The Winnipeg Jets lost to the Calgary Flames after having a strong start. Their loss can be traced back to the failed five on three at the end of the second and start of the third periods. Beyond this failed powerplay, the Jets still seem to be struggling to play a full three periods like they have struggled with for the past few years.
Hockey Night in Canada talked about this in the pre-game, but it is hard to separate the Jets play from Connor Hellebuyck’s play. Hellebuyck has been spectacular with the Jets almost from day one, but at some point the Jets need to show that they are not reliant on their goalie and he can have a semi off night and it not cause an issue. As of right now, that is not clear.
- I don’t think it is a good sign when you have to end the first period by Googling a player to figure out who he is and if he normally scores goals. His name is Adam Ruzicka and he is a player who had 11 points in 31 games before tonight.
- He hasn’t had a bad game, but I do think that Hockey Night in Canada bringing up how good Connor Hellebuyck is and then he lets in two goals in the first period. I blame them.
- The Jets did not play bad in the first period. They had some weird luck defensively, but it was not an “ask Connor to stand on his head and we will show up later” period which is big for them.
- The Jets have continued playing well even though the Flames have the lead. Outside of a truly interesting play that led to a shorthanded goal, this game has been fairly even as shown in the scoreline.
- So that weird play: the Jets were on the powerplay and Mikael Backlund got the puck off the faceoff in the Flames zone. He then flipped it up, Kyle Connor thought the puck was going down the ice, and Backlund gained control of the puck again. This led to a two on one and eventually a Flames goal.
- The end of the second period was wild. Jacob Markstrom took a penalty while the Jets were on the powerplay by tripping Pierre-Luc Dubois. The Jets eventually got a five on three and did nothing.
- After the comedy of the end of the second period, the Jets did nothing to take advantage of their circumstances at all. They did not even enter the zone with control when on a five on three.
- The Flames have been struggling of late and you would not be able to tell by watching this game. They are not playing like a nervous team in need of a win. Instead, they played a confident game.
- The Jets needed to play much better in the third period than they did. They barely had a shot on goal in a period that they were trailing which is not good at all.
- The Jets lost because of their play in the third period. It also seems that the Flames were never at risk of losing their confidence in their ability to win a close game even after a seven game losing streak where they were finding new ways to lose. The Jets will have to bounce back tonight if they want to get back to their winning ways.