Tanev touch too much for Boston
Tenacious Winnipeg winger fires first NHL hat trick
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/03/2018 (1705 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Winnipeg Jets have enviable depth up and down their lineup, but Tuesday’s offensive outburst by fourth-line winger Brandon Tanev and defenceman Joe Morrow, an unheralded trade deadline pickup, was timely on a night when the club’s big guns fell silent.
Tanev scored his fifth, sixth and seventh goals of season on hustle plays that are his trademark, and Morrow added his first goal as a member of the Jets, a big blast from the point in the second period, to spark the Jets to a 5-4 shootout triumph over the Boston Bruins before 15,321 fans at Bell MTS Place.
Patrik Laine was Winnipeg’s decisive goal scorer in the shootout.
“It’s a special moment, an unbelievable feeling,” said Tanev, whose first NHL hat trick was also the first since one he remembered vaguely from “maybe junior.”
“You don’t expect that going into the game. But it’s a testament to our team, how they play and the leadership we have here. Adam and Andrew did a great job. We were on the puck all night long… just as much credit goes to those guys as I do putting the puck into the net.”
Tanev and linemates Adam Lowry and Andrew Copp also drew a daunting defensive assignment, shadowing Boston’s top line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak.
“Coach is confident putting us up against that line,” said Tanev. “Being a difficult line to play against — that’s the most important thing.”
“You’re so happy for him,” said Jets captain Blake Wheeler. “That line doesn’t really have a glamourous job. They’re supposed to go out there and basically just shut down the other team’s best players, play heavy on them. They’ve done just an outstanding job of it all year, especially when they’ve been healthy.”
Jets head coach Paul Maurice was asked if he was surprised by Tanev’s play.
“Not in the way he plays. It was identical,” said Maurice. “That line struggled a little bit last game in their game and one of the things that are unusual about them as a checking line is they play with the puck. Great sticks, be above the puck all of the time, give the other team nothing, what they’re good at is actually controlling the puck, either off the rush or taking it to the net. It’s still a simple game.”
Tanev also earned some ice time during the three-on-three overtime period.
“Paul called my name, and I turned to him and said, ‘Are you joking me?’” said Tanev. “I appreciate that from him. I guess building some trust there.”
Added Maurice: “If it’s not a guy that’s here to score goals and he gets a hat trick, everybody loves it five times as much. He’s going out in the overtime and these guys are cheering for him and excited. He did a marvellous job defending. Surprised? They’re all really good players. He scores in practice, he’s not in a role where he’s going to get power-play time and those type of things, but no, when you work that hard, every once in a while, something great is going to happen for you.”
The win allowed Winnipeg to sweep its six-game home stand and improved the club’s record to 47-19-10. The Jets are second in the Central Division, five points behind the front-running Nashville Predators with six regular-season games remaining.
It was Winnipeg’s fourth consecutive trip to overtime.
Ryan Donato, Danton Heinen, Torey Krug and David Pastrnak replied with goals for the visitors, who fell to 47-17-11 and remain second in the Atlantic Division.
Heinen’s goal on a power play at 1:45 of the third period while Josh Morrissey was serving a five-minute major for boarding and Pastrnak’s marker during a 5-on-3, set up after the Jets’ unsuccessful offside challenge on the Heinen marker less than two minutes later, tied the game at 3-3. The Jets took a 4-3 lead on Tanev’s third of the game, a short-handed wrap-around goal at 4:29.
Boston’s Krug evened the game at 4-4 on another power-play tally at 8:06.
Maurice was willing to accept the risk of challenging the Heinen goal and remained convinced the play was offside. Would his approach change?
“In the regular season, in our situation, I decide whether I think it’s offside or not and make the call,” said Maurice. “Would I weigh it differently in the playoffs, five-on-three after a goal? Probably.”
Connor Hellebuyck made 28 saves in the Winnipeg net and three of four shots during the shootout while Boston goaltender Anton Khudobin also stopped 28 shots.
TIMETABLE FOR TROUBA? Jets blue-liner Jacob Trouba missed his fourth consecutive game after suffering a concussion in a collision with Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn on March 18.
“He’s come out of this really well,” said Maurice. “We want to make sure we’re right. All our good intentions and all the hard work that goes into identifying concussions and treating concussions, there’s still a grey area — there’s no pun intended — there’s still a piece that we don’t know.
“He feels really good. I want to get him into a couple of stiffer practices, which is more difficult to do when you’re playing every second night. We’re going to push him real hard, he’s going to feel good on the day he walks in and says, ‘You’ve gotta put me back in now.’”
NOTEWORTHY: Wheeler’s assist on Morrow’s second-period goal was the Winnipeg captain’s 600th career NHL point… Boston went 4-for-5 on the power play. Winnipeg went 0-for-1… Boston defenceman Matt Grzelcyk left the game with an upper-body injury after Morrissey’s hit in the third period and will be re-evaluated… The Jets reassigned goaltender Michael Hutchinson (concussion) to the AHL’s Manitoba Moose Tuesday. He had been out since March 13, a span of five games. Maurice said veteran goaltender Steve Mason (lower body) is “pretty close” to returning. Current backup Eric Comrie is slated to start Thursday night in Chicago.
Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.
Updated on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 11:26 PM CDT: adds photo
Updated on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 11:44 PM CDT: full write-thru
Updated on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 11:12 AM CDT: Corrects quote