On a night when the Winnipeg Jets honored Teppo and Teemu, beating the Anaheim Ducks was the only option. Sure, the Jets could have lost (and very nearly got themselves into some trouble), but the final result was never in doubt. You just have to believe. Alternatively, Kyle Connor could score a hat-trick and ensure the victory happens. I’ll let you decide which of these options ended up prevailing in Winnipeg’s 3-2 win over the Ducks.
For such a momentous occasion, you’d be forgiven for wondering if the Jets got the memo. They came out of the gates looking a bit slow. Anaheim had the run of play in the opening 20 minutes, notching a Troy Terry goal early to instill that briefest shade of doubt. Winnipeg have proven to be a resilient bunch this year, though, so I figured they’d put 2 and 2 together before thrashing the Ducks for the win.
What I hoped would happen and what did happen diverged a touch. The Jets eventually started to dominate Anaheim’s slot and created a load of dangerous chances. Unfortunately, getting the puck past John Gibson proved quite difficult. The second period provided the breakthrough on the back of Connor jamming the puck home during a power play scramble. It wasn’t pretty, but who cares! Kyle needs to see that net twine contorting under the pressure of a puck making contact more than anyone else on the team.
For the final period of action, the Jets exchanged counters with the Ducks and put both Hellebuyck and Gibson at risk. Connor, fresh off giving the Jets the game-tying goal, decided a lead was nicer. He collected a beautiful backhand pass from Gagner and put the Jets up 2-1. Winnipeg’s unfortunate habit of being sloppy cost them less than 30 seconds later, with Pionk finding himself in no-man’s land against Trevor Zegras. 2-2, just like that. Luckily, KFC was on one and humiliated the Ducks for believing victory was in their grasp. Connor blasted a great pass from Scheifele through the net, punching the Jets to a glorious 3-2 victory. Like I said, the result was never in doubt.
(It was definitely in doubt, but who cares, we VIBE right now)
- The Jets definitely played A Hockey Game. They were the better team overall, but it wasn’t the cleanest of victories! They’ll have nights like this where they aren’t impressive, but getting the win is still great to see. As long as they can take care of business, that’s all I ask for.
- Heinola got called up and was promptly press-boxed for Capobianco. I know Ville hasn’t been practicing with the team recently, but Capo’s issues against NHL-calibre competition were pretty noticeable. Let Ville eat soon, Jets.
- DeMelo, Ehlers, and Barron headline a growing list of injuries. Harkins was absent as well, though I’m not sure if that was just to get Toninato some ice-time. Winnipeg needs to make use of that D depth and get some help up front.
- I hope KFC’s reign of scoreless terror is over. He’s been horrendously snake-bitten, and the Jets can’t afford his 5% shooting to continue. If this hatty gets him going, all the better.
- Winnipeg’s schedule is about to get busy and difficult. The Pens and Canes roll into town this weekend and both are tough outs. 2-3 points in any form would be very acceptable, all told. 4 points, dare I dream!