clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Game Recap: Winnipeg Jets vs. Seattle Kraken

The never-say-die attitude is starting to catch on!

Winnipeg Jets v Seattle Kraken Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

If there’s one thing you can say about this year’s Winnipeg Jets team, it’s that they don’t quit. Winnipeg may struggle offensively, concede silly goals on terrible defensive reads, or falter against a low defensive block in the slot (soccer-style), but the Jets do not quit. They will continue pushing the stone up the hill, praying that they can break the curse of Sisyphus. On an evening match-up against a challenging Seattle Kraken squad, the goshdarn Jets made Sisyphus proud with a comeback win to stir the heart.

The Jets looked about as good as you could expect for a team playing the second half of a back-to-back. Winnipeg is notorious for slow starts, but the Jets had their skating legs early against the Kraken. It didn’t lead to many scoring opportunities for the good guys, but the Kraken weren’t generating a ton either. Unfortunately, the Jets got themselves into a few spots of trouble with respect to discipline, giving the Kraken power play a 5-on-3 opportunity. Jordan Eberle punished Winnipeg’s behavior, putting Seattle up 1-0.

Winnipeg received a fair few power play opportunities through the opening 30 minutes of the game, but failed to answer Seattle’s goal until just past the halfway point. Mark Scheifele took advantage of a suspect hooking call, capping off a great sequence initiated by Sam Gagner. I’m not sure if the refs felt the power play and goal were a mistake, because they ignored a clear boarding call against Burakovsky just a few minutes later. That kicked off an absolute firestorm of retribution and bad blood between both teams. Even Blake Wheeler got involved, landing himself in the sin bin for 4 minutes after attempting to fight Will Borgen. The former captain hadn’t had the best of outings up until that point, but the rest in the penalty box appeared to light a fire in the Minnesotan.

Winnipeg Jets v Seattle Kraken Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Jets came into the second half of the game feeling pretty pissed off. The refs had lost control of the game and were trying to figure out how to get it back under control. To Winnipeg’s credit, they generally refrained from any violent plays that would get a Department of Player Safety call. Amidst the chaos, though, Brandon Tanev snuck in a third period goal that Rittich probably should have stopped. It felt like Winnipeg might be undone once again by an ex-Jet, but Blake Wheeler saved the day.

Wheeler smacked his 300th NHL goal in on a mad scramble in the crease, tying the game at 2-2 with a scant 5 seconds left in regulation. The Jets have Carson Soucy to thank for idiotically punching Dubois in the back of the head to grant a last-ditch power play. The break was just enough for Blake to give the Jets one last fighting chance. Winnipeg then capped the evening off with a great 2-on-1 OT goal, courtesy of Morrissey and Scheifele after a stellar defensive play at the other end. This may have been a single game, but the intensity and various twists made it feel significant. Winnipeg now remains atop the Central Division with the victory, preparing for a busy run through the rest of November against many of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

Five Takeaways

  1. This was a victory that got your blood pumping. I darn near jumped out of my chair on several occasions. The Wheeler game-tying goal felt like a playoff series winner for some reason. Even if the Jets struggle through the rest of the season, it’s hard to deny just how good the vibes are around this team.
  2. Scheifele had a massive rebound game after a tough outing against the Flames. The Jets top line was completely shut down against Calgary, but toyed with the Kraken. Were it not for some stellar saves from Martin Jones, the Jets might have found themselves as regulation winners.
  3. Gagner continues to be found money for the Jets. His last few games have been a bit uneven, but he came good this evening on the power play. Gagner’s power play skills immediately had an impact on the first unit, leading to Scheifele’s goal.
  4. The Jets still need to consider Heinola for the backend. The power play (before Gagner’s substitution in place of Wheeler) looked dead in the water. Morrissey has been a beast this season, but that performance hasn’t carried over to the power play. His puck movement is far too slow and deliberate to be the PP QB. Ville feeds the puck through the wings a lot faster, and can stretch PK diamonds in ways the current Jets PP unit cannot.
  5. Winnipeg pulled off a very impressive comeback performance, proving that this squad has a knack for resiliency. Bones hasn’t always made the perfect decisions, but he’s got this team fighting for the badge. That’s a big step forward, and it’s being married to a legitimate tactical plan. It’s nice to look forward to Jets games again.

P.S.: Great day for Winnipeg sports in general. I’m looking forward to a Bombers threepeat in a few weeks! Can I get a HOOOO YEAHHHH in the comments?! A “Let’s Go Bombers” will also do, haha.