Jets face Blues trying to get in full flight toward success
- Seattle close to naming Ron Francis GM
- Blackhawks trade F Anisimov to Senators
- Caps re-sign F Vrana to 2-year deal
- Wild re-sign Donato, Sturm, Soucy
- D Del Zotto back to Ducks on 1-year deal
WINNIPEG, Manitoba - The Winnipeg Jets have yet to show the form that propelled them to the second-best record in the NHL last season, but they're finding ways to win until everybody is all on the same flight path.
The Jets defeated the Arizona Coyotes 5-3 on Saturday night, pushing their record to 5-2-1, but it was hardly a Picasso or a Rembrandt. In artistic terms, this game was more like dogs playing poker.
The Jets were outshot 45-32, including 16-6 in the first period. The latter statistic, however, flattered the home team, who went 14 minutes between their second and third shots of the frame. (During four of those minutes, the Jets were short-handed.)
Defenseman Jacob Trouba, who has been handling the puck like it's a hand grenade all month long, had arguably his best game of the season, picking up a career-high three assists. He told The Winnipeg Sun that he was happy to see defensemen Tyler Myers and Josh Morrissey as well as winger Mathieu Perreault notch their first goals of the season.
"When everyone gets a goal, it feels pretty good when they score," he said. "It's good to see. You want to see everyone jump in and get in there. It's great to see a lot of names on the scoresheet."
Morrissey and left winger Kyle Connor are tied for the team lead in points with seven ahead of the early-season favorites Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler and Patrik Laine.
If nothing else, the game against the Coyotes proved that back-up goalie Laurent Brossoit is the real deal and can provide some much-needed rest for starter Connor Hellebuyck during the season. He stopped 42 shots for his second victory of the season.
"We had a little lull in the first (period) and he was there to back us up, especially on those penalty kills," Trouba said of Brossoit.
"Both games he's played he's been extremely good and when (Hellebuyck's) been in, he's been good. You definitely can't look at the goaltenders and expect much more."
The Blues come to town having lost three of their last four but their win on Saturday night, boosting their record to 2-3-2, did most of Canada a favor. By defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1, handing the Leafs their second consecutive defeat, they forced most national sports television and radio shows to talk about something other than the Leafs being the odds-on favorite to win the Stanley Cup next spring and break every offensive record in the process.
Blues coach Mike Yeo was pleased with the efforts by his troops, who kept the Leafs - the highest-scoring team in the league - off the scoreboard until the third period. They also outshot the Leafs 25-23.
"That looked a lot more like the St. Louis Blues. The guys came out 1/8and 3/8 gave us a great response," he said in a post-game scrum.
The Leafs visit the Jets on Wednesday.
Updated October 21, 2018