It has definitely been a November not to remember so far for the Winnipeg Jets. After ending October on a winning note, the Jets started off the month playing seven of their first nine games on the road including four straight against Central Division rivals that found themselves mired in a six game losing skid.
After falling to the Montreal Canadiens 5-1, the Jets concluded a four game road trip with back-to-back games in Ontario against the Leafs and the Senators. With the game tied 2-2 late in the game, Alexander Burmistrov was assessed a holding the stick penalty. As the Leafs powerplay expired, Burmistrov went from goat to hero, jumping out of the box and burying a Blake Wheeler feed to give the Jets the lead for good. Bryan Little added an empty netter for a 4-2 Jets win.
Despite trailing 2-0 to the Ottawa Senators midway through the second period the Jets wouldn’t go out without a fight. Andrew Ladd started the rally with a goal with less than 3 minutes in the second period. Dustin Byfuglien didn’t waste anytime in the third period scoring the equalizer just 26 seconds in. The Jets battled back but it wasn’t enough as the Ottawa Senators prevailed 3-2 in a shootout. Craig Anderson turned away 38 of 40 Winnipeg shots. The loss was only the tip of the iceberg as it kicked off a 6 game losing streak for the Jets.
Winnipeg took on the Philadelphia Flyers at home before they embarked on a four game road trip against Central Division foes. Flyers netminder Michael Neuvirth continued his stellar play shutting out the Jets for his third shutout in his first six starts. Neuvirth frustrated Jets shooters stopping all 28 shots in the Flyers 3-0 win.
The Minnesota Wild led off a four game Central division road trip for Winnipeg. With the game knotted up 1-1 after the first frame, the Wild exploded with four straight goals in the second period. The Jets scored a pair of goals in the third period but their rally fell short with Minnesota coming out on top 5-3. Thomas Vanek scored two for Minnesota and Bryan Little scored a pair for the Jets in a losing cause.
It was an old-fashioned Texas shootout between the Winnipeg Jets and Dallas Stars. Winnipeg got off to a quick start scoring two goals in the first 4:31 to jump out to a 2-1 lead. Dallas replied with a pair of their own to take a 3-2 advantage going into the third. Winnipeg seemed poised for another comeback as Tyler Myers scored the Jets equalizer midway through the third period but Jamie Benn scored the first of three late goals to secure a 6-3 win. Wheeler and Trouba added goals for the Jets in the loss.
The Nashville Predators welcomed the Jets to ‘Music City’ and proceeded to lay a tune on their visitors. The Preds had seven different goal scorers in a 7-0 drubbing. Craig Smith had a goal and two assists in just one period of play which was more than enough for Nashville.
It didn’t get any easier for Winnipeg as they looked to snap their five game losing streak against the St. Louis Blues. After twenty minutes, the Jets found themselves in a 2-0 hole thanks to goals by Vladimir Tarasenko and David Backes. Once again, the Jets fought back getting goals from Byfuglien and Little just 36 second apart early in the second period. The tie was short lived as David Backes scored his second of the game 1:32 later that proved to be the game winner. Michael Hutchinson had 25 saves in the Jets sixth straight defeat.
The losing skid finally ended when the Jets returned home to take on the Vancouver Canucks. Mark Scheifele ended his own streak by scoring his first goal in 12 games. Scheifele added another goal and an assist for a three point night and Drew Stafford score twice including the game winner to help steer the Jets back into the win column. After the game, Stafford talked about getting the Jets getting back on the winning path.
“It’s a relief to win,” Stafford said. “For us to break out of it at home, especially after being on the road for so long, and to be able to contribute as a line, that’s huge. Hopefully we can keep this going.”
Winnipeg will host the Phoenix Coyotes and the Colorado Avalanche to conclude their three game homestand.