The Winnipeg Jets are cooking something, and it smells foul. The turnovers appear to have been burned badly, and the smoke is pouring out of the kitchen. The first person to escape is none other than Nikolaj Ehlers, the put-upon employee who dutifully does his job well every day, only to be given reduced wages in favor of some lunk the bakery brought in 2 days ago. Along come the Colorado Avalanche, a rival bakery, and further misery ensues. The Avs add some gasoline to the growing fire while quietly shoving Ehlers in a truck and kidnapping him. Before you know it, the score is 5-1.
I hope you’ll appreciate my attempt at a fictitious retelling of Winnipeg vs. Colorado, because the reality was even grimmer. The Jets, fresh off a boring defeat at the hands of the New York Islanders, decided losing in the first period was far more preferable. Before I’d even gotten home from the gym, less than 12 minutes into the game, the Jets had conceded 4 goals. Sure, they scored a power play marker, but that hardly feels relevant when you’re already trailing by 3 goals.
Winnipeg made a decent attempt at a comeback in the second period, with the line-blender combos producing some solid shifts from the bottom-6. Unfortunately, a Matt Nieto doorstop goal killed whatever momentum Winnipeg had generated. The Jets would not score for the remainder of the game, looking purely second-rate against a resurgent reigning champion team.
Normally, I’d have more to say about this game, but my brain was pretty tuned out by the third period. It’s hard to be engaged when your favorite team is getting its teeth kicked in. I’m not sure what message the front office is receiving, but if it isn’t trading for half a roster, they aren’t getting the same signals I am.
- Bones is starting to irritate me. He has some strong points in comparison to his predecessor, but his continual benching of Ehlers has massive downstream impacts. The favoring of grinders elevated to skill roles kills this team.
- The Jets have the scoring depth of a damp sock right now. It’s especially apparent with the top-6 going limp.
- The trade deadline is this week and I’m starting to feel uneasy about it. My optimism from the start of the season has waned considerably...
- It’s tough to see this team reverting to the same nonsense it displayed under Maurice, but old habits die hard.
- The Jets are only 3 or 4 points above the second wild card spot. If they don’t correct course immediately, Winnipeg might be on the outside looking in.