Watching the Anaheim Ducks must be excruciating for their fanbase. I know it’s all for the good of Bedard, but sweet mother of mercy are they darn near unwatchable. Not so long ago, the Winnipeg Jets were just as painful to suffer through. They’ve been better this season, though their finishing ability has apparently abandoned them at the worst possible time. Surely a match-up against the beleaguered Ducks would spark the team to glory...right?
The Jets generally looked faster and more composed in the opening minutes of the first period. Anaheim did a lot standing and staring, giving Winnipeg ample opportunities to punish them. As has often been the case with the Jets, though, they were the first to concede. Cam Fowler let a point shot go from down the middle. Hellebuyck had 4 or 5 bodies obfuscating his view, and the shot blew by him. Not ideal!
The goods about playing the Ducks is that they’ll usually give you chances to rebound. It didn’t even take a minute for Winnipeg’s reply to nestle behind Dostal’s goalie equipment. Lowry and Appleton combined to squeeze the puck through for the game-tying goal. The bottom-6 has struggled to pick up the slack for the absentee top-6 scoring. An Appleton goal felt like a minor miracle.
Things got even better for the Jets in period 2. Anaheim continued to be a bit of a welcome mat, allowing the Jets to pepper Dostal with chances. It took a bit longer than I’d like, but Kyle Connor finally broke his 12-game goalless streak. He and Dubois worked another greasy goal through Dostal to hand Winnipeg the first Jets lead of the night.
Nothing is ever easy for Winnipeg, and the third period saw Anaheim tying the game on a power play goal from Vatrano. Hellebuyck ideally would have stopped the shot from the point, but there’s no use crying over spilled milk. Winnipeg responded well enough a few minutes later, with Lowry redirecting a net-front puck past Dostal for the final lead change of the game. The Jets held onto their 3-2 lead and happily accepted the standings points.
- This has to be Wheeler’s last season on the ice. It’s hard to watch him struggle to keep up in every facet of the game. Seeing his decline in real time has caused me great pain.
- Capobianco stepped in for Samberg and did...a job. His lack of NHL footspeed is fairly noticeable when he’s under pressure. He also gave away a bad turnover that nearly ended in a goal against. Less of that, love!
- This game was just a chore to watch, if we’re being honest. Not much happened and Winnipeg struggled to score.
- Ehlers looked like he wanted to fire the puck to moon every time he let a shot loose. Weeks of frustration might be boiling over.
- KFC finally scoring will hopefully break the dam.