It started early, as Kyle Wellwood scored just 8 seconds into the game (it didn’t look the greatest but hey they all count for one) and the Jets outshot the Penguins 35-29 to win their first game since coming back to Winnipeg.
Granted the Penguins were without Evgeni Malkin and Brooks Orpik (and Crosby obviously) but it was the Jets who looked like they were among the Eastern Conference’s elite tonight. Alex Burmistrov assisted on both goals and was probably the best player on the ice overall. His second assist in particular was magnificent.
Defensively Bogo finally flashed some of the potential we have all been waiting for, as he led a couple great rushes and played pretty well in his own zone as well. He’s always been more of a defensive defenseman, so it was nice to see him jump into the play and fire the puck at the net a few times. He narrowly missed his first goal of the year as he just hit the pipe.
In net, Ondrej Pavelec was great, stopping 28 of Pittsburgh’s 29 shots with more than a handful of them being of the stellar variety. He struggled a bit with his rebound control, but when he’s that good at stopping shots I’ll let it slide. Plus it was in a win so woo!
On the other side, Mark Scheifele went the last 17 minutes of the game without playing, and given his performance so far I think he might actually get sent back to Barrie (though, oddly, I thought he played his best game of the year in the 1st and 2nd periods).
Speaking of talented young forwards, I find it….curious that the team played so well without Evander Kane. One game isn’t a trend or cause for anyone to say Kane should be benched or something, but it is worth noting.
On a very negative note, Kris Letang proved that his hair wasn’t the douchiest thing about him as he drilled Burmistrov from behind and then of course whined about it, hoping that Gary Bettman would save him because the league lives to make the Penguins happy. I cheered for them when the Jets were on hiatus so I can say these things. I have first hand experience.
Next the Jets take on the Senators, and have a legit chance to start a, wait for it, winning streak.