Embarking on what is without question the most important stretch of games for them this year, the Winnipeg Jets could not have asked for a better way to start their current eight-game home-stand
Coming off a huge win in Minnesota last night, the Jets were in tough against the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins tonight at the MTS Centre. The stiff challenge was to be made even more difficult considering the fact that the club had yet to record a point in the second of back-to-back games this season. A league worst 0-9 record in that situation, the Jets delivered a complete game on both ends of the ice en route to a 4-2 over the visiting Bruins; a win that sees them move within two points of the eighth-place Toronto Maple Leafs.
Against Minnesota, it was the Evander Kane, Alex Burmistrov, Kyle Wellwood trio that carried the load offensively but tonight it was the Jets other top scoring line that would do the damage. The line of Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little and Andrew Ladd had a hand in three of the four goals, combined for six points and were flat out dominating for much of the game.
Overall, it was Wheeler who shone the brightest as the big forward was electric against his former team and was named the game’s first star. The Jets leading-scorer, Wheeler broke a 1-1 tie in the second period and added assists on both of Bryan Little’s third period tallies. His cross-crease pass on Little’s second goal was a thing of beauty and one that sent the home fans into a frenzy.
From all four forward lines, to all six defenceman and finishing with Ondrej Pavelec, it was an absolute complete game by the Jets.
While it was the Wheeler line that did most of the damage, they certainly were not alone as the other three lines also played well. Alex Burimstrov’s opening goal came off of two nice passes; the first from Kyle Wellwood and the second from Mark Stuart. Evander Kane, while not as noticeable as the previous night against the Wild, had another strong game and appears to be getting back to his early season form.
As they needed to be against a team like the Bruins, Winnipeg’s defensive unit was solid throughout, and enjoyed one of their best games in recent memory. To a man, they were extremely poised in all areas of the ice and were able to answer nearly every offensive push the Bruins made.
In two nights the Winnipeg Jets have gone from playoff pretenders to serious playoff contenders. With two straight wins, one against the defending champs, it goes without saying that the team is riding high.
However, there is still plenty of work to be done. Defending their home rink seven more times to be exact.
Looking Ahead: The Home-Stand Continues
Sun/Feb 19: vs. Colorado
Tues/Feb 21: vs. Philadelphia
Resident of Windsor, Ontario. Extensive knowledge of both the NHL and junior hockey in Canada, particularly the OHL. Writer for THW covering the Winnipeg Jets and the OHL as well as covering Phoenix Coyotes prospects for Hockey’s Future.