Benny and the Jets
Entries with the tag: Carolina Hurricanes
For 40 minutes, the Winnipeg Jets-Carolina Hurricanes game was a slightly loose and fairly unpredictable game. Then, like they have many times before this year, the Jets came out completely flat in the third period, gave up two goals and lost – in regulation, no less – 4-3. To say this was a must-win game for the Jets is akin to using one any hockey cliché – redundant and/or completely obvious.
With a regulation loss, the Jets remain tied with the Buffalo Sabres with 76 points, and two points back of the Washington Capitals. The Capitals lost against the Chicago Blackhawks, so a win by the Jets would have evened them in the points department. The loss means the Jets’ playoff chances just got much slimmer.
The intensity in the MTS Centre last night was as high as it’s been all year – playoff level, almost. Perhaps that’s fitting, as the Jets may only almost make the playoffs. But their 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals was crucial in any attempt to claw their way back into the mix – they’re now two points back on the Caps and a point ahead of the Buffalo Sabres for that eighth playoff spot.
Last night’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers must have been a tough pill to swallow for the Winnipeg Jets, as their Southeast Division rivals managed to get both of a two possible points despite the Jets completely pouring it on from beginning to end. the Jets managed 44 shots on Scott Clemmensen, who stole this game for the Panthers with some help from a three-point game from Kris Versteeg.
The Jets, well-rested since their last game on Friday against Pittsburgh, came into Denver and took it to the Colorado Avalanche, handing them a 4-1 loss that ended the Avs’ eight-game home winning streak. Much in the same way the Penguins came to town and had their way with the Jets on the second of back-to-back nights, the Jets didn’t see many daunting challenges from the Avalanche, who played in Minnesota the night before and then flew back to Denver after the game. Fatigued? Likely.
Regardless, Winnipeg will be abuzz with the fact that the Jets are currently in the eight playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but should keep in mind that the playoffs begin in April - not December. Enjoy it, Jets fans, as there’s just as good a chance the team could be languishing on the outside looking in by this time next month, especially if their road record doesn’t improve.
Only four Detroit Red Wings were kept off the score sheet last night in a 7-1 thrashing of the Winnipeg Jets. In contrast, every member of the Jets was a minus save for Tanner Glass and Jason Jaffray, with Zach Bogosian and Evander Kane “leading” the charge at -4 apiece. Ouch.
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.
In a game that had few exciting moments, the Winnipeg Jets managed to get the upper hand on division rival Carolina Hurricanes, winning the game 3-1 to collect two crucial road points and move
to a .500 record
closer to a .500 record (9-9-4) [EDIT: thanks to PuckStopsHere for the catch on my momentary lapse of reason - this, of course, is NOT .500 hockey]. I feared the worst when the Jets took two penalties in the first five minutes of the game, but they managed to calm it down and play a level-headed, responsible game.
Hot on the heels of an admirable 4-3 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals, the Jets head to Raleigh to take on the equally streaky Carolina Hurricanes in an important Southeast division game that, many months down the line, could determine who’s in or who’s out when it comes to the playoffs. Although really, the chances of either team being in the mix for post-season dates is pretty slim.
Tonight’s Winnipeg Jets game against the New York Rangers will see their toughest opponents to date visit the MTS Centre. It’ll be the first time some real firepower has entered the building, as Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards will undoubtedly press hard in an attempt to bounce back from their loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.
Ontario’s official slogan is “Yours to Discover.” So what did the Winnipeg Jets discover in their back-to-back games against Ontario’s two teams?
While the standing ovation in Toronto was a nice enough touch and the teams’ start looked promising, there wasn’t enough consistency in the team’s effort throughout the game, which resulted in them blowing a 3-1 lead going into the third period. The Leafs were able to score two power play goals in the third, then take the Jets in the shootout. As for last night’s “effort” against the lowly Ottawa Senators, I’d say that was one of the most tedious, unenjoyable hockey games I’ve seen in some time (although Anne Murray apparently enjoyed herself).
Split squads, simultaneous home-and-away games, massive rosters, A squads versus B squads, etc. - this pre-season seems to have gone on forever. Winnipeg Jets fans don’t seem to mind, although I think it’s fair to say many are now anxious to see something resembling a final lineup on the ice.
It sounds like Dustin Byfuglien won’t take the ice tonight in Winnipeg against the Nashville Predators in the Jets’ final pre-season game, as the coaching staff indicated yesterday that he has a “minor injury.” Ben Maxwell is also apparently day-to-day, so expect tonight’s lineup to include a few more fringe guys battling hard for the few roster spots available.