The Winnipeg Jets are falling fast, and help remains far off enough to make us all sweat. This great Odyssey has found the Jets ensnared by the jaws of Charybdis, riddled with injuries and running out of willpower to get the team through difficult opponents. You can only win so many games with 1 scoring line and 3 lines filled with physical grinders. At this level, it’s not enough to earn a victory, and Hellebuyck will have to be perfect to keep the Jets afloat. Facing the Minnesota Wild once again, Hellebuyck was not, in fact, perfect. Winnipeg quickly found itself on the wrong end of a 4-1 defeat, all while playing at the same level of the opposition.
I saw the line-ups heading into this game and knew that pain lay ahead. There was little chance that a bottom-9 and 1 top line were going to score enough against Gustavsson to get the Jets past the Wild. The single goal Winnipeg did score, courtesy of Pierre-Luc Dubois, was pretty. Unfortunately, it’d be Winnipeg’s only goal of the night, though not for lack of trying.
The goals the Jets conceded either came off of some rust from Hellebuyck, or poor defensive reads on broken plays. The mistakes Winnipeg made generally ended up in the back of the net. The Wild were quite sloppy in their own right, but faced an AHL-calibre offense that could not slip by Gustavsson. Winnipeg even had a breakaway or 2, but it wasn’t enough to bring the Jets back in the game.
There aren’t a ton of positives to latch onto, but I’ll commend the effort of the players. They did their best to step during this massive injury crisis. This is one of the worst Jets line-ups we’ve seen in many years, but the team still fought for the badge. The effort fell well short, but you can’t fault the attempt.
- It’s time for Pionk’s Jets journey to end. He just doesn’t have it anymore, and his cap hit and trade return could seriously boost Winnipeg’s forward reserves.
- The refs were atrocious in this game. They didn’t sink Winnipeg, but they made a tall task far harder with the repeated non-calls.
- The Jets have lost 3 straight, and 6 of their last 9 games. They are down bad.
- Hellebuyck has no margin for error going forward. That’s a lot to ask of him, and the Jets seriously need to score more than 1 goal a game. I hope our resident Vezina candidate still has a few stolen victories left in him.
- The next few opponents are supposed to be “easier” opponents, but most of these teams are high-scoring offenses. That’s going to be a challenge for a Jets team that has very few options to respond with.