The Winnipeg Jets were full marks for their win against the Minnesota Wild which is not something that can be said for most of their wins this season. While they needed Connor Hellebuyck to make the saves he made, they did not ask anything ridiculous of him and he got the shutout in a relatively easy way considering his past shut outs.
The Jets were full marks offensively as well even if they only scored two goals. They had numerous chances to score more including Ville Heinola missing a wide open net. Heinola generally looked better against the Wild, doing a better job of knowing when to pinch and when to sit back. It is nice to see the young defencemen improving on his reads. Hopefully, his improvement continues.
Now for the elephant in the room. Before we even get into this, I don’t like fighting in hockey. I think it is pointless and dumb, but it is still allowed so I have to tolerate it. Usually players have a code that they follow including who fights etc. This stuff is important to anyone who fights and when that code is broken, it can become really dangerous. That happened last night.
Thanks to Mike Pfeil on Twitter for grabbing the vide:
As the video shows, Marcus Foligno knees a downed Adam Lowry in the face while Lowry is lying defenceless on the ice. This breaks about every code out there. The officials missed the incident, probably because they were trying to get Foligno off Lowry altogether. What should have happened is a match penalty. Now it is in the hands of The Department of Players Safety who have not exactly been a beacon of player safety. They should be talking about a long suspension for Foligno because that is a gross attempt to injure. It does not matter if he lost his cool in a fit of anger; player safety needs to understand that is when players are most at risk from an aggressor.
As was noted last week, the NHL has a bit of a crisis with officials. Due to a myriad of factors, there are many newer officials in the league now and the learning curve appears to be steep. This does mean that the Department of Player Safety and the NHL will have to continue to work with the officials to make things safer for players on the ice. The NHL got hit by a few things at once than made the fact they did not have a bevy of NHL-ready officials on stand by because of a mix of retirements and COVID.
Finally, I leave you with this from a different game tonight.