Free Press ★★★
★ Al Montoya, Winnipeg: Game up a softie early and faced a load of rubber but didn’t give anything up and kept his team in the game until they woke up.
★★ Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg: Had a pair and was good all game as the rest of his line struggled to find their legs.
★★★ Brandon Bollig, Chicago: A fourth line force. Scored Chicago’s lone goal and was disruptive all night.
1. Chicago, Bollig 6 (Smith, Kruger) 1:21.
Penalties -- Thorburn Wpg (hooking) 2:22, Chi Bench (too many men) 11:21, Stuart Wpg (boarding) 19:51.
Penalties -- Sharp Chi (roughing) 11:02, Trouba Wpg (roughing) 11:02, Enstrom Wpg (tripping) 15:46.
2. Winnipeg, Wheeler 20 (Stuart, Trouba) 8:16.
3. Winnipeg, Ladd 12 (unassisted) 12:53.
4. Winnipeg, Wheeler 21 (Enstrom) 18:45 (en).
Penalties -- None.
Shots on goal by
Winnipeg 2 4 15--21
Chicago 18 9 8--35
Goal -- Winnipeg: Montoya (W, 9-4-1); Chicago: Crawford (L, 19-8-8).
Power plays (goal-chances)Winnipeg: 0-1; Chicago: 0-3.
Referees -- Dave Jackson, Greg Kimmerly.
Linesmen -- Bryan Pancich, Andy McElman.
Attendance -- 21,841 at Chicago.
"That's a character win. With the West Coast travel and back-to-back games, to hang in and get the win, that's huge." -- Jets head coach Paul Maurice, now 6-1 since stepping behind the bench.
"I don't remember it." -- A mirthful Al Montoya, when asked about the one puck that did get by him on Sunday night.
SEE YA, CHICAGO:
The Hawks don't play again at the United Center until March. They hit the road for a stretch before the Olympic break and then host the Pittsburgh Penguins at Soldier Field for an outdoor game on March 1 before getting back into their home barn on March 4 against Colorado.
The Jets had three pro scouts and assistant GM Larry Simmons in Chicago at the game. Down in Florida, GM Kevin Cheveldayoff and his amateur scouting staff held their winter meetings. Led by head scout Marcel Comeau, the Jets have done a nice job at the draft and might have the best pair of rookies in the NHL this season in Mark Scheifele and Jacob Trouba. Nice work, but in scouting, it's always "what have you done for me lately?"
-- Gary Lawless