Benny and the Jets
by BMS on 01/09/12 at 11:11 AM ET
What can you say about the Jets’ 2-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night other than the tale the stats tell? Well, I guess if you were an actual reporter, could talk to players, get the vibe of the arena, etc., really you could say quite a lot. Hm. Well, I digress. Both the first and third periods were scoreless, then the Sabres went up midway through the second period on a Tyler Myers power play goal as Blake Wheeler sat in the sin bin. Wheeler, however, exacted revenge, tying the game with five seconds left in the second period on a 5-on-3 power play. Johnny Oduya rifled the puck over Jhonas Enroth’s shoulder less than a minute into overtime, and there you have it - the Jets move past their terrible play in the initial two games of this road trip and pick up two points.
That road victory, the Jets’ sixth (!) of the season, was easily one of the most boring games of the season that I’ve seen (with the exception of a couple portions of the second period and the very brief overtime). I mean it was just plain sloppy - both teams were whiffing on neutral zone passes, and there were turnovers galore. I wish I could say “this post came after spending hours poring over game tape,” but I’d rather not see 57ish minutes of that game ever again. (Instead, I’ll blame having to throw one half of a five year-old’s birthday party Sunday and all the prep that comes along with that as my reason for not posting sooner).
Both Enroth and Jets’ netminder Ondrej Pavelec put in solid performances, Enroth turning away 39 shots (including 18 in the second period) and Pavelec stopping 31 of 32. Johnny Oduya’s wrister early in overtime was somewhat shocking, as the Jets’ d-man had a grand total of 21 goals in 400+ NHL games.
One of the most exciting moments of the game came late in the third period; the Sabres believed they had potted the go-ahead goal, only to have the officials rule the whistle had been blown before the puck crossed the red line. It’s true that it had, although I’m sure there were a few Sabres fans wondering why play had been blown dead in the first place. Here’s a two-minute montage of the game - pretty much all you need to see - that includes the Sabres’ goal that never was at around the one-minute mark:
As for the 5-on-3 power play that resulted in the Jets tying the score (which, admittedly, was a pretty thrilling scramble)? The second penalty went to Jordan Leopold for passing Jhonas Enroth’s stick back to him. Always a weird, awkward call.
Oh hey, has the Bruins’ Brad Marchand been suspended yet? ‘Cause I’m sure the Jets wouldn’t mind if he had to miss Tuesday’s game as the team wraps up their four-game road trip. The Bruins are completely terrifying, and have been skilfully built to instill such terror while managing to retain a crap-load of cap space. Oh well, at least I know it won’t be a boring game.
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About Benny and the Jets
Fifteen years ago, Ben's beloved Winnipeg Jets left town. He begrudgingly turned to the Montreal Canadiens for comfort and found none, and is now struggling to find a place in his heart for the Winnipeg Jets v2.0.
Ben is a Winnipeg-based freelance writer that writes a lot about wine and beer. Expect his son to be drafted into the NHL in 2025.