The Winnipeg Jets won their third straight game against the Chicago Blackhawks tonight and it wasn’t particularly close at any point. From the first whistle, the Jets were flying up and down the ice and while the Hawks certainly had their chances, once again they scored too few to matter.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Wild have decided to do that weird mid-season thing where they don’t lose games for a month. It won’t be long before first place in the division belongs to the Wild if the Hawks can’t figure out how to score a little bit more often.
Let’s make this quick because no one wants to think about Winnipeg longer than they have to.
1) I hope you read the preview for tonight’s game because you always should. McClure always points out some really insightful stuff and predicting Drew Stafford scoring wasn’t all. The 3rd pair for the Jets (Postma, Chiarot) were abysmal but you’d never know it because they barely played. You can see why Dustin Byfuglien leads the league in ice time and you can see why the Jets, despite looking pretty good tonight, will miss the playoffs and probably by a lot. Now think about this lineup after Trouba gets his way and leaves. Hoo boy.
2) That said these were the Jets at their best. I didn’t necessarily think Connor “Dutch Master” Hellebuyck had to do anything too insane to keep the Hawks at bay but it’s tough to argue with a .971. Also, please can we call him the Dutch Master? He sounds like a guy who did horrifying paintings of demons eating babies in the 1600s.
3) Paging Jonathan Toews.
4) I would hope that Quenneville having to shuffle his defense pairs after the first period means we’ll see the re-emergence of Kempny in the lineup. Forsling, Campbell, and Seabrook had less than stellar games and I think we can all guess which one of those three is more likely to sit. TVR may have had one of his better games but for the love of god take him off the power play.
5) I forgot about Tanner Kero before the game but we’re stuck with him until Marian Hossa comes back some time around the turn of the calendar. He had two really excellent chances tonight and missed on both.
6) Another really good game from the Hawks goaltender which has been the case basically every night. One Goal isn’t just a clever. catch-all marketing slogan for the franchise. *truck horn*
7) We’ve been through this every year since always. The Blackhawks under are never gonna be that wire to wire juggernaut. If they weren’t when the roster was loaded with talent, why would they be now when half the team is still on training wheels? This will be a struggle, especially as the doldrums of mid winter kick in. Don’t go crazy trying to understand piss poor efforts like this one. There’s another game in a couple days and maybe it’ll be better.
Nashville on Thursday. Onward.