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Game #2: Winnipeg Jets vs Dallas Stars

Questionable calls throw off the balance of power.

Brandon Tanev created a brilliant opportunity for himself.

In most hockey games, when a player intercepts a pass from the opposing team, creates a beautiful chance for himself, gives a puckhandling display nothing short of artistry, dodges through the opposition’s players with graceful speed and beats the goaltender, his brilliance and hard work are rewarded with a goal. Unfortunately for the Jets, thanks to a rather overdramatic fall by Stars’ goaltender Ben Bishop (which was very reminiscent of elementary school playground antics), Brandon Tanev’s goal scored on the spinning forehand shot at 5:05 of the first period was disallowed, which set the tone for the remainder of the night for the visiting Winnipeg Jets. Oddly enough, on the official play-by-play as listed on the NHL.com website, the play was listed as a backhanded shot by Tanev, saved by Bishop. 

But a picture says a thousand words...

THAT is the oddest looking "backhanded shot" ever witnessed in the NHL... and a heck of a lot of space between the goal scorer and the goaltender for supposed "goaltender interference"

And this is what was posted on the NHL play by play page regarding the above play...

Not all of the details match what actually happened on the ice!!!

The Jets did have a very strong defensive presence at the beginning of the game, keeping the game scoreless until the 8:23 mark of the first period, when Alexander Radulov scored an even strength goal by bouncing it off a Jets’ defenseman and into the net. Then later, at 10:18 of the first, Tyler Seguin got his first goal of the night past a screened Hellebuyck while the Stars were on the power play. Even after the two odd goals found the twine, Hellebuyck still stood tall in net, making some dynamic saves, only allowing 2 goals in the first period.

The Jets got on the board at 2:10 of the second period when Kyle Connor scored on the nifty backhanded point pass from Josh Morrissey, beating Bishop over the stickhand shoulder, with the second assist going to Trouba. 

Over the Shoulder and in!

Kyle Connor brings the Jets within one in the second period.

Then at 5:58, Dustin Byfuglien was called for holding Radulov’s stick. On the ensuing power play, though the Jets killed the majority of the time off of it, Star’s captain Jamie Benn managed to get the quick rebound off a shot by Jason Spezza and put the home team up by a pair again. Even with the two-goal deficit, the Jets did not give up, and kept up with their pressure as much as possible. However, the Stars kept the front of the net very crowded, leaving very little room for the Jets to even shoot through to hit the twine. As the period was ending, the Jets were keeping the puck to the outside, seeing Mark Scheifele being boarded in the corner of their zone by the Stars’ Tyler Pitlick. No call was made on the play.

11 seconds into the third period, the Stars’ Radek Faska was called for tripping up the Jets’ Morrissey. However, during the power play, the Stars kept the Jets to the outside, cutting off the passes, giving the 6’7” Bishop all the room he needed to see and (according to the play by play ticker on the nhl.com website) only allowed one shot on net by Blake Wheeler.

While playing at even strength, the Jets managed to put some pressure onto the Stars which only saw the Jets’ Scheifele being bashed into the net behind goaltender Bishop by Stars’ defenseman Esa Lindell. Again, no call against the Stars. However, at 7:32, the Jets’ Myers got called for high sticking, and 6 seconds later, the Star’s Benn scored his second goal of the night by tipping in a shot from Seguin. The scoring was rounded out by a defensive miscommunication by the Jets, leading to a goal over the stacked pads of Hellebuyck by Seguin, who collected his second goal of the night. The final score was 5-1 in favour of the home team, leaving the Jets with two days to recover from the loss and prepare for their home opener on October 9.

This shot defines how many Jets' fans felt on Saturday night.

Admittedly the clearest screen capture I could possibly get of the game, but also the way many Jets' fans worldwide felt about the reffing during the game played in Dallas.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Stating that the officiating for the game was not exactly consistent would be an understatement. That is something which teams don’t like to even think about though, and the Jets played through it, still producing a number of quality chances when they were not being bodied off the puck, boarded, or otherwise squashed on the ice. Realizing that, they did keep playing very persistently throughout the game, and also did not retaliate as much as they could have. And as far as the BRIGHT SPOTS go, there are two streaks alive for the Jets as KYLE CONNOR is on a two-game goal scoring streak as is JACOB TROUBA with a two game point scoring streak with assists in both games. The Winnipeg Jets next action is Tuesday evening when they have their home opener against the Los Angeles Kings. 

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Game #2: Winnipeg Jets vs Dallas Stars
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