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Game Recap: Winnipeg Jets vs. San Jose Sharks

Winnipeg trips over itself and loses a game it was about to win.

San Jose Sharks v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images

The Winnipeg Jets are in a tailspin towards missing the playoffs. Maybe we should have seen this coming. The pumpkin carriage no longer looks like a carriage, but a rotting carcass of stinky fruit. Whatever magic the Jets conjured for the first half of the season has worn off, and the reality bites. Winnipeg had a chance at a straight-forward 2 points against the Bedard-bound San Jose Sharks. Thanks to James Reimer, and unspeakably godawful power play, and last-minute stupidity, the Jets snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Stick a fork in this team because they might be done.

Winnipeg started the proceedings off quickly, outshooting the Sharks by a wide margin in the opening period. I’m not even sure if that’s particularly noteworthy, because it’s expected that a playoff contender bullies the Sharks. San Jose doesn’t have the firepower to skate with a quality roster, and the Jets have more than enough to cause them grief. Instead of taking the lead, the Jets found themselves down 1-0 late in the period after Rittich bobbled a save to Steven Lorentz. Of course.

San Jose Sharks v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images

The Jets kicked off period two much as the first began; buzzing, but stymied by Reimer. A painfully-awful Winnipeg power play unit did nothing to push the Jets forward, looking as limp as it has for much of the season. Nino Niederreiter finally got tired of the scoreline being in San Jose’s favor, spinning a wrister from distance past Reimer to make it 1-1. It felt like a godsend after so many missed shots and big saves. I was hoping it would serve as a platform for Winnipeg to earn the win.

The third period was once again a textbook repeat of the previous 40 minutes. Winnipeg dominated. Reimer saved. Finally, Winnipeg’s endless wave of power plays resulted in enough offensive pressure to link Ehlers to Schmidt. Nate, benched against the Oilers, punched the puck into the back of the net. It was a lead that felt like it might be the game-winner, a critical 2 points in the bag. It was not, in fact, the winner. Tomas Hertl tied the game with less than 15 seconds remaining, and Logan Couture completed the clown-car act in OT with the winner. I give up.

Five Takeaways

  1. This team just can’t score. At all.
  2. The power play is bad enough to get someone fired. That’s all I have to say about that.
  3. Niederreiter kicks absolute butt! It’s a shame the rest of the team hasn’t been able to match his pace.
  4. Ehlers probably felt like a weight was lifted off of his shoulders on the Schmidt assist. It really should have been the game-winning play.
  5. Wheeler and Pionk are killing this team day in and day out. I don’t know what to do with them anymore.