In case you have foggy memories (or your memory is getting foggier on Fat Tuesday), Ilya Bryzgalov shuddered at the thought of Phoenix’s possible move to Winnipeg. Most infamously, the Russian netminder complained of the market’s lack of parks, which presumably would be a bummer for his hot chick-like dog.
With that in mind, this was the first real time for Winnipeg Jets fans to troll away. And yes, they serenaded him with plenty of “Illyyyyaaaaa” chants, but he (sort of) got the last laugh because the Flyers beat the Jets 5-4 in overtime.
That’s not to say that Bryzgalov was exactly lights out as he allowed those four goals on just 26 shots, but the W can heal a lot of wounds.
The bright side for the Jets is that the Toronto Maple Leafs were unable to fatten their lead for eight place in the East as the New Jersey Devils edged them in OT too by a score of 4-3. Winnipeg is off to a nice start with their eight-game homestand as they’re now 2-0-1. Here is a look a the rest of their home-heavy next 10 games:
Thursday: vs. Tampa Bay
Saturday: vs. St. Louis
Feb. 27: vs. Edmonton
March 1: vs. Florida
March 5: vs. Buffalo
March 8: at Vancouver
March 9: at Calgary
March 14: vs. Dallas
March 16: vs. Washington
March 18: vs. Carolina
There are some genuine challenges in that set (particularly that tough back-to-back duo on the road), but the Jets could make up some serious ground on the Leafs and the Southeast Division in that time.
Even with that win, the Flyers merely stood in place in the East’s playoff midsection. The Pittsburgh Penguins blanked the New York Rangers 2-0 while the aforementioned Devils beat the Leafs so Philly remains in fifth.
Placement probably doesn’t matter a ton to Philadelphia since its road record (19-9-2) is actually better than what they’ve done at home (14-10-5).
In fact, Philly might just be better of taking the sixth spot – which would get that much more intriguing if the Jets ended up being the Flyers’ first round hosts.