The record for the fastest three goals scored consecutively in one game by a single team is held by the Boston Bruins at an astonishing 20 seconds. Since it was back in 1970, I’m assuming their opponent (the Vancouver Canucks) were still in the dressing room finishing their cigarettes. Yesterday, the Winnipeg Jets surrendered three goals in 4 minutes and 9 seconds to the Carolina Hurricanes, but emotionally, it felt like all three goals transpired in under 10 seconds.
Coach Bones inexplicably shortened his bench with 5 minutes to go, and the Jets played tired and haggard hockey forcing overtime. Outside the reality that being a Jets fan is reducing my life expectancy, what else did we learn?
1. Ville Heinola played a low-event game in sheltered minutes, making a quasi-affirmative case to stay in the lineup. Both he and Samberg rotated on their off wing, perhaps attributing to his 2 defensive zone giveaways. What is puzzling was his absence on the powerplay. Let’s be clear, Heinola is no Larry Robinson (Google him young people). The strength of his game is his offensive prowess. Putting both Pionk and Schmidt on the second PP unit while shelving Heinola seems like a missed opportunity.
Winnipeg Jets Josh Morrissey is on a “Heater”
2. Morrissey is feeling himself and in the midst of a breakout season. Leading the Jets in scoring is one thing, but Bones’ system has fully unlocked his offensive potential. He and Pionk are still one of the worst pairings in the league based on “xGoals Against Per 60 Minutes”, but good gravy are they exciting. I would like to see Morrisey paired with DeMelo (once he returns) to balance the defensive rotation, however the up-and-down thrill ride of 4-44 makes for compelling television.
3. The Sam Gagner coronation is officially over. This is less an indictment of him, but rather an acknowledgment that Connor and Scheifele are just really good at hockey. By comparison, Gagner struggles to keep pace and posted a disappointing Expected Goals percentage of 29% in this game. It’s like watching Brick Tamland trying to make small talk with Veronica Corningstone – they are just not in the same league.
4. By all accounts, “90’s Night” at Canada Life Centre was a resounding success. As a product of the 90’s, this gimmick hit all my soft spots, so a tremendous kudos goes to True North Entertainment for executing this so deftly. Any time you can combine nostalgia and fanny packs underwritten with terrible 90’s Hip Hop – you have created something magical.
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5. This was a game that the Winnipeg Jets typically lose. Up 3-0 with 5 minutes left in the 3rd period and surrendering 3 goals is Jets Mad Libs. Call it “vibes”, or heap praise on Rick Bowness, but the Jets salvaged this game and the 2 points. Post-game reactions indicated that there was no panic on the bench (although Coach Bones should have called a timeout after Carolina’s second goal). Whether its Dillon sticking up for Perfetti or the genuine excitement for Mikey Eyssimont’s first NHL goal, there is something ethereal about this year’s team. To borrow a 90’s song, the Jets seem to be living a “Semi-Charmed Life”.