For all the understandable comments that have been made about teams wanting to avoid the Los Angeles Kings in the playoffs, the Winnipeg Jets showed why they’re a different kind of threat if they can get it done.
Winnipeg flat-out overwhelmed the Vancouver Canucks at times (at least until they stepped off the gas a bit) on Saturday, eventually winning a 5-4 thriller. With this win, the Jets knock the Kings out of the West’s second wild card spot … although Los Angeles and Calgary could bump Winnipeg right back out depending upon how tonight’s games go.
A different kind of danger
Where the defending champions can smother opponents with their boa constrictor defense, the Jets show that they can create a track-meet atmosphere, particularly in front of boisterous home crowds.
Lee Stempniak and Mathieu Perreault were the offensive heroes for Winnipeg, at least this time around. Stempniak scored two goals, including the game-winner, while Perreault piled up three assists. There was also this goal exchange within eight seconds, to really cement the breathtaking pace of some Jets games:
Things were tense at times for the Jets – especially after Alex Burrows brought the margin to within one – but Winnipeg won its 40th game of the season on Saturday.
Challenging final week ahead
This was a big win in many ways, as this allows the Jets to salvage a four-game homestand with a 2-2-0 record. Their remaining schedule is pretty challenging, with their season-closer possibly having huge playoff implications:
Monday: at Minnesota
Tuesday: at St. Louis
Thursday: at Colorado
Next Saturday: vs. Calgary
Yep, Winnipeg really needed this one.