Benny and the Jets
Entries with the tag: Florida Panthers
The Winnipeg Jets dug deep on Friday night and did what most thought was impossible, overcoming a 3-0 deficit against the Washington Capitals and winning the game 4-3 in overtime. A regulation win would have been cleaner in terms of the standings, what with Washington only a few points ahead of the Jets, but it was an important road win nonetheless and kept the team’s slim playoff chances alive.
While Monday night’s tilt against the Buffalo Sabres was anything but memorable when it came to the play on the ice, there was certainly more of a buzz than normal at the MTS Centre – if that’s possible. The Jets were up against a red-hot Eastern Conference rival whose goalie had just earned the previous week’s first star.
The Sabres managed to tie the game with less than a minute left in the second period, sending the Jets to the dressing room for the intermission in a position that had, in previous games, seemed to prompt a third period meltdown. But these Jets seem to have finally found a way to compete for a full 60 minutes, to paraphrase a bad hockey cliché, and beauty goals by Blake Wheeler and Chris Thorburn resulted in a 3-1 Winnipeg win that stopped the surging Sabres in their tracks and kept the Jets in the eighth playoff spot.
Afternoon games always seem like a bit of a drag – the crowd’s never really fully engaged, teams often look sluggish, and the results aren’t often reflective of a team’s true potential.
While the MTS Centre crowd was relatively disengaged for parts of Saturday’s Winnipeg Jets game against the St. Louis Blues, it was still noisy when it needed to be noisy. Neither team came out looking overly sluggish either – and the 3-2 overtime loss to the Blues didn’t come completely out of left field.
It looked like Ondrej Pavelec was going to be tested often right from the outset of Thursday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, as he sprawled to make a remarkable save on Martin St. Louis in the first minute. It brought flashbacks of Tuesday’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers to mind – a game where Pavelec stopped 50 shots but was beaten in the final minute of overtime by Jaromir Jagr.
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.
Tim Stapleton, Kyle Wellwood, and the Penguins’ Jordan Staal all drew back in to their respective lineups on Saturday afternoon, and each factored into the scoresheet. Having said that, it wasn’t hard to pick up a goal or assist in this game, as the Winnipeg Jets fell 8-5 to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Consol Energy Center.
Evgeni Malkin had five points as Ondrej Pavelec had one of his trademark stinker games – these types of performances by him are less frequent as of late but clearly still lurk in the shadows. Granted, he faced 39 shots, but he probably should have been pulled at the end of the second period at the latest, when the Jets were down 5-3.
Finally back in their own barn, the Winnipeg Jets broke the Toronto Maple Leafs’ five-game winning streak with a hard-fought 2-1 win in a game that had many a momentum shift. At times the Leafs rolled into the Jets’ zone with ease, blowing past pinching/flat-footed defenders, while at other times the Jets handled Toronto’s finest with ease.
Phil Kessel started the scoring off by grabbing a nicely banked pass from Joffray Lupul, skating across the Jets’ defensive zone and blasting a wrister past Ondrej Pavelec for his 30th goal of the year. I don’t get a chance to watch Kessel all that much, but man did he look good out there.
The Winnipeg Jets leave Florida with two of a possible four points – not the ideal situation, especially considering the two points they picked up were in a 2-1 overtime win against Southeast Division rivals the Tampa Bay Lightning. Rather than significantly close the gap on the Florida Panthers (to whom they lost 2-1 in regulation on Friday night) and Washington Capitals – both in their division and both ahead of the Jets – Winnipeg only managed to cobble together enough to keep things close in the race for the final couple of playoff spots.
It’s tough to gain any momentum when your team can’t put the puck in the net, something the Jets have been struggling with as of late. Snipe Evander Kane continues to sit out with a concussion, although he had been ice cold in his last ten or so games in action. The team only has six goals in the last five games, a number that won’t win you many games (although, miraculously, the team won two of those five).
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.
Greetings from the balmy Southeast Division - here in Winnipeg it’s currently -25 Celsius, but feels more like -36 when you factor in the wind. Um, at least it’s sunny I guess.
The Winnipeg Jets and Ottawa Senators had very different records for 2012 going into last night’s game at Scotiabank Place - the former had won once (in overtime), while the latter had only lost once (also in overtime). Yet in last night’s 2-0 victory over the Sens, the Jets dominated in so many ways. Did the Sens figure playing the slumping Jets would be a cake walk? Were these Jets finally ready to play a full 60 minutes of hockey? Who knows - I guess the answer is probably a bit of both.
If hockey games were only two periods long, the Winnipeg Jets might very well be the toast of the league. But with no signs of any rules being amended to shorten games in the foreseeable future, the team will have to do something to learn to play hard for 60 minutes, to use a tired cliché. Up 1-0 heading into the third period, the Jets once again blew a lead in the final twenty minutes of the game, falling 2-1 to the New Jersey Devils at the MTS Centre yesterday afternoon.
On the day that Canada Post unveiled a few Winnipeg Jets commemorative stamps - yeah, they still make stamps and apparently we should care - the Jets absolutely mailed it in tonight in a 5-2 loss to the Florida Panthers where they looked listless at best and sloppy at worst.
Oh, before I go any further, allow me to take a second to say how completely classless I thought it was that TSN Jets cut away during the moment of silence in memory of Canadians lost/engaged in combat. I don’t know if it the same thing happened on Shaw or Bell, but the MTS feed cut away to an ad for some damn thing called a No No (I think it’s a hair remover for ladies) instead of observing the moment of silence at the rink. I don’t know who was responsible, but it was totally bush league and classless. Whatever you do, don’t tell Don Cherry.
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.
Apparently thousands of Florida hockey fans didn’t get the memo, as only half of the BankAtlantic Center pulled off the decidedly scary “dress like a seat” night for Halloween. It must have been deja vu for those Jets players from last year’s Atlanta Thrashers team. For those of us that live north of the border and don’t get to see a lot of Florida/Phoenix/etc. games, the sparse attendance is/was a bit of a shock.
Oh yeah, the game. Despite blowing an early lead and trailing heading into the last few minutes of the third period - yes, sounds familiar to the blowout in Philly - the Jets managed to score late and force overtime. When nothing was decided in the five minutes of four-on-four, Andrew Ladd and Kyle Wellwood beat Jose Theodore in decisive fashion and Ondrej Pavelec did what he needed to do, as the Jets bested the Panthers 4-3.
Oh yeah, pardon any/all Halloween puns/etc. above and below. Or don’t.
What a difference a game makes. After being lit up for eight goals (and squeaking out a win with nine themselves), the Winnipeg Jets lost a squeaker, falling 1-0 to the Tampa Bay Lightning in an important division matchup. Yes, that’s right, in case you had forgotten the Jets are in the Southeast Division.
With both the Lightning’s Dwayne Roloson and the Jets’ Ondrej Pavelec not exactly putting up stellar numbers to begin the year (3.62 and 3.75 goals against average, respectively), I figured this could be another high-scoring game. But both ‘tenders stopped 27 saves - the problem being Pavelec faced 28. A great shot from a bad angle by Vincent Lecavalier at the end of the second period (on the power play) was all that was needed in this one.