The Anaheim Ducks and their fans probably had some nervous moments during Thursdays game, they spent much of the game playing from behind, and their superstars were even invisible for large chunks of game 1. Then Anaheim took over, and they owned the third period. The Ducks made themselves look like the best team in the league, and made an upset look like a dream. All of a sudden, the Jets could not get out of their own zone, could not muster any offense, could not control the Ducks stars. Anaheim used their big weapon to get the win Thursday, and it is their main advantage over the Jets. The Ducks used their superstars, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf to take over the game. The Jets do not have players of that calibre plain and simple, and though they could shut down the duo for two periods, when the Ducks needed them the most, Getzlaf and Perry took over. Three goals, 7 points, the Ducks leaned on their best players and they won them game 1.
The Winnipeg Jets were unable to get their first playoff win in franchise history, but luckily they get at least three more chances. The first comes tonight in game 2 when the Jets try to even up the series heading home. Though the third period did not go the way the Jets expected or wanted, they will be happy with the way they played the rest of the game. Winnipeg proved to themselves, and the world that indeed they can play with the Ducks, and even beat the Ducks. The Jets played a solid game through two periods, and got themselves a 2-1 lead. Winnipeg will take that everyday headed into the third I am sure, however they did have chances to build on it. Winnipeg managed many odd man rushes and had the opportunities to really stretch out the lead. However, once the third period rolled around things fell apart. Fatigue, loss of focus, who knows what happened, but the Jets will want to fix it, and need to if they want to even this series at a game apiece. They say you are never out of a series before you lose at home, well going down 2-0 is a major hole, the Jets need to win tonight and send it home tied. A storm is coming, but it will be that much louder if this series is tied.
Leadership: The playoffs are all about your leaders, and not necessarily what your leaders say in the room, but more leading by example, with their play on the ice. The Ducks got that with the play of Getzlaf and Perry, the Jets on the other hand, did not get enough from their leaders. Bryan Little, Dustin Byfuglien, Blake Wheeler, were all okay, but that is not enough this time of year. The Jets cannot afford these players to just be pedestrian on the ice. Most of all the Jets need to their captain, Andrew Ladd, Ladd was just plain bad in Game 1, he needs to be one of Winnipeg’s best players if they hope to even the series heading home. The Ducks just hope their leaders play the same way they did in the first game.
Experience: For the first forty minutes, the Jets looked like they belonged in the playoffs, in fact, their best player were their youngest. Adam Lowry, Jacob Trouba, Mark Scheifele, all looked strong, and all contributed on the score sheet. When the third period rolled along however, the young guys crumbled. It all started with a very dumb penalty by Mark Scheifele, who threw a punch at Ryan Kesler in front of the net. Kesler through his head back like he had been shot, but the fact remains that Scheifele made a dumb, rookie play, and it cost the Jets. The Ducks scored on the powerplay, tied the game, and never looked back. Winnipeg is young and inexperienced, but they need to overcome that, and get the experience fast.
Status Quo: The third period was obviously not what the Jets wanted, however, the rest of the game went just how Winnipeg drew the series up. Hard hitting, tight checking, and fast, the Jets may have the advantage if they can continue to play this style. Winnipeg is bigger and faster, and they need to use the advantages they have in this series to get the wins. Play the same game you did in the first two periods, and you will find the series tied.
Ondrej Pavelec (0-1-0 GAA: 4.14 SV% .879
Frederik Andersen (1-0-0) GAA: 2.00 SV% .926
Clitsome, WPG, (Back) out for season
Postma, WPG, (LBI) day-to-day
Perreault, WPG, (UBI) day-to-day
Gibson, ANA, (Hand) day-to-day
Thompson, ANA, (UBI) day-to-day
Jets push around Ducks, earn a tight win and even the series
Jets 2 Ducks 1
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