It was vanilla ice cream with no sprinkles. If it was to be compared to any hue in the rainbow of colours, it would be held up instead as simply beige.

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This article was published 24/2/2015 (2353 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

It was vanilla ice cream with no sprinkles. If it was to be compared to any hue in the rainbow of colours, it would be held up instead as simply beige.

And let’s just say copies of the whole thing will absolutely, positively NOT be shipped off to the NHL Classics Network.

But even with its flaws and mistakes and its horrible middle frame, what the Winnipeg Jets accomplished Tuesday night at MTS Centre also shouldn’t be inconsequential. Playing their first game of the season without Blake Wheeler — and with Mathieu Perreault, Ben Chiarot and Grant Clitsome still in sick bay — the Jets still managed to carve out a 4-2 victory over the Dallas Stars.

Given their handiwork over the last week or so — a poor performance in Washington followed up by an OT loss in Toronto — they’ll hardly be critical of leaving the building with two points added to their total in the standings.

"It wasn’t very pretty," began Jets veteran winger Michael Frolik with a shrug, "but we got the two points and that’s what was huge for us. That was a big game. Obviously some parts of the game we could be better, but the two points is all that matters."

The win improves the Jets to 31-20-11, good for 73 points, and put them 10 up on the stars and four ahead of the charging Minnesota Wild, who fell 2-1 to the lowly Edmonton Oilers Tuesday.

Far from perfect, sure. But as the old saying goes at this time of year, a win is a win is a win.

The win opened up a critical four-game homestand for the Jets that continues Thursday against the St. Louis Blues and improved their home record to 16-10-7, including 7-1-1 in their last night in downtown Winnipeg.

Winnipeg Jets' Dustin Byfuglien (33) takes down Dallas Stars' Ryan Garbutt (16) in front of Jets goaltender Michael Hutchinson (34) during first period.

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Winnipeg Jets' Dustin Byfuglien (33) takes down Dallas Stars' Ryan Garbutt (16) in front of Jets goaltender Michael Hutchinson (34) during first period.

 HUTCH STILL CLUTCH

Jets coach Paul Maurice handed the goaltending chores to Michael Hutchinson for the fourth time in the last five games, saying earlier in the day the decision was based on the fact he had points in his last four starts — now five (4-0-1).

Hutchinson wasn’t without some luck, as the Stars clanged four attempts off iron behind him, but he was solid in kicking out 26 of 28 shots.

"A post isn’t even a shot, right?" said Hutchinson with a grin. "It just gets the crowd into the game because you hear a loud noise. But other than that it doesn’t really matter at all. It’s a non-factor in the game. You hit the post, you might as well hit the end boards because it wasn’t going in anyways.

"We came out with a great start to the game, like most of our home games this year. We knew Dallas has some skill and would have a push at some time of the game and they did in the second period. We were just fortunate that we didn’t get running around too much and we blocked some key shots."

SPECIAL IS BACK

The Jets opened the scoring on the power play, as Bryan Little’s shot glanced off Stars defenceman Alex Goligoski for an early 1-0 lead. Winnipeg also killed off all three Stars’ power-play chances and, combined with their work Saturday in Toronto, have now gone two games without surrendering a man-advantage marker.

"We know they’ve got a pretty good power play and that’s what has been hurting us in the past, the penalties we didn’t have to take," said Frolik. "It was good tonight and even when we took a couple I thought we did a good job of not giving them much."

NEXT

The Jets have 20 games left, 11 of them at home. The homestand that continues Thursday against St. Louis also includes visits from the Los Angeles Kings and Ottawa Senators before a four-game trip to Nashville, St. Louis, Florida and Tampa.

 

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

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