Benny and the Jets
Entries with the tag: philadelphia flyers
The Philadelphia Flyers are in town tonight to take on the Winnipeg Jets, who look to make it four wins in a row and a chance to claim top spot in the Southeast Division if they can scare up two points. The Jets have beaten the Flyers on all three occasions they’ve met, the wild 9-8 win being the definite, uh, highlight of the bunch.
Sunday’s performance 5-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche was admirable – the team played the body well, managed a pair of power play goals and survived a treacherous second period thanks to the goaltending of Ondrej Pavelec. Blake Wheeler had four points en route to earning the league’s second star of the week honours, an honour aided in no small part to the efforts of Bryan Little.
The Winnipeg Jets looked shaky at times, but in the end they had what they needed to beat the Bruins 4-2 at home, successfully winning back-to-back games for the first time this season. And it couldn’t have come at a more crucial time – with a stretch of games at home through February and just a couple points back from a playoff spot, it was do or die time for the Jets.
Despite that wild 9-8 Jets win early in the year, last night’s Winnipeg Jets/Philadelphia Flyers game got off to a somewhat predictably slow, cautious tilt – heck, there weren’t even any shots on net until over halfway through the first period, and only 13 in total (7-6 Jets). It was, after all, the first game for both teams since the All Star break, so both teams needed some time to find their groove/calilbrate, so to speak.
Oh yeah, I missed the All Star action because of my trip to California – I trust it was as completely riveting a game of hockey as one might imagine. I did genuinely miss hockey while I was away, but took some comfort in the fact that I wasn’t missing a game so much as a glorified skills camp. That and the fact that I was visiting some darn nice wineries every day helped numb the pain of missing hockey.
The voracious Winnipeg crowd didn’t get to razz Ilya Bryzgalov between the pipes, but their team managed a far more important feat, beating the Philadelphia Flyers 6-4 to win their third straight in a game that was as complete as any they have played this season. Penalties continue to be a problem for the Jets - they took eight in the game, including three in the third period by Evander Kane. But the Flyers were undisciplined as well, taking eight of their own in the Saturday afternoon match. The Jets’ special teams were strong, netting three power play goals and a shorthanded beauty from Jim Slater, and allowed two goals against while killing their own penalties.
The Winnipeg Jets return home from their longest road trip this year a little bruised, but with a respectable 8 of 14 points in the proverbial bag - as good or if not better than most pundits would have wagered.
If the last three games showed anything (and apologies for not updating after each of ‘em - work/family stuff got in the way), it’s that the Jets still don’t really seem to have an established identity. A near-comeback against the New Jersey Devils, then a goose egg against the New York Rangers, and then another overtime loss against the Buffalo Sabres in a game that was nearly as wild as the opening road game against the Philadelphia Flyers only showed (at least to me) that the Jets remain a mystery wrapped in an enigma throughout their first 15 games.
Only Zach Bogosian, Kenndal Mcardle and Johnny Oduya were kept off the scoresheet for the Winnipeg Jets last night; each of the other skaters had at least one point in the Jets’ first road win, a ridiculous 9-8 blowout at the Wachovia Center. After going up 5-1 and 6-2, the Jets stunk up the Wachovia Center in a big way. You want to talk about an ugly road win? That game was about as ugly as it gets.