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Game Recap: Winnipeg Jets vs. Ottawa Senators

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The Jets dropped a bit of a stinker on trade deadline day.

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Trade deadline day has come and gone, with the Winnipeg Jets not much better than before. Jordie Benn as your primary addition probably isn’t setting the world alight. That said, you’d have to think this team as-is could handle the Ottawa Senators. The Jets, after all, had dispatched the Habs over the weekend with relative ease. Ottawa surely wouldn’t pose much of a threat...would it?

The First Period

Things didn’t seem great in the opening few minutes. The Jets were a bit slow off the hop, and the Sens looked to be a bit aggressive. Ottawa wasn’t racking many shots on the clock, but they weren’t conceding many looks to Winnipeg either. It was then that the Sens decided to give the Jets a head start by taking an early penalty. Winnipeg’s first power play unit went to work, slickly passing the puck rapidly and creating absolute havoc. Kyle Connor scored to put the Jets up 1-0. Best Jet Nik Ehlers added to the lead a few minutes later, cutting centrally through Ottawa’s slot to beat a screened Anton Forsberg.

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

I thought the Jets would start to take control with a 2-0 lead, but things went downhill quickly. The Jets found themselves on a PK of their own, surrendering a deflected goal to Brady Tkachuk. Ottawa then got a greasy one from Connor Brown after Hellebuyck bobbled what should have been an easy save. Winnipeg was looking rattled and a step behind the Sens, turning the puck over repeatedly. Even still, the Jets should not have been tied at 2-2.

The Second Period

Winnipeg continued to find an excruciating number of ways not to score. After such a successful first power play, the Jets were handed power play after play to break the tie. Unfortunately, Forsberg and Winnipeg’s own ineptitude at the opposing blueline killed every single chance. The Jets might legitimately have conceded more shorthanded rushes to the Sens in one sitting than they have in a solid month of play. The only good news was that Ottawa didn’t take advantage of Winnipeg’s turnovers.

The Third Period

Pain comes in many shapes and forms. Tonight’s sadness arrived just halfway through the period. Winnipeg, failing to score on numerous power plays and looking toothless at even-strength, conceded another greasy one from Hellebuyck’s mistake. The Sens flipped a puck on net from the NZ and Hellebuyck didn’t cover it effectively. The puck bounced back out, right to Evgenii Dadonov. The Russian winger didn’t miss a beat, putting the Sens up 3-2. Tkachuk added his second goal of the night a few minutes later after stripping Pionk at Ottawa’s blueline.

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

This was a dispiriting performance all around. The Jets were second best in every category. I know Winnipeg won’t win every game, but losing in this manner is especially frustrating. Benn isn’t going to solve some of these core issues. It is time to FREE VILLE HEINOLA.

Three Takeaways

FREE VILLE HEINOLA.

C’mon Winnipeg, quit screwing around and put Ville in. Poolman is overwhelmed, Morrissey is struggling, Stanley is looking vulnerable, Forbort is going full potato, and Pionk can’t handle everything alone. DeMelo is one of the few blueliners treading water and he got roasted tonight.

Split up Morrissey-Poolman.

I’ve said this for 2 straight recaps. I’ve said it even more across the entire season. This D pairing is the Connor-Scheifele-Wheeler combo of blueline units.

Call up a forward prospect....like Cole Perfetti.

Winnipeg’s attackers are starting to run out of steam. Ehlers is having more and more off nights. Scheifele hasn’t seemed at the races either, and Dubois continues to look out of place. Perfetti has started to turn the heat up with the Moose. He might be ready to get a look with the Jets briefly before the playoffs roll around.