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Game Recap: Winnipeg Jets vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

The Jets bottle Lightning!

Tampa Bay Lightning v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

The regular season is slowing coming to an end, and the Winnipeg Jets have a lot of questions to answer. Is Mark Scheifele sticking around? Will the Jets find a new head coach? For one night, though, the questions melted away as Winnipeg squared off against the vaunted Tampa Bay Lightning. Most of us probably expected a rout. Instead, the Jets surprised us all with a thoroughly entertaining, high-scoring victory against a top contender. Here are some takeaways from a fun night on the town.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

Seven Takeaways

  1. Winnipeg is very bad at holding leads. Like the game against Colorado, the Jets jumped out to a quick start before finding themselves tied up in no time. Unlike the Avs game, however, the Jets pulled themselves together and took care of business. Credit where credit is due, Winnipeg rallied nicely after the stumble.
  2. The Jets have watched Hellebuyck struggle over the last few months. Despite conceding 4 goals, Helly was hardly to blame for some phenomenal shots from Tampa’s skaters. If anything, the Jets defense struggled to contain the odd-man rushes off of sloppy turnovers. There was little Hellebuyck could do on most of the goals he surrendered.
  3. Ehlers has been a godsend since returning to the line-up. Whatever ailed him earlier this year appears to have healed up, and he’s back to schooling kids in perimeter space creation.
  4. Dubois didn’t have the best outing of his career, but still found ways to contribute on the scoresheet. I like that he has the wherewithal to compose himself after being responsible for a goal against. It’s especially nice when Dubois then scores or assists a goal to atone for his lapses.
  5. Winnipeg’s players mentioned this was a benchmark game. While the Jets actually played some pretty great hockey, I’d be hesitant to read too much into the result. The season is still more or less lost, and that’s okay. Just work on the draft scouting, recruit a coaching staff, and start investigating roster acquisitions for next season.
  6. Scheifele quietly notched a 4-point game. His defensive lapses are still ever-present (and he turns over the puck too easily), but his offensive creation is still elite. I feel like Scheifele’s been robbed on great saves more than any other Jets player this year.
  7. KFC had a bit of a nightmare outing, but was able to dampen some of the impact with a fabulous shorthanded goal. Lowry’s changes haven’t been good at even-strength, but the phenomenally dangerous PK has been a blast to watch.