Despite missing their #1 center and defenceman, the Winnipeg Jets beat the Nashville Predators 3-1 Saturday night.
Michael Hutchinson returned to form, and held the Predators (now on a 6 game losing streak) to a mere one goal, while a depleted Jets lineup played the solid, grinding style that has gotten them results all year long.
Michael Frolik opened the scoring on a feed from Andrew Ladd in the first, with Blake Wheeler scoring the game winner 35 seconds after the Predators had tied the game in the second period.
While a close game throughout, Nashville didn't look terribly dangerous for long stretches. They did generate chances on occasion, but Michael Hutchinson showed why he is now the Winnipeg Jets number one goalie. Even after taking a head to head collision with Predators forward Gabriel Bourque, Hutchinson was up to the task.
1. TATERS! Michael Frolik scored his 15th of the year (on a nifty feed from Andrew Ladd), upping the price tag he'll be asking come July 1. (You thought he wouldn't test free agency? Seriously?)
2. Tyler Myers is looking like pure win for the Jets. 8 points in 10 games, and looks right at home on the blue line here. Bogo-who?
3. On an unrelated note, Zach Bogosian left the Sabres game early tonight, and was spotted in a walking boot post-game.
4. Speaking of that trade, Drew Stafford had the empty netter, an assist and (like Myers) is fitting right in here in Winnipeg.
5. The Winnipeg Jets only gave up two power plays tonight. Two. Not even one per period. Amazing. Are the Jets playing more disciplined hockey, or are the refs gearing up for the playoffs?
6. Of those power plays, one was from Anthony Peluso crashing the net and getting called for goaltender interference. I was ok with the trade off, as Rinne is tough to beat on any given night, so anything that might get him off his game is ok by me.
7. I wouldn't want to see an extended period of the Jets without Little and Buff, but as long as they can stay in the range of .500 hockey while Buff and Little are out, they'll be fine. See also: December and January when 2/3rds of the D-corps were out on IR.
8. With the win, Winnipeg remains 4 points up on LA for the final wildcard playoff spot. They are also two points up on Vancouver and Calgary (#2 and #3 in the Pacific division, respectively).
9. TNSE's decision to release the blue home sweaters first is looking like a great business decision. How many of you are looking to now get a white sweater for the inevitable playoff game in April?