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Ten Thoughts: Montreal Canadiens vs. Winnipeg Jets, Game 1

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....yeah, that was a thing.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Montreal Canadiens at Winnipeg Jets James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve been sitting here for a solid 45 minutes or so, trying to figure out what to even say about this game. I don’t often get genuinely heated about Winnipeg Jets games, but tonight was a rare exception. I’m just very disappointed in the team’s performance, and more importantly, the Mark Scheifele hit on Jake Evans. You’ve all probably seen it by now, so I won’t rehash the details....but man, that was some garbage, Mark. There’s a decent chance he’s going to cost his team the series.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Montreal Canadiens at Winnipeg Jets James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

Ten Takeaways

  1. Before discussing hockey, a sobering and important takeaway. The opening tribute to the 215 residential school children was incredibly powerful. Even as a non-Canadian, I could feel some of the grief and sorrow reflected in these moments. We must do better to ensure we do not repeat the failures of our past, or bury the sins we’ve committed.
  2. There was a hockey game played tonight, and it wasn’t good. The Jets were immediately under pressure from puck-drop and found themselves in a 2-0 hole quickly. The night did not improve, generally speaking.
  3. Winnipeg’s defense was helter skelter from the start, and the early exit of Dylan DeMelo threw the entire blueline into further chaos. DeMelo did not return to the game and his current status is unknown.
  4. Paul Stastny, dealing with a minor injury, was unable to play this evening. His absence was noticeable, especially on the power play. With Scheifele’s likely suspension, he may be suiting up on the first line if he returns for game 2.
  5. Logan Stanley and Tucker Poolman had a howler of an evening. You could tell they were struggling early, and their evenings did not improve. The loss of DeMelo meant the coaching staff had to redistribute the ice-time, and it led to some...scary results.
  6. Every line except the top line, ironically, struggled to create offense. Even the top line wasn’t able to convert on some of the great scoring chances it created. In the defensive zone, the forwards were caved in. Not surprising, given the blueline support was minimal.
  7. Scheifele should honestly sit for the rest of the playoffs. He may only get a game or 3, but he has to know his hit was unacceptable. The team’s already down in manpower. Losing control and decking someone when the game is over is selfish.
  8. The Jets are entering Friday’s game with what could be a laundry list of absences. Jordie Benn will likely suit up on the back-end, but we really should be seeing Ville Heinola instead. His skillset and mobility would be huge boons.
  9. This series feels a lot like the exit against the Calgary Flames. A comical list of stuff goes horribly wrong and Winnipeg is dusted before the series begins.
  10. Where do the Jets go from here? It feels like all the energy and positivity was sapped out in a mere 3 periods of action. Can this team rally from its own downfalls?