The Winnipeg Jets came into game four against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on the brink of elimination down 3-0 in the series, while Montreal had the opportunity to sweep the Jets out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
It was either win and live to fight another day or lose and have your season end for the Winnipeg Jets.
Paul Maurice and the Jets coaching staff decided to dress the same exact lineup from the Jets 5-1 game three loss for game four, while the Montreal Canadiens made one change. Alexander Romanov replaced Jeff Petry, who was injured and unavailable to play.
Last night, and for the first time this series, the game went beyond the sixty minutes of regulation and required overtime to settle a 2-2 tie.
Tyler Toffoli scored the overtime game-winner to give the Montreal Canadiens a 3-2 victory which completed the sweep over the Winnipeg Jets
Here are three talking points from the Jets game four loss:
3. Logan Stanley Steps Up
Throughout this season, it was extremely fun to watch the evolution of rookie defensemen, Logan Stanley. Dan St. Joseph wrote an article before the season about Logan Stanley’s potential as a shutdown defensemen and he could not be more right.
With the Jets needing everyone to step up, with elimination on the horizon, Stanley put in a fantastic performance in game four.
Before the second period, the Jets were trailing 2-0 and needed to generate offense. Fortunately for Winnipeg, Stanley stepped up big-time and scored two goals in the second frame to tie the game.
These two goals by Stanley were also his first career postseason goals. It is interesting to note that Stanley had more goals last night than he did during his 37 regular season games.
Stanley’s first goal was a beautiful short side snipe as he walked in the point from the left point and ripped a shot up high on Carey Price’s stick side.
Just about four minutes later, Stanley was able to score his second of the night and tie the game with a great one-timer off the rush.
The Jets attacked the Canadiens zone with speed on a two-on-three. Stanley hopped on the ice and was wide open above the right faceoff circle. Kyle Connor passed the puck to Stanley and he one-timed the puck past Price’s glove and into the back of the net.
There is a good case to make that yesterday was Stanley’s best performance of the season. When the Jets needed him the most, he stepped up in a crucial way.
Stanley ultimately finished the game with a stat line of two goals, three shots, two hits, 3 blocks, and a +2 plus/minus.
2. Connor Hellebuyck Kept the Jets in the Game
Although Connor Hellebuyck was the losing goaltender in yesterday’s game, he played absolutely outstanding and he was definitely one of the stars of game four.
In total, Hellebuyck stopped 39 of the 42 shots he faced including making 27 saves on 27 shots in the second and third periods.
At times Hellebuyck had traffic in front of him and faced an on slot of shots, but found a way to come up with some terrific saves which kept Winnipeg alive and gave them a chance at victory.
1. The Canadiens Deserved the Result
Montreal was definitely the better team yesterday. They controlled the play and dominated at times including outshooting Winnipeg 42-16.
As I mentioned above, if it wasn’t for Hellebuyck this game could have had a very lopsided scoreline. The 3-2 overtime victory scoreline, was not indicative of what happened on the ice.
The Canadiens deserve full credit for their performance in this series clinching game. They knew the Jets would come out fighting, but they rose to the occasion and put in one of their best performances of the series.
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The Canadiens will now have to wait and see who they will matchup against in the Semifinals. Montreal will face the winner of the Golden Knights vs. Avalanche series.
Winnipeg Jets Fans: Who do you predict will win the Stanley Cup this postseason? Leave your comments below!
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