Not a lot of offensive fireworks in this one, as the story was the play of the goalies with Al Montoya edging Ben Bishop to pick up the shutout in a 1-0 victory for the Jets on the road against the Senators.
Monty turned aside all 33 shots he faced, although one could say that there were not many scoring chances for him to deal with as the Ottawa offense really failed to get anything going in this contest. A similar scenario faced the towering Ben Bishop, who stopped 36 of 37 shots.
The lone tally of the game came almost 46 minutes into the contest when a sloppy turnover by Erik Karlsson saw Kyle Wellwood stealing the puck along the right side boards and wristing a shot towards the net which got tipped up and over the left shoulder of Bishop by Alexei Ponikarovsky, his second goal of the year.
This was by no means a pretty game to watch, as can be attested by Mark Stuart being given Third Star. The top offensive lines for both squads were largely absent, and one could easily argue the bottom 6 forwards were the best on the ice for the Jets. Alexander Burmistrov was 56% at the faceoff dot and managed 5 shots, despite not scoring any points, and was easily the most exciting player to watch out there.
The Jets now return to the MTS Centre for three big games against the Flyers on Tuesday, Penguins on Friday and Bruins next Sunday. Playing at home against the top teams in the Eastern Conference will help, and it will be interesting to see how many points they can pick up on their quest for the post-season.
- The penalty kill came to play for Winnipeg. They would kill all 3 opportunities, including a chance with 8:44 left that saw the Sens unable to keep the puck in the Jets end, with the best chance of the 2 minutes going to Zach Redmond on a one timer.
- Monty was very much respectable, picking up his 3rd career shutout. It doesn't mean there's goaltending controversy, but it does improve his odds of seeing more ice time throughout the season, rebounding nicely from a shaky debut. He is now 2-0 with a .899 save percentage.
- The Jets did better than usual at the faceoff dot, winning 34 of 58 draws. Bryan Little lead the way, winning 14 of 20 draws.
- Ben Bishop continues to prove that the Sens have a good situation in net, with Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner as other potential starters. One of them should make decent trade bait at some point.
- The 4th line of James Wright, Jim Slater and Chris Thorburn did very well on the forecheck, despite the fact that they are still rather inept offensively. They had a number of shifts where they controlled the puck in the Senators end, which is all you can ask of your grinders.
- Not a lot of scoring chances for either team in this game, despite 70 shots. 46 minutes of play went by before the first and only goal was scored.
- With the extra man on the ice for Ottawa, there were head first shot blocking attempts galore for the Jets and it somehow worked
- My Budweiser Red Light worked like a charm, although it'd be nice to see it go off more than once.
- Zach Bogosian cannot come back fast enough. Despite the shutout, there were a number of defensive gaffes that made the collective fan base shake their heads. The sooner Grant Clitsome gets out of the lineup, the sooner the defense core can solidify with decent players in the lineup.
- The Jets improve to 2-3-1 on the road. It's not a great record, but it IS 5 points out of 6 road games, which is a better mark than where they were at last year when they were 1-4-1, the only win coming in the crazy 9-8 game in Philadelphia.