Benny and the Jets
Entries with the tag: Tampa Bay Lightning
Finally, officially, it’s over. The Winnipeg Jets’ playoff chances were slimmer than slim going into last night’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but an overtime loss courtesy of Steven Stamkos’ 56th goal of the year dashed what little hope was left of making the postseason. Infamously weak in the second of back-to-back games and notably bad on the road, the Jets were lucky to keep things close against the Bolts in Tampa following the previous night’s win in Carolina.
A Jets win last night wouldn’t have been enough anyhow – Montreal needed to beat the Washington Capitals for the Jets’ meager chances of the playoffs alive, and they failed to do so in a shootout loss. With just three games left and only four points up on the Toronto Maple Leafs (14th in the Eastern Conference), it’s plausible that the Jets could lose all three games and pick in the top five at this year’s draft. Which, at this point, is what Jets fans should be hoping for.
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 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).
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.
According to the usual suspects on Twitter, the Winnipeg Jets have claimed Finnish winger Antti Miettinen off re-entry waivers from the KHL. The Tampa Bay Lightning had signed him to a two-year, $3 million contract, but won’t get to see him in a Bolts jersey in the foreseeable future.
With Nik Antropov, Eric Fehr and Alexander Burmistrov out of the lineup tonight against the Minnesota Wild, the Jets will need all the healthy bodies they can get. He won’t be in the lineup tonight (obviously), so the Jets will likely be short up front. Ron Hainsey, however, is back tonight, meaning the defence will get some much-needed help.
I don’t know a ton about him, but he seems like a decent enough pick-up. Miettinen will be the most popular Finnish player in Winnipeg for exactly four days, when Teemu Selanne and the Anaheim Ducks visit the MTS Centre. Enjoy it while you can, bud.
The humiliation of losing to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night proved to be somewhat of a wake-up call for the Winnipeg Jets, as they came out strong and rarely let up throughout last night’s 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Five different Jets (Andrew Ladd, Evander Kane, Dustin Byfuglien, St. John’s call-up Mark Flood and Tim Stapleton) managed to beat the Tampa netminder - Dwayne Roloson on the first four and Mathieu Garon for the fifth - in a game that saw a concerted, solid team effort.
When the NHL came back to Winnipeg, piles of hockey fans dropped their adopted favourite team and got behind the Jets. I have no problem with that - it’s an exciting thing, after all, to have the NHL back after fifteen years away - but for me there’s not been much to get very excited about when it comes to this Winnipeg Jets team.
Last night’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets - the worst team in the league, points-wise - only reaffirmed my intense skepticism about the Jets, as they absolutely stunk up the Nationwide Arena in a 2-1 loss. In fact, the two minutes of overtime in the Montreal-Nashville game that CBC cut to following the Jets’ loss was better hockey than anything I saw from either team in the Jets-Jackets game. (If you didn’t see Pacioretty’s goal, check this out.)
Based on some calls I heard to TSN Radio 1290’s post-game call in show last night, the masses are certainly not happy with the Jets as of late. Most of us didn’t expect this team to contend for a playoff spot this year, but these Jets seem to be getting worse as the season progresses. Jets fans certainly aren’t going to abandon this team en masse anytime soon, but there’s not a lot to be positive about right now.
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.
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.
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.