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Recap: Winnipeg Jets @ Boston Bruins

Jan 22, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (37) tries to coral a loose puck as Boston Bruins left wing Danton Heinen (43) waits in front during the second period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

A short-handed Winnipeg Jets squad met up with the high flying Boston Bruins on Monday evening, in a battle of two the NHL’s top teams.

In the opening period, both squads focused on limiting opportunities and they were successful as the teams only put a combined 12 shots on the goaltenders. Undeniably, the Bruins were the better team in the 1st, but the Jets did on adequate job of reducing chances on Hellebuyck. Our team wasn’t perfect though, as a scramble in the mid-slot saw a puck pop out to Frederic for a quick shot. Bucky was able to make the save, but the rebound went right to Lauko to give Boston an early lead. Two minutes later, a bad zone exit pass was picked off by Perfetti in the slot and the winger quickly sent the puck back to DeMelo at the point. The defender let go an absolute howitzer and somehow Namestnikov deflected the puck off the post & in to tie the game up 4 minutes in. Winnipeg continued to try to weather the storm as the ice was slightly tilted in the Boston’s favour and the Jets’ inept powerplay didn’t help things out. The latter part of the period saw the Bruins take control of the puck and Boston took a late period lead when Coyle tipped a Lindholm point shot by Hellebuyck. The shot chart below shows how much better the B’s chances were in the first.

First Period MoneyPuck Stats: Score: 2 to 1 for the Bruins, shots 6 to 6 tie, 69% Deserve To Win for the Bruins, Expected Goals – all situations (0.93-0.26 BOS), & 5 on 5 (0.91-0.26 BOS)

Winnipeg opened the 2nd up with another uninspired PP, but it was ended when Niederreiter was called for an infraction. Boston’s man-advantage unit was stifled by the Jets’ penalty killers on a couple occasions in the middle frame, but the rest of the period looked like Winnipeg were trying to skate uphill. Hellebuyck continued to play outstanding and was the sole reason the Jets were only down by one going into the final frame. MoneyPuck’s shot chart shows how the game got away from Winnipeg in the second (note the pathetic expected goals for the Jets through two frames).

After Two Periods MoneyPuck Stats: Score: 2 to 1 for the Bruins, shots 14 to 10 for the Bruins, 83% Deserve to Win for the Bruins, Expected Goals – all situations (2.02-0.44 BOS) & 5 on 5 (1.40-0.44 BOS)

The Jets’ coaching staff finally woke up and started to play with the forward line combinations, reuniting Lowry on the 3rd line and putting Connor & Ehlers together. The result was a more competitive period of hockey as visiting Winnipeg created some high danger scoring chances, but the home team pretty much sealed the game when DeBrusk pounced on a rebound to give the B’s a 3 to 1 lead with just over 5 minutes to play. With time dwindling away, the Jets’ coaching staff tried to pull Hellebuyck to get the needed two goals to tie things up, but after a poor decision by Morrissey at the offensive blueline, Boston was gifted an empty netter that also ended Winnipeg’s long streak of limiting opponents to 3 goals or less. Here’s how the final shot chart showed the scoring opportunities.

After Three Periods MoneyPuck Stats: Score: 72% Deserve to Win for the Bruins, Expected Goals – all situations (3.19-1.29 BOS) & 5 on 5 (1.57-1.26 BOS)


Game Observations:

  • This team really misses Mark Scheifele. And the late Gabriel Vilardi scratch didn’t help much either.
  • Connor Hellebuyck continues to play well, despite an untypical .850 save percentage against Boston.
  • The coaches better have alternate plans if Mark Scheifele isn’t ready to go against the Toronto Maple Leafs, otherwise those two games could get real ugly.
  • Had a late start today, so that’s all I am going to come up with. At least I get to stop typing “3 goals or less” now.

NEXT GAME: Winnipeg Jets @ Toronto Maple Leafs – Wednesday, January 24th @ 6:00 pm Central

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