Winnipeg Twitter loves a good spot of drama. Thanks to the “incendiary” comments from Marc Methot on the state of Winnipeg’s hotel and restaurant scene, the city was ready to toss Methot into the frozen prairie tundra. The Winnipeg Jets, on the other hand, decided revenge was a dish best served on an ice rink. The Ottawa Senators were given a classic Winnipeg welcome, walloped to the tune of a 5-1 scoreline. It wasn’t the cleanest of outings, but the Jets will happily accept both points as they march on towards the holiday break.
The opening 20 minutes were a bit of a chaotic rush of adrenaline and mild concern from Winnipeg’s perspective. Kevin Sten Gun (I am trying to make this nickname a thing, ignore me) opened the scoring early with a great feed from behind the net less than 2 minutes into the game. Josh Morrissey added his own peach of a goal a few minutes later, ripping one past Cam Talbot. The Sens didn’t take the concessions lying down, and pushed the pace on counters repeatedly. David Rittich had to pull off some sparkling early saves to keep the lead, but the Jets did gift a goal to Batherson on the power play. It was cancelled out right before the end of the period on a great marker from Gagner, taking advantage of the delayed penalty to make it 3-1.
The Sens continued to try to claw back into this game, peppering Rittich with numerous scoring opportunities. None found their way through before Kyle Connor added 2 goals of his own to put Winnipeg up 5-1. The first goal came off of a brilliant Morrissey slap pass from the left point, gifting Connor the widest net possible to score on. The second goal was a beautiful set-up from behind the net thanks to a Dubois forecheck. The chemistry between Kyle and Pierre-Luc is utterly brilliant, and I wish it would continue forever. It likely won’t, so enjoy it for as long as it lasts.
The final 20 minutes of action probably made Bones a bit restless. The Jets failed to create much offensively, which isn’t all that surprising. When you’re up 5-1, you might consider taking a few shifts off. Ottawa pushed and pushed and pushed....but came up empty. Big Save Dave showed up in impressive fashion and held the scoreline to a single goal against. The Jets wrapped up a fun victory with positive vibes and hugs all around. You just love to see it.
- Ville Heinola impressed in his return to the line-up. He had a calm, steady game, making clean defensive zone exits, solid opposition skater seal-offs, and some decent scoring chance creation up the ice. Heinola did all of this on his off-side, and even spent time with Dillon in the final period. The Dillon-Heinola pairing looked quite good, and gives Bones some things to think about for the future.
- Rittich’s had a nice last few outings. Good for him. He seems like a fun dude, and his first few intros to Winnipeg hockey were a bit...choppy.
- I like Stenlund. He’s the right kind of “meat and potatoes”, bringing bruising strength and good spatial awareness into the opposing slot area. He’s gotten close to scoring previously, and finally earned his first Jets goal.
- Winnipeg is fighting through some illnesses right now. Dubois sounded like he was about to pass out during the intermission interview. This team seriously needs some time off just to get a few extra hours of sleep. These dudes fight for the badge.
- The Jets face their toughest test yet, with back-to-backs against Boston and Washington. I expect 0 points, and that’s totally fine if that happens. The cushion Winnipeg has built already gives them some wiggle room if they run out of gas this week.