The Winnipeg Jets really needed some kind of a win. After a tough overtime loss to the Dallas Stars, the Nashville Predators looked like an even harder task. The Preds have had a relatively well-balanced season, with Forsberg, Josi, and Duchene contributing to some strong scoring output while Saros cleans up the backend. There is one area, however, where the Preds have suffered heavily; penalties. The lack of discipline ended up being the deciding factor in what began as a closely contested affair. Thankfully, the Jets found themselves on the fun side of this formula for once!
- Blake Wheeler hasn’t had much to crow about over the last few years, but tonight was a special outing. The captain recorded a massive 5-point night, and actually looked the part. He deftly maneuvered between Preds defenders, testing Saros and finding soft spaces to nab points. You love to see it.
- Hellebuyck rebounded nicely after a tumultuous start. Nashville swarmed the Jets early and caused the veteran netminder some serious grief. After surrendering 2 goals, however, Hellebuyck shut the door. Again, you love to see it.
- Scheifele had a pretty solid offensive outing, including a sick snipe from the left circle. He also dished Wheeler a perfect net-front feed that the captain tucked away. The defensive efforts are still atrocious, but at least Mark can still find the scoresheet.
- Heinola and Pionk were great together again. They cleanly exit the defensive zone frequently with quick interchanges and good long-passing up the ice. One of these lads might also do a trick on the PP, Jets...
- Winnipeg’s depth lines held their own and kept things relatively tidy, neither creating nor surrendering much of note. It wasn’t amazing, but sometimes, you just need some stability.
- Dubois continues to look like a man possessed. You wouldn’t think he’d missed any time from his last few games. His goal was a thing of powerful beauty. Lock this dude up, Jets.
- The Jets probably won’t be winning a ton this season, but it’s great to see some of the younger players step up to the plate. There’s still much work to be done, including a coaching staff overhaul, but games like these take the edge off.