Winnipeg Jets: Three Talking Points as the Jets Lose to The Ducks

Winnipeg Jets, Nikolaj Ehlers, #27, (Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
Winnipeg Jets, Nikolaj Ehlers, #27, (Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) /
1 of 3
Winnipeg Jets
Winnipeg Jets, Nikolaj Ehlers, #27, (Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Winnipeg Jets started their new season with a loss against the Anaheim Ducks. Here are three talking points from the game.

The Winnipeg Jets opened their 2021/22 season on the road Wednesday night at the Honda Center with a disappointing 4-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks.

The game was the first time the Jets played against an American opponent since March of 2020, and the first time they faced the Anaheim Ducks since they beat them 3-2 way back in December 2019. The Jets will get their chance to avenge this defeat when they play this Ducks team again in their home opener on October 21 at the newly named Canada Life Centre.

The Ducks finished last place in the Western Division during the shortened 2021 season and did little to upgrade their roster significantly, other than the addition of exciting rookie prospect Trevor Zegras. The Jets came into the first game with high expectations based on the upgrades the team made particularly on defense.

Here are three talking points from yesterday’s game one loss to the Ducks.

3. The Jets Lost the Goaltending Duel

The Jets outshot the Ducks 34-22 in the game, including 15- 6 in the first period,  but were only able to get one goal past Anaheim goaltender John Gibson. The Jets dominated play for most of the game, especially the first period where at one point the Jets had outshot the Ducks 7-1 but were down by a score of 1-0.

It’s hard to fault Connor Hellebuyck for the game, as most of the Ducks’ goals were a result of traffic in front of the net. However, letting in two goals in your first six shots, and four in 22 shots, is not the Vezina caliber play we have come to expect from Hellebuyck.

At the other end of the rink, John Gibson was fantastic, reminding fans that he is an elite goaltender and the Ducks’ most valuable player. Gibson made a number of amazing saves that gave the Ducks momentum coming out of the first two periods where they had been badly outplayed.

The lone Jets goal on the night came from Kyle Connor in the second period on a pretty passing play from Blake Wheeler and Paul Stastny. Facing a hot opposing goaltender is going to happen some nights in the NHL, but Connor Hellebuyck needs to match that level if the Jets are going to be serious contenders.