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Game Recap: Winnipeg Jets vs. Anaheim Ducks


Anaheim Ducks v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

The Winnipeg Jets have usually responded well after losses. They’ve yet to lose consecutive games in some time, preferring to go on winning runs after particularly humiliating defeats. The loss to the Blue Jackets last Friday tasted particularly bitter, what with Patrik Laine scoring a brace. The Anaheim Ducks provided the perfect punching bag to get the team back on track. With the Ducks entering the evening on 6 wins and a whopping 17 regulation losses, the Jets were set up for an easy victory. What could possibly go wrong...?

It may not shock you to learn that the Jets immediately put themselves behind the 8-ball in this game. The Ducks were faster, more aggressive, and hungrier for the puck on every shift. For the first period, you’d be forgiven for mistaking which squad was the 6-win team. The Ducks ended up converting on their pressure early, scoring on a rebound that Hellebuyck was too far out of the goal to respond to. This was the sort of period Winnipeg had very much hoped to avoid, and one likely to piss Bones off during the intermission.

I’m not sure what Rick told the team between the first and second frames, but the Jets came into period 2 looking more like you’d expect. They created some decent chances off the rush and, well, just got pucks on-goal! It was a low bar to clear, but one Winnipeg was failing to accomplish in the opening 20 minutes. Regrettably, the Jets then conceded another goal off of a bad blueline handle from Samberg. Brett Leason took advantage of the loose puck control and screamed down the ice to make it 2-0.

Anaheim Ducks v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

The good thing about this Jets team is that they don’t let their own silliness keep them down for long. Saku Maenalanen, a player I’ve had mixed feelings on this season, decided to earn my love back on a great redirect in front of Stolarz. It’s the sort of greasy play we need more of, especially since the Jets don’t have a great track record of tipping pucks. Winnipeg then doubled the fun a few minutes later, with Samberg atoning for his earlier giveaway and scoring his first NHL goal. Congrats Dylan! Here’s to a few more (hopefully).

After that, the Jets seemingly took over the game, lighting the Ducks up like it was a Nintendo game. Anaheim had no answer for Winnipeg’s offensive pressure, and conceded a trio of goals to Scheifele, Barron, and Schmidt. Hellebuyck snuffed out the remaining Anaheim attempts and Winnipeg walked away with another 2 points. This wasn’t the cleanest of games, but the Jets eventually woke up and took care of business.

Five Takeaways

  1. Tonight was a night for the bottom-6, and more specifically, Winnipeg’s third line. The trio of Lowry, Maenalanen, and Barron got it done. The Barron tap-in goal capped off an especially pretty passing sequence kickstarted by Saku.
  2. Mikey Eyssimont earned his way onto the second line with Dubois and Connor. The energetic forward continues to show enough puck smarts and forechecking ability to serve as a versatile attacker. He may not bag a load of goals, but he can create the space needed for his linemates to do the rest.
  3. Hellebuyck, man. Give this dude the Vezina already.
  4. Rick made no Bones about the Jets’ performance; he was livid about the first period. It’s nice to see the coaching staff showing a level of accountability, even if it’s unlikely the problem will be fixed.
  5. Winnipeg “welcomes” Paul Maurice back on Tuesday. That should be an entertaining tilt between a strong team with no goaltending, and an uneven team with a Vezina contender.