It’s not terribly often that the Winnipeg Jets are outskated, outworked, and outplayed for 60 minutes. On Sunday evening, Winnipeg found itself facing all 3 circumstances against a rested, pesky Seattle Kraken. The Kraken have upped their game this season, and pummeled the Jets for 3 straight periods as Big Save Dave tried to live up to his namesake. Rittich very nearly stole the Jets a point, but fatigue and injuries appeared to do Winnipeg in.
From the puck-drop, you could tell what sort of evening this was going to be. The Kraken were faster, more aggressive, and completed more quick passes than their opposition. The Jets found themselves struggling to do anything, whether it was making zone exits or chugging up the ice to Seattle’s end. Thankfully, Seattle found itself in some penalty troubles and gifted Winnipeg an opportunity to break the ice. The Jets repaid the courtesy with a deft redirection from Mark Scheifele, his 19th goal of the season. The goal came against the run of play, but it was enough to put the Jets ahead for the remainder of the period.
Winnipeg continued the game much as it started; behind the 8-ball and slow to the draw. Seattle countered repeatedly and tested Winnipeg’s shot-blocking abilities to their fullest measure. A stellar individual effort from Jordan Eberle finally broke through, but it was hard to be upset. Winnipeg was being outshot something like 15-4 at this point, and Rittich had already done some heavy lifting. It was up to the Jets to give their goalie some back-up. Another power play opportunity was just the elixir to what ailed Winnipeg, allowing Dubois the opportunity to restore the Jets’ lead. It also granted Morrissey his 31st assist of the season. Josh is having a season to remember.
The Jets held on through 40 minutes, but the 41st minute proved to be unkind. Ryan Donato opened the third period with a deflected goal, tying the game once again. The Kraken deserved to be leading by now, so it’s hard to complain about the scoreline. I could, however, complain about the Kraken dominating Winnipeg for the remainder of the game. A bad Dillon turnover ended up icing the Jets for good, gifting McCann the game-winner to close it out. The Jets looked completely out of gas, and barely created any scoring opportunities with Rittich pulled. On to the next...
- Winnipeg looked like death out there. I know Maurice used to blame the schedule on some of his losses, but this team legitimately seemed exhausted. It’s uncommon for Winnipeg to be physically unable to keep up for 3 periods, but several Jets looked like they might collapse.
- The fatigue is likely hitting hard after 7 games in 11 nights and a slew of injuries. The team has stepped up in a major way, but it’s difficult to keep asking everyone to continually pull double duty.
- The front office really needs to make a trade. The team is not going to make it through to February with the mounting wear and tear.
- The Jets are now 20-10-1. What an insane record, given the circumstances.
- Josh Morrissey cannot be stopped. He was my most impressive Jet on the evening, even if there weren’t many candidates for the award.