Jets annihilate sitting Ducks

Winnipeg scores six in the first, smashing franchise record


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The Winnipeg Jets declared open season on the Anaheim Ducks Saturday night, riding a record-setting opening period to a 9-3 beat down at Bell MTS Place.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 02/02/2019 (1295 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The Winnipeg Jets declared open season on the Anaheim Ducks Saturday night, riding a record-setting opening period to a 9-3 beat down at Bell MTS Place.

This one was over before the Zambonis were called upon to flood the ice for the first time.

Winnipeg fired six goals in the opening frame, the most in any period in franchise history. According to Elias Sports Bureau, it’s the first time since 2007 an NHL team has led by as many as six goals after 20 minutes. And the nine total goals ties a franchise record for most in a game, previously set twice. (Once as Winnipeg in 2011 in a 9-8 win over Philadelphia, once as Atlanta in 2005 in a 9-0 win over Carolina.)

JOHN WOODS / THE CANADIAN PRESS Winnipeg Jets' celebrate Blake Wheeler's (26) goal against the Anaheim Ducks' during first period NHL action in Winnipeg on Saturday, February 2, 2019.

“I’ve coached a bunch of games, I don’t ever remember having a six-goal lead, a 6-0, after the first,” said coach Paul Maurice, in his 22nd season behind an NHL bench.

Leading the way was Jack Roslovic, who notched his first career NHL hat trick. It’s even more impressive considering he was a major question mark to play after leaving the morning skate early with cramping. Nic Petan took the pre-game skate just in case Roslovic couldn’t answer the bell, only to be a healthy scratch for a 16th straight game.

“When I got into warm-up I felt pretty good. I warmed it up pretty good in the gym, so it was ready to go,” said Roslovic, who has been the subject of multiple trade inquiries from other teams lately.

JOHN WOODS / THE CANADIAN PRESS Winnipeg Jets' Tyler Myers (57), Bryan Little (18) and Jack Roslovic (28) celebrate Roslovic's goal against the Anaheim Ducks' during first period NHL action in Winnipeg on Saturday, February 2, 2019.

Winnipeg improves to 34-16-2 following a third straight win and seventh straight on home ice. They continue to sit on top of the Central Division.

“Jack was sharp tonight. Happy for him. Those mean a lot to any player. When you’re a young guy, a skilled guy, a big night like that you can get a real big boost of confidence,” Maurice said.

As for the Ducks, what can be said about a team that began the night with just two wins in the past 16 games (2-10-4) and yet were only one point out of a playoff spot? Prior to the game, coach Randy Carlyle and his crew said all the right things about coming out of the All-Star break and byeweek with a fresh approach — only to be total no-shows as soon as the puck dropped.

JOHN WOODS / THE CANADIAN PRESS Winnipeg Jets' Mason Appleton (82) steals the puck from Anaheim Ducks' Derek Grant (38) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg on Saturday, February 2, 2019.

“Our personnel has to understand what happened tonight is unacceptable and we’re going to hold some people accountable to the way that they’re playing,” Carlyle said following the game.

It was a pathetic, embarrassing display, one that is bound to make Carlyle’s seat even hotter than it already was.

When Anaheim played in Winnipeg on Jan. 13 and lost 4-3 in overtime for an 11th straight defeat, GM Bob Murray issued a post-game statement saying he wasn’t considering a coaching change.

JOHN WOODS / THE CANADIAN PRESS Anaheim Ducks goaltender Chad Johnson (1) comes in for John Gibson (36) after Winnipeg Jets scored six goals in the first period NHL action in Winnipeg on Saturday, February 2, 2019.

You have to wonder if the tune will now change as the losses keep piling up, despite the fact the Ducks have turned over their lineup lately with a handful of trades plus the return of several injured players, including veteran star Corey Perry, who made his season debut Saturday.

“Well obviously, the break had something to do with our sluggishness in the game and they jumped on us. We were way, way too loose in front of our net and giving them opportunities to go one-on-one with our goaltender and really hanging our goaltender out high and dry,” Carlyle said.

“You know, they just got multiple chances and scored too many goals from a critical area. The other issue is, we looked slow to step to get inside of people and we didn’t compete for the puck in a lot of areas. They won more puck battles and they were hungrier than we were to start the hockey game.”

JOHN WOODS / THE CANADIAN PRESS Winnipeg Jets' Dmitry Kulikov (5) checks Anaheim Ducks' Devin Shore (29) during first period NHL action in Winnipeg on Saturday, February 2, 2019.

Indeed, the Jets seemingly scored at will against John Gibson, the undisputed MVP of the Ducks and a legitimate Vezina Trophy candidate who was completely abandoned by his teammates.

Andrew Copp opened the scoring just 2:07 into the game and Roslovic doubled the lead a few minutes later with a power-play tally. Blake Wheeler made it 3-0 at 12:04, and then the floodgates really opened. Bryan Little at 15:18, Roslovic again at 16:33 (on the power play) and Brendan Lemieux at 17:41 had the home crowd in a frenzy.

Gibson was finally given the mercy pull after the Lemieux goal, beaten six times on 14 shots. He never stood a chance.

JOHN WOODS / THE CANADIAN PRESS Winnipeg Jets' Tyler Myers (57) scores against Anaheim Ducks goaltender Chad Johnson (1) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg on Saturday, February 2, 2019.

“Just getting the crowd into it was huge for us. It feels like we haven’t been playing our best hockey here and at some points, it’s been a bit of a lull. So, we give our fans something to cheer about early in that first and get them into the game right away,” Copp said.

Predictably, the Jets eased off the gas and Anaheim at least showed a bit of pride as Nick Ritchie and Daniel Sprong scored in the second period.

“When you’re up like that after one, you know you’re going to see a completely different team out of them in the second. We were all business still, we knew they were going to have a push and we weathered that storm in the first five or seven minutes and from there, we put our foot back on the gas,” said Mason Appleton, who had two assists on the night as the fourth line continued to contribute.

Winnipeg responded before the period ended as Tyler Myers made it 7-2 and then Roslovic scored his third of the night, again on the power play, in the dying seconds of the frame.

He now has seven goals on the season, with five of them coming in the past four games this week.

“Felt good. I’m not a big goal scorer, so I haven’t had a hat trick in a while. And to get one in the NHL (was) pretty nice,” Roslovic said.

He added an assist early in the third period, helping set up Little’s second of the night to finish off Winnipeg’s scoring,

Copp nearly set another franchise record when he got a short-handed breakaway later in the period, but was unable to get his team to double digits as chants of “We Want 10” rained down from the rafters in the later stages of the game.

“Are you trying to make me feel worse about it?” Copp joked when asked about having history on his stick.

Anaheim’s Devin Shore, one of those recent trade additions, finished the scoring with just over seven minutes left in the game as he tipped a point shot past Connor Hellebuyck, who finished the night with 26 saves.

Fifteen players, including Hellebuyck, recorded at least a point in the game. Only Mark Scheifele, Adam Lowry, Brandon Tanev and Joe Morrow were held off the scoresheet.

The Jets wrap up a three-game homestand by welcoming the San Jose Sharks to town on Tuesday.

Twitter: @mikemcintyrewpg

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre
Sports columnist

Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.


Updated on Saturday, February 2, 2019 10:10 PM CST: Writethru

Updated on Saturday, February 2, 2019 11:32 PM CST: Edited

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