The Winnipeg Jets are flying high these days and have top spot in the Southeast Division – that’s a playoff spot yo!
Their early March 4-game road trip didn’t start off well with a disappointing loss to the Panthers. The Jets earned six of a possible eight points with wins against the Lightning, the Florida Panthers re-match and a shoot-out loss to the New Jersey Devils.
In front of the Winnipeg faithful, the Jets dominated the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers winning both games. Against the Leafs, Evander Kane scored a beauty of a breakaway goal with a blazing wrist shot top shelf against Leaf netminder, James Reimer. I have to also give credit to the creativity of the Jets fans screaming “Let’s Go Blue Jays” at the game as it paid homage to Leafs fans “cheering” when the Leafs are losing at home at the Air Canada Centre.
The Rangers are also lurking behind the Jets in the playoff race and make every game that much more important. The Jets are firing on all cylinders and getting contributions from all four lines. Claude Noel’s post game comment, “To me the difference is that we’re emotionally involved in the game, both the emotions and physicality. I think that’s driving our team.”
The Leafs rematch at Air Canada Centre was a seesaw battle where the Jets were up as much as 4-1 before the Leafs battled back to tie the game at 4 to force the game into overtime. Overtime decided nothing and it would take 10 rounds of shootout hockey before Zach Bogosian scored the shootout-winning goal. CBC must have been happy to see that, Leaf fans, not so much.
Let’s not dive too much into the loss against the Ottawa Senators. The Jets looks slow, sluggish and fatigued. Jets lost 1-4 badly. It was time to head back home, regroup and get some much needed rest.
The Bruins overpowered the Jets during the first two periods and Ondrej Pavelec stepped up big time to keep the Jets within one goal. In the third period and in less than a minute, two goals by Blake Wheeler and Evander Kane blew the roof off at MTS Centre giving the Jets a 2-1 lead and they wouldn’t look back. An empty net goal by Blake Wheeler in the last minute of the game sealed the huge two point victory.
Huge win against the Bruins last night! And I mean HUGE! The Winnipeg Jets have 34 points and there four teams tied with 32 points – Hurricanes, Maple Leafs, Rangers and the Devils. The Winnipeg Jets play the Washington Capitals in a back-to-back tilt at the phonebooth on Thursday and Friday!
Go Jets Go!
Photo by Rob Buenaventura