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Jets Throw 47 Shots at Howard, Finally Score Some Goals

Andrew Ladd put the dagger into the tired hearts of the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night. His goal at 10:57 of the third period sent the Red Wings back to the Motor City with a 3-1 record on their four-game road trip and sent home another crowd of 15,004 at MTS Centre deliriously happy.

Let us not make any excuses for the Red Wings. Indeed they were playing their fourth game in six nights and yes they were at the end of a successful road trip that had produced wins in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. Sure they were tired, but that’s the NHL of the 21st Century. Sometimes you go on the road and play four quick games. Just ask the Jets who came off a four-game-in-six-nights sojourn through the heart of the Central Division.

Mark Scheifele (Photo by Shawn Coates)

Mark Scheifele (Photo by Shawn Coates)

Yeah, OK, the Wings didn’t have much left in the tank, but that’s not the point. The point is the fact the Jets finally scored some goals.

Before Monday night’s 4-2 win over the Wings, the local side had scored a meagre nine goals in their last five games. They had just been wasted 5-1 at home on Saturday afternoon by the Chicago Blackhawks and were 1-3-1 in that stretch. As a result, they were 5-8-2, dead last in the Central and 13th in the West. Only woeful Edmonton was worse.

So while it would be easy to feel a little sympathy for the weary Red Wings, we don’t. Feel any sympathy, that is. The Jets could have been as bad on Monday as they were on Saturday, but they weren’t. They saw a wounded animal and moved in for the kill.

The Jets took 14 shots at Jimmy Howard in the first period, 17 more in the second and 16 in the third. It might have been Winnipeg’s best 60 minutes of the season. While the Wings looked sluggish, the Jets played a tidy game in the neutral zone, skated hard, forced some turnovers and earned a win that they deserved.

They won more faceoffs (36-29), had more hits 22-18) and had more shpts (47-28).

Winnipeg Jets forward Matt Halischuk (15) finally scored a goal. SHAWN COATES PHOTO

Winnipeg Jets forward Matt Halischuk (15) finally scored a goal. (SHAWN COATES PHOTO)

There is no reason to believe that this one victory will make the Jets a contender in the West, but it was an important win nonetheless. If nothing else, it illustrated what the Jets have to do to win. Bryan Little, Michael Frolik, Matt Halischuk and Andrew Ladd scored for the Jets who finally got some secondary scoring. Mark Scheifele had a couple of assists and might have played his best game as a Jet. Halischuk got his first goal of the season. Frolik scored his third of the year, his first goal since he had a pair in the season opener.

“It was good effort from us tonight,” said Frolik. “We were down 2-1 in the second period, but we said on the bench that we just had to keep going. We were playing well, we just had to keep going and it was a huge win for us tonight.”

Still, there were two things that happened last night that were quite interesting. Evander Kane was a healthy scratch (lower body injury?) and Al Montoya was the Jets goaltender. Do you read anything into that?

The Jets will head into Chicago for a one off against the Blackhawks on Wednesday night. That will be a test.

Still, if they play as well as they did on Monday night, they won’t lose 5-1 this time.

Were the Jets better without Evander Kane? (PHOTO BY SHAWN COATES)

Were the Jets better without Evander Kane? (PHOTO BY SHAWN COATES)

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