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Game Recap: Winnipeg Jets vs. Vegas Golden Knights


Vegas Golden Knights v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

When it comes to Winnipeg losses, I seldom feel any sort of emotional reaction. Maybe I laugh at a funny moment during the game. Maybe I even feel a tinge of annoyance at the time spent watching a low-effort outing. There is, however, one team I simply cannot abide a defeat to. Nothing pisses me off quite like a loss to the Vegas Golden Knights. I loathe this team with every fiber of my existence. The Knights are instruments of Winnipeg’s eternal suffering, a plague that exists solely to torture us. I do not know why the hockey gods chose Vegas to be the one to ruin all that is good in Jetsland, but I have never forgotten it.

Winnipeg came out of the gates look as angry as I currently feel, swarming Vegas and creating several early scoring opportunities. Two earlier defeats this season left us with bitter tastes, and the Jets were in no mood to add a third loss. Despite Winnipeg’s best efforts, the Knights did not buckle. After 5 to 10 minutes of Jets domination, Vegas woke up and responded with nearly 20 minutes of crushing force.

We’ve seen Winnipeg struggle against this Knights squad before, and this was no exception. The good news is that Winnipeg still managed to squeeze a Scheifele goal in before Vegas took flight. The bad news is that the Knights tied it shortly thereafter. As if to rub further salt into the wound, Stone scored the go-ahead goal 2 seconds before the first intermission. Just kill me please.

Vegas Golden Knights v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

Vegas continued to push the Jets to the brink, earning multiple breakaways on stretch passes through the neutral zone. Winnipeg was caught flatfooted on far too many opportunities, but Hellebuyck stood tall. It was enough to offer the Jets a glimpse of hope, and Barron tied the game to reward Helly’s efforts. Things were feeling good, right before Stoned ruined our joy again and scored a second goal. Why won’t this Knights team just shove off already?! Thankfully, Winnipeg has been a resilient lot this season, and grabbed a greasy tying goal from Gagner to calm the angst.

Winnipeg continued the march to victory at the start of the final period, with Scheifele blasting home a power play goal to make it 4-3. Maybe this would be the glorious victory Winnipeg so desperately sought! Instead, an ugly Pionk penalty (on another stretch pass) and a Wheeler delay of game infraction gifted the Knights a pair of power play markers. Scheifele completed his hat-trick right before the end of regulation to try and salvage the defeat, but it wasn’t enough to cover the stench of the loss. I’m writing this a few hours after the game’s ended and I’m still irritable. That felt like a game Winnipeg could have pulled a result from, especially with Vegas missing Eichel and Theodore.

Five Takeaways

  1. The Jets got shredded by long stretch passes. That’s happened before, and Bones will want to correct the neutral zone lane marking before other teams start capitalizing on it.
  2. Dubois got benched for much of the third, but it was apparently due to an illness that’s going around the room. I’m not sure that covers every aspect of his poor performance, but it is what it is.
  3. Stenlund made his season debut and looked pretty solid. The Sten Gun is a reasonably beefy lad, but has underrated skill when it comes to slot offense. He’ll do nicely in depth minutes.
  4. Seeing Stone in a Knights uniform pisses me off to no end. He should have been a Jet.
  5. I hate losing to Vegas soooooo much.