Every time the Winnipeg Jets play the Ottawa Senators, I’ve come to expect at least one stupid thing per game. The Jets seem to have extremely weird outings against Ottawa, and after a bit of a paddling at the hands of the Leafs, I had reservations about this match-up. What followed can only be described as absolute comedy that somehow ended in a Jets win. This is gonna be a weird season, y’all.
The First Period
I was in the bathroom for the first 2 minutes of the game, and when I sat down to look at the screen, Winnipeg had already been outshot 7-1. You can probably guess the level of internal groaning I was doing, especially after the Leafs debacle. Things did not get much better, with the Sens look faster and hungrier in all zones of the ice. The Winnipeg defense was overwhelmed while the forwards offered very little in support. It’s the same stuff we saw against Toronto, only Ottawa-flavored.
Naturally, getting caved in led to some early Sens goals, including a greasy power play marker for Josh Norris. It was his first NHL goal, and continues Winnipeg’s hilarious streak of milestone goals against. Chris Tierney add another goal just a few minutes later, and it’s hard to argue with the results. Ottawa was flat out smacking the Jets around, but a late Adam Lowry deflection managed to make the scoreline a bit less depressing.
The Second Period
If you were hoping for better from the Jets, you came to the wrong place! Winnipeg continued to get plastered by the Sens and there aren’t many ways to sugarcoat it. This team was just plain bad and struggled to create offense. It got even worse when Alex Galchenyuk slapped in a power play goal, restoring Ottawa’s 2-goal lead. If you surrender a goal to Galchenyuk in 2021, might as well relegate the team.
Thankfully, Kyle Connor kept things a bit closer with another special teams goal, potting one from his right faceoff circle area. He’s been getting more and more opportunities there, making good on a couple of those shots. If he can keep being effective in that spot, it’ll give Winnipeg a lot more variety than Wheeler along the walls all the time.
The Third Period and Overtime
In the final 20 minutes, Winnipeg tried to create some more offensive pressure through counters. They had a few decent shots on Matt Murray, but nothing that seemed particularly dangerous. With time running out for the game-tying goal, the Jets pulled Brossoit for the extra attacker. A long-distance point shot hilariously found its way through and leveled the scoreline at 3-3. I actually laughed out loud, considering how unlikely a single standings point seemed.
Things only got funnier in overtime, with both teams failing to find any headway in 3v3. Suddenly, an opening seam in the neutral zone appeared and Copp found Ehlers for a breakaway. The Dane did not miss, wristing home a beautiful goal to grant the Jets an undeserved (but hugely needed) win.
The Jets are a hot mess.
I’ve said this for the past several seasons now, but it bears repeating; Winnipeg is kinda bad. They’re back to where they were for the first half of last season. The Jets can’t create offense and can’t escape their defensive zone at all. The special teams are fairly mediocre and the only thing keeping them in these games is the goaltending duo. Whoof.
Paul Maurice just ain’t it.
Yeah, I mean, we all know this.
The defense needs reinforcements from the youth ranks.
Winnipeg is turning to guys who aren’t equipped to play 20 or more minutes a night. The Jets need to find out if kids like Dylan Samberg and Ville Heinola can make an impact. Stanley and Niku are struggling to varying degrees, so give the top prospects a shot! It can’t be worse than this.