By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck
After a recent string of results that didn’t go in the Winnipeg Jets favour, their 5-4 overtime win over the Colorado Avalanche was a game about finding a way. Any way.
“This is huge, this is a must win – they all are,” said Jets’ netminder Al Montoya, who made 23 saves for his 12th victory in 19 starts this season. “Tonight, day-by-day this is one we needed to have and did have and I can’t say enough about the guys who came to play tonight.”
The ‘guys’ Montoya is referring to came in bunches in the win.
Evander Kane scored his second goal in three games after a long layoff in that department. Andrew Ladd scored twice and Eric Tangradi scored just his second goal of the season after being bumped up to third line duties due to a Dustin Byfuglien injury. And then Blake Wheeler ended a nine game goalless drought to win it in overtime.
“There was a lot of highs and lows,” said Wheeler. “After Ladd scored we thought we had it under control, you’d like to be able to close that one out in regulation but that is not the way it works. The thing you can say about our group: we stuck with it all year and stuck with it tonight and got rewarded.
“This team, we battled tonight,” added Montoya. “Personally, I really wanted to get this one. Obviously these guys wanted it, they battled all night, put pucks on net and found a way.”
With Zach Bogosian being a late scratch due to a knock he picked up in warmup, Paul Postma was called upon to fill his role — his first action since before the Olympic break.
“I was at the bridge on Pembina highway, about five minutes from the rink. It was about quarter-to- seven when one of the trainers called me and told me I might be going tonight,” said Postma, who added his first and second points including an assist on the game winner. “I just tried to advance pucks and get pucks to the net. It worked out.”
With an infirmary that is now seven-deep for the Jets, contributions from players who don’t normally see big minutes was vital for the Jets in the win.
“That’s what happens this time of year and you count on your depth and you don’t really worry about who is playing on the ice, you just go out and do what you can,” said Montoya.
The next stop for the Jets comes Saturday night at home to the Carolina Hurricanes.