Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/1/2015 (2295 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
They are proving to be an adaptable bunch, these Winnipeg Jets.
Run around the continent to the point of operating on fumes by the end of last week, the Jets resumed their NHL schedule Wednesday night looking energized and efficient, pretty much beating the Columbus Blue Jackets at their own game in a 4-0 schooling at the MTS Centre.
Competitive? All over the ice, as usual. Opportunistic? Check. Goaltending? On the better side of it, again, as Michael Hutchinson recorded his 14th win and second shutout of the season with 29 saves.
The victory, powered by goals from all four lines, gave the Jets 60 points at the NHL all-star break, on their 26-14-8 record. They have won five in a row and are 6-0-1 in their last seven games.
They are now two points behind the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues, each at 62 points and occupying those valuable guaranteed Central Division spots (second and third) for the playoffs.
As it is, the Jets are currently the Western Conference's first wild-card team heading into the NHL's all-star weekend.
The Jackets, who came to Winnipeg with two straight road wins, have now lost five of their last seven and fell to 20-22-3, well out of the Eastern Conference picture.
Jacob Trouba returned to the lineup a few weeks early after missing 16 games with an upper-body injury.
The Jets then gave Mark Stuart the night, and the week ahead, off. Stuart had recently missed nine games with a lower-body injury. The team was able to activate Trouba by putting Mathieu Perreault on the injured-reserve list.
There appeared to be no health concerns out of Wednesday's game, so it's entirely possible the Jets will have nine healthy defencemen when they resume play next week, a subject coach Paul Maurice wanted nothing to do with on Wednesday.
"I've stood in this situation far too many times to jinx the idea that everybody would be healthy in a week," Maurice said. "That's a guaranteed you're-down-four comment so we'll deal with that situation if we're fortunate enough to be in it."
It was a happy opening for the Jets, who jumped quickly to the forecheck on the second shift of the game and deposited Blake Wheeler's 13th of the season just 68 seconds in.
Evander Kane fired home Mark Scheifele's drop pass at 6:06, a terrible goal Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky muffed.
Early in the second, Jay Harrison's point shot was tipped by Jim Slater and found the net to make it 3-0, and Chris Thorburn fired the 4-0 goal by snapping back Adam Lowry's two-on-one rebound. Lowry alertly stole the puck in the neutral zone to create the odd-man rush.
Short, a lot
Some nights, it really is easy to see why the MTS Centre faithful get worked up over penalties.
The have deserved most of their league-leading 197 short-handed situations, four more of them Wednesday.
But on some nights, the standards just don't seem to apply both ways. The Blue Jackets weren't whistled for anything through the first half of the game, including, among other things, that hallucination of a slash by Scott Hartnell on the hands of Winnipeg's Michael Frolik on a breakaway. The Jets' penalty-killers, however, rendered the problem moot again, killing the four penalties.
lawless: Substance over style D3