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Game Recap: Winnipeg Jets vs. Arizona Coyotes

Winnipeg played half a game and managed to win.

Arizona Coyotes v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images

The vibes are not with the Winnipeg Jets right now. The team and fanbase seem to be in varying levels of disengaged. A mixture of poor finishing, a lack of high-danger chance creation, and puzzling line-up choices have left Winnipeg with its back to the wall. Against a resurgent Arizona Coyotes team, the Jets were gifted a golden opportunity for a bounce-back effort. What unfolded was quite a lot less reassuring...

Winnipeg kicked the game off looking slower than expected. Arizona pressured the Jets and had a few decent early shots on target. The Jets responded with a few potshots of their own, but not enough to put Karel Vejmelka under pressure. The Yotes thought they might hit paydirt first, until Nik Ehlers punched through their defensive line for a breakaway. The crafty Dane collected his own rebound and deposited it past Vejmelka for the 1-0 lead.

Arizona Coyotes v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images

As if to rub salt on the wound, Adam Lowry combined with Morgan Barron (Voltron-style) to score a shorthanded goal. How on gord’s green earth is the PK more offensively-dangerous than the PP? Whatever strange magic Winnipeg conjured to get a Lowry shorthanded marker, we can only hope there’s still some magic left for the post-season.

If you expected the Yotes to try and mount a comeback, you’d be right. Arizona utterly dominated the Jets in the second period, skating circles around Winnipeg’s sluggish puck and player movement. Connor Hellebuyck had to make a few dandy saves, including a miraculous goal-line block with his stick after he was caught out of his net. Eventually, Barrett Hayton notched a rebound opportunity to restore Arizona’s hopes of victory.

Hellebuyck utterly dashed those hopes against a pile of rocks. The veteran netminder stood on his head to deliver Winnipeg two massive standings points. With the Preds and Flames both winning, this was a must-have result. It wasn’t pretty, and it leaves us with more lingering questions, but a win is a win.

Five Takeaways

  1. Dubois, Scheifele, and Connor look checked out and/or lost. Some of the recent speculation around Scheifele certainly has me considering his future after this season.
  2. Barron is a very good middle-6 player, and somehow saw almost no ice-time. Not good enough, man.
  3. The Jets PP is about as effective as shoving milk-soaked loaves of bread into my eyes and asking me to paint the Mona Lisa. It makes about as much sense as that visualization I just provided, and somehow scores even less.
  4. Hellebuyck is the bees knees, and it’ll be utterly crushing when he walks in free agency. Prepare yourselves...
  5. Brad Lambert continues to shred the WHL. At least the future has a bright spot or two!