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Recap: Hatrik Laine comes in peace

Hockey Day in Canada went well for some.

Ottawa Senators v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

The Winnipeg Jets played the Ottawa Senators and won. There were two fights and seven goals between the two teams. Patrik Laine scored a hat trick and Blake Wheeler(!) got in a fight. Along the way, the Jets also used their second unit power play and managed to get trapped in their own zone once for what felt like eternity. Of course that happened when Nathan Beaulieu and Anthony Bitetto were on the ice together so I don’t know what anyone was expecting from them.

The Jets played a pretty solid game. While the Sens seemed to be able to hang with them throughout the first period, but by the third the Jets had shown they were clearly the better team and pulled away. I think this actually says something about the NHL overall. The teams that make the playoffs or just miss are usually only a couple degrees apart in skill, but the bottom teams are a few degrees worse and while they can win some games here and there, they are definitely outmatched most nights. Teams who improve when they add young players to the lineup are probably actually improving their lineup with those additions.

Three Thoughts

  • I have expressed my doubts about Laine actually improving when it comes to driving play, but he has improved in many ways. He struggles to get up to his top speed quickly, but he is trying to come back on defence to help and he is doing a good job of picking his spots better. His second goal today was a lovely tip shot and he has been shifting around on the power play a lot today. It is really nice to see.
  • Laurent Brossoit has had a tough season, so it was nice to see him play well today. J.P. Pageau is a nifty player and his goal was nifty. The second goal...WHAT WERE YOU DOING NEAL PIONK!!!!!!! That giveaway was really bad after Brossoit gave Pionk a perfectly fine pass. Where was he looking? Who was he passing to? Please imagine Terry Jeffords yelling “why” at Jake Peralta here because there is no video of this happening.
  • I accidentally fell asleep for half the second period, but from what I did see the Jets remained the stronger tea throughout and were able to get Laine his hat trick goal. The lesson here is cross country skiing and a heating pad is the perfect way to make someone fall asleep.