entire season.
- My mom observed that instead of being in control last game, Hellebuyck has been flailing around a lot lately. It was super obvious last night and it was concerning to watch. Instead of minimizing his movements like he does when he is on his game, Hellebuyck was everywhere and doing everything which resulted in him getting pulled.
- Patrik Laine has been a frustrating player to watch at times. Last night, he was one of the best players on the ice. He was engaged in the game and was working to get multiple shots off. His goal came from his hard work combined with his skill-set and ability to score from any angle. If Laine can play more games like that he should become one of the best players in the league, but he has to continue to play such an engaged game.