Once in a blue moon, the old Winnipeg Jets show up. This version of the team is outskated, outworked, and outplayed in all facets of the game. Finding something good to say about these performances is quite a lot harder than identifying the problems. This dreaded iteration of the Jets made its appearance against the Montreal Canadiens. Pretty much everyone was bad across the board, and the Jets dropped a 4-1 stinker.
The game didn’t exactly kick off with the best of omens, with the Jets surrendering multiple dangerous scoring opportunities and looking sluggish. Hellebuyck looked reasonably sharp while the rest of the squad was definitely doing Something. We’ve seen the Jets start out slowly like this for much of the last few seasons, so I’m sure a handful of us were expecting a turnaround somewhere. That reversal most assuredly did not come before the end of the first period.
Things did look a bit more promising at the start of the second frame, with Kyle Connor blasting home a power play goal to give Winnipeg the lead. One would hope the Jets might build off of this momentum and gain some control of the game. Instead, the Jets continued to get dominated by the Habs in far too many areas. Turnovers, bad defensive reads, poor pinches, and dead legs killed Winnipeg. In just about 6 and a half minutes of action, the Jets went from being up 1-0 to facing a 3-1 deficit. Dadonov and Hoffman punished the Jets for a boatload of mistakes, and Winnipeg never truly recovered.
The third period didn’t do much to improve the situation. Josh Anderson added a fourth goal after Winnipeg started to push. That seemed to suck whatever life the Jets had right out of the game. Winnipeg continued to try and find a few ways past Montembault, but it all fell terribly short. The Jets will certainly have nights like this where they look like they’ve forgotten how to play, but doing so against a weaker opponent like the Habs makes it feel far worse. Let’s hope the Jets rebound quickly before this Thursday...
- Heinola rejoined the line-up and looked about as bad as Pionk for much of the game. I’m not sure if he’s actually recovered from whatever has sidelined him the past few weeks. Either way, this will probably get him benched despite a previous excellent handful of games prior to his illness.
- Winnipeg really needs to make that forward acquisition sooner than later. The top-6 is doing enough to get by most games, but it’s clear a higher-end scorer and another middle-6 attacker would be godsends.
- I just don’t know what to say about Pionk anymore. He doesn’t have it.
- I’m not going to get particularly upset about this loss. The Jets winning all of their weekend games, including a very hard back-to-back, gives them some wiggle room to have a few slip-ups. That said, it’d be nice if those losses were a little more competitive!
- Bones was probably losing his mind watching the Jets skate like they’d had a big night on the town before the game. Winnipeg doesn’t have many performances like this, but when they do, it’s dire.