Winnipeg Jets 4, Nashville Predators 1: Hellebuyck Denies Preds, Stafford With Two

The Predators continue their slide down the Central Division standings with another goal deprived loss.

The Predators frustrated all of us again tonight, losing to the Winnipeg Jets 4-1.

It was business as usual. The Preds absolutely dominated the shot counter, maintained possession of the puck the majority of the game, played terribly on the penalty-kill, and couldn't capitalize on a ton of scoring chances. None of the shots the Predators generated seemed to bother rookie Connor Hellebuyck, who played fantastic. He made 43 saves and got the win, only giving up a goal to Colin Wilson late in the game. The Jets goals came with traffic in front of the net, something the Preds struggled to setup in their offensive chances.

Drew Stafford was the main goal scorer for the Jets, who redirected a couple pucks from in front of the net to put the Jets up by what seemed like a million goals. Ben Chiarot got a 3rd period tip-in to put the Jets up 3-0. Then, after Wilson scored, Alexander Burmistrov scored on the empty net and it was really over. The Preds out-shot the Jets 44-19. And the hockey gods shuffle their feet once again.

Is this the hinge moment? Is it finally time? Will a move be made? You have to draw the line somewhere. Losing like this is getting old.

Random Observations

  • The Predators started this game with some of the most obvious goal scoring chances you can even have in a game. A two stride breakaway by Craig Smith, a wide open Colin Wilson in front of the net on the power-play, and several clear shots on goal by Forsberg and other good shooters... all of them stopped by rookie Connor Hellebuyck. He's having a heck of a season so far.
  • And naturally, after 11 shots and a flurry of scoring chances by the Preds, the Jets score easily on their first power-play chance of the game. A poor attempt at a penalty-kill by the Preds. Left Drew Stafford with enough room in front of Rinne for the redirect from Tyler Myers.
  • Frigging out-shooting the Jets 17-4 and frigging down 1-0. What the frig.
  • All of this is painfully familiar. Predators are dominating in possession and shots, but trail on the scoreboard. The Jets have FIVE shots almost halfway through this game and yet the lead might as well be 6-0. And on that note, the Jets make it 2-0 after another power-play goal. Drew Stafford with his 2nd of the night, deflecting one out of the air past Rinne.
  • Now the bad decisions are starting to happen. You can just see another goal by the Jets coming. Forwards are trying to do too much, defense is having to pinch up too far, Jets are gaining in confidence and making comfortable, crisp passes. The Preds are playing their worst best game of the year.
  • The frustration is unending. There isn't a single shot going towards the net that has any prayer of going in.
  • I remember watching games in the early Trotz era like this. Only the Preds scored more goals.
  • Speaking of scoring goals, Colin Wilson finally did. And of course, it was really Roman Josi with a dandy pass that made it happen. Good for Wilson though.
  • Jets are up 3-1 now and hope is all but lost. Say your goodbyes. After tonight, someone's getting shipped off to Columbus/Edmonton/San Jose/Tampa Bay/Toronto/somewhere right?

OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game

  • Connor Hellebuyck: Nothing getting by this guy tonight. He was huge.
  • Drew Stafford: His 9th and 10th goals of the year helped pace the Jets
  • Ryan Johansen: Yep.

Tweets of the Night

Boxscore - Game Summary - Event Summary - War-on-Ice - HockeyStats - Natural Stat Trick

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