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Game #7: Winnipeg Jets vs Vancouver Canucks

Captain Blake Wheeler gets into the 500 club.

You know when Byfuglien is smirking like this after chirping a bit at players on the opposing team, things are going well. Image from Sportsnet broadcast.

October 18th saw the Jets come head to head with a red-hot team in the form of the Vancouver Canucks, who had won their previous three games. However, the Jets were having none of that, especially after their experiences two nights earlier against the one-man wrecking crew called the Edmonton (Connor McDavid) Oilers, having lost the game in the last 23 minutes played, including the overtime. Also, the Jets welcomed back veteran defenseman Dustin Byfuglien to the fold, after recovering from an upper body injury. Thanks to what they learned in the previous home game, the Winnipeg Jets came out with a resounding 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

The opening period saw a lot of quality shots exchanged, as well as a pair of power plays. However, where the Jets had no problem killing off the high sticking penalty against captain Blake Wheeler at 16:19, the Canucks had a problem with keeping the Jets off the scoreboard when at 17:14, Alexander Edler was called for tripping Andrew Copp. As a result, the opening goal was scored on the power play by Patrik Laine at 18:56.

A lot of physical play was the name of the game in the second period, as many of the Jets’ finesse players were at the mercy of a lot of hard checks and physical plays. As a result of this grinding kind of play, the Canucks scored an even-strength goal at 12:33 off the stick of Bo Horvath, with an assist from Derrick Pouliot. However, the pressure continued on the Jets’ net was considerable, but goaltender Connor Hellebuyck kept the puck out of the net, on numerous crashes on the net.

A Two-Handed Cross Check by Edler on Perreault

Is it any wonder why the Jets reacted to this play?  Image from Sportsnet broadcast.

The physical play continued on in the period as, after a questionable hit on Mathieu Perreault at 17:23, the Jets’ Tyler Myers came in to defend his fallen teammate. A scrum took place and both Myers and Edler were thrown in the sin bin for coincidental minors, even though a third man in Sutter from the Canucks came in and attacked Myers.

A picture says a thousand words.

Or maybe just "Why didn't Sutter also get a penalty?" which was something the commentators questioned. Image from Sportsnet broadcast.

Late in the second period, after having his stick tied up by one of the Canucks and being forced through the goal crease, Myers received a penalty for goaltender interference at 19:36.

A Bit Blurry, Kind of like the Call...

Myers' stick was hand against the Canuck's chest, and he was dragged into the crease, earning the Jets' defenseman a questionable 2 minutes in the sin bin. Image from Sportsnet broadcast.

Although the Jets were a man short at the beginning of the third period, the best scoring chance was off the stick of Brandon Tanev, who flipped a tricky backhand at goaltender Nilsson.

Shorthanded Power

As always, Brandon Tanev creates havoc on the opposition when the Jets are shorthanded. Image from Sportsnet broadcast.

The Canucks’ frustrations came out at the 3:21 point of the third period, as Edler tripped up Adam Lowry in the Canucks’ zone, when it looked like he may be scoring. Although Lowry did not score on that play, it did create the opening for Bryan Little to score on the power play at 4:58, with an impressive long distance backhanded shot, with assists coming from Nikolaj Ehlers and Byfuglien.

That is not a legal place to put one's hockey stick, Edler!!!

But at least it gave the Jets a power play! Image from Sportsnet broadcast.

A Huge Goal by Bryan Little

This wound up being the second game winner scored by Bryan Little. Image from Sportsnet Broadcast.

Another interesting thing to see, as the period progressed, was the very fast offensive plays by defenseman Josh Morrissey. In particular, there was a play where Morrissey utilized his speed and swept in from centre ice and circled around the back of the Canucks’ net. Other offensive chances came for the Jets, as Little dinged the crossbar at 12:32.

At 12:46, an even strength marker came off the tape of Andrew Copp's stick, after knocking in a rebound from linemates Lowry and Tanev. The scoring for the Jets was rounded out by a goal from Byfuglien, assists to Little and Ehlers.

Final Thoughts

There were a lot of positives to bring out from Thursday night’s action. To start with, the assist from captain BLAKE WHEELER was his 500th NHL point. Also, with the return from his injury, DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN made a huge impact on the game with a goal and an assist, as well as his usual “impacts” on the opposing team through his physical play and chirping. In terms of point scoring streaks, PATRIK LAINE is now on a three game point scoring tear with points in the last three games. Also, ANDREW COPP and ADAM LOWRY each have had points over the last 2 games. Another very worthy note is that, although he didn’t have any points officially on the board on Thursday, BRANDON TANEV has continued to be performing strongly in an offensive role, to the point that the game commentators were a bit baffled as to why he was not credited with an assist on the Copp goal. Acknowledgement or not on the score sheet, his game, as well as many of the other skaters who didn’t get credited with points on the board, were playing with extreme strength and savvy.

The Winnipeg Jets’ next action will be on Saturday afternoon against the former Jets, the Arizona Coyotes. Game time is at 3 pm Manitoba time at Bell MTS Place, and it will mark game four of the six game home stand.

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Marjorie Roden
Marjorie Roden

I make dramatic and documentary films, and have been known from time to time act and create visual art. And I also love hockey, hence why I write about it a lot! I also work professionally as a freelance writer and photographer in Canada!

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