Benny and the Jets
by BMS on 12/07/11 at 02:30 AM ET
Bryan Little’s individual effort - win the faceoff in the neutral zone, bust in over the blue line and rifle the puck past Tuukka Rask - proved to be the game-winner, but it was Ondrej Pavelec that was the real difference-maker in the Jets’ stunning 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins. The Jets halted the Bruins from extending a streak in which they earned 29 of a possible 30 points in the last 15 games; while the loss won’t put the Bs out of playoff contention, the win should further bolster the morale of the Winnipeg squad that has now won three straight and has a pile of home games on tap this month.
The Bruins did a lot right in this game - they neutralized Evander Kane for the most part of the game, they worked well on the power play, etc. - but Pavelec kept the Jets in the game, making some incredible stops in each of the three periods. At many points the Jets looked like they were holding on for dear life, and Pavelec was the one guy allowing them to squeak through 60 minutes without having to pay more of a price than they did. He stopped 38 of 39 Boston shots, some of which were outstanding chances. There weer a couple of missed opportunities on the Bruins side as well, most notably a whiff by Milan Lucic that would have found the back of a gaping Jets net and tied the game.
Regardless, the Jets have strung together three impressive team wins - all at home, and displaying promise for the month to come (where they play nearly all their games at home). I figured the team had no chance against the defending Stanley Cup champions - yeah, we got Tuukka Rask instead of Tim Thomas and Tyler Seguin sat tonight’s game after missing a team meeting this morning - but the Winnipeg Jets - especially Ondrej Pavelec - surpassed my expectations.
The Jets next play Friday at home against the Carolina Hurricanes - yet again - before zipping down to Detroit for an away game the next day. I’m thinking Chris Mason has to get one of the two starts, and I’m thinking it will be against Carolina. But stranger things have happened.
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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.