The Winnipeg Jets got off to a quick start to 2017 with back-to-back wins but took a turn for the worse in their third game in. Patrik Laine, the Jets leading scorer, suffered a concussion off a massive hit and was placed on the injured reserved. Without their rookie phenom, the Jets dropped four of their next five games and are now facing an uphill battle to remain in the thick of the wild card race.
It was all sunshine for the Jets in the state of Florida. Nikolaj Ehlers scored a pair of goals and Patrik Laine contributed a goal and two assists to down the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-4. The following night, the Jets showed no sign of fatigue soaring past the Florida Panthers 4-1. Laine added another goal and assist and took sole possession at the top of the rookie scoring race passing Auston Matthews. Connor Hellebuyck backstopped the Jets to victory with 25 saves.
The Jets lost more than just the game against the Buffalo Sabres. Patrik Laine was on the receiving end of a Jake McCabe hit in the neutral zone in the third period and had to leave the game due to a concussion. With the score tied 3-3, Brian Gionta broke a tie halfway into the third period giving the Sabres a 4-3 win. The Jets received goals from Nikolaj Ehlers, Drew Stafford, and Joel Armia in the loss.
The Jets returned home for a pair of games against a couple of Canadian teams. The Calgary Flames were shutdown by the Winnipeg Jets defense and Connor Hellebuyck made 28 saves in a 2-0 shutout. Dustin Byfuglien tallied for the Jets in the first and Blake Wheeler added another early in the third period to seal the game. The Montreal Canadiens got off to a quick start at the MTS Centre scoring two goals in the first five minutes of the game. The Jets responded with goals from Mark Scheifele and Mathieu Perreault. Scheifele added another in the second period but the Habs had too much firepower. Phillip Danault and Artturi Lehkonen both scored a pair of goals to lift the Canadiens to a 7-4 win.
Shawn Mathias got the Jets off to a quick start in the desert against the Arizona Coyotes. Mathias scored his sixth of the year 3:43 into the game but the Coyotes answered back and answered often. Before the first period ended, Arizona scored four unanswered including a pair of goals from Brendan Perlini and the Coyotes shut down the Jets the rest of the way to win 4-1.
The Jets travelled to the Golden State for dates with the Los Angeles Kings and the San Jose Sharks but could only muster one point. Marian Gaborik gave the Kings a 1-0 lead in the first but a pair of goals by by Drew Stafford and Dustin Byfuglien gave the Jets a brief lead. Kings forward Dustin Brown scored with just over five minutes left to tie the game up 2-2. Just 1:36 into overtime, Jeff Carter scored the overtime winner powering the Kings to a 3-2 win. In a Monday matinee on Martin Luther King day, the Jets surrendered the first four goals to the Sharks and couldn’t recover. Josh Morrissey and Mark Scheifele tried to rally the Jets but it was too little, too late. Joe Thornton added a goal to lock up a Sharks 5-2 win.
The Winnipeg Jets (20-23-4) return home for pair of games at the MTS Centre against the Arizona Coyotes and St. Louis Blues. Winnipeg currently sits four points out of the final wild card spot.
Photos by Star Roxas and Ron Cantiveros| Filipino Journal