Winnipeg Jets vs Toronto by 20Legend
After the Jets secured their first win of the season in the opener against Carolina Hurricanes (5-4 after OT) things have not gone their way in the following two games. First they lost narrowly against Minnesota Wild (4-3), before a clear loss against Boston Bruins (1-4) became a fact in their third game.
It looked good when captain Blake Wheeler scored sent the Jets ahead ten minutes into the first period. It was his third goal in as many games in addition to his two assists from the first game. However, the fans could not be happy for long as the Bruins equalized just 19 seconds later after Dominic Moore picked up an attempted wrap-around from his teammate and made it 1-1. It was the Jets who outshot the Bruins in this period with 15:9, but it did not result in any more goals.
It was the Bruins that kept on going in the start of the second period with a disallowed goal from Zdeno Chara after five minutes due to a minimal offside. The rest of the half was even though and with the Jets calling the shots 12:7. However; the initiative was going back to Boston Bruins with just a minute to go. David Pastrnak sent a pass in front of goal which went off Jets’ Tobias Enstrom’s stick and into the goal.
The game continued being close through the third period, but it became tough once Bruins went 1-3 up through Brandon Carlo with just two minutes to go. The Jets pulled their goaltender, but it was no success as Zdeno Chara scored the empty netter to seal the win for the Bruins. Goaltender Tuukka Rask had a magnificent evening with 34 saves in 35 shots and two assist to his name as well. He was the difference in this game with two major saves especially when the Jets came on their breakaways.
The important center Bryan Little is out indefinitely after he sustained a lower-body injury earlier last week. That is obviously not a good thing for the Jets. Winnipeg Jets have also a problem on finding a first-string goaltender between either Michael Hutchinson (4.17 GAA and .871 SV% after one game) or Connor Hellebyuck (3.45 GAA and .863 SV% after two games). They will both share responsibility until a decision is made, but both have not looked very strong so far this season.
Toronto Maple Leafs went from an overtime loss against Ottawa Senators (5-4) in their first match of the season, to smash the Bruins (4-1) in their second game. The Bruins was clearly missing their center Patrice Bergeron as their offensive work was not at the usual level. The Leafs needed just two minutes to get the first goal, before extending their lead twice in the following 11 minutes. All three goals came in seven shots which gave Bruins’ Anton Khudobin something to adjust in the rest of the game.
The period was including fighting and four two minute-suspensions, but only one more goal as the Bruins’ David Pastrnak took advantage of a power play situation. The Leafs fell a bit behind in the middle period with Bruins leading the shots 5:9. However, none of the teams was able to score any goals, which made Leafs’ fourth goal almost four minutes into the third period the final decision of the game. Goaltender Frederik Andersen will be between the pipes tonight. He has started two games so far with a 2.98 GAA and a .891 SV% to show for.
Winnipeg Jets has got a tough start to their campaign with after their first game were they won against the Hurricanes. Bryan Little is out for some time while the next two games has been lost. Toronto Maple Leafs got back with a strong win against the Bruins after the narrow overtime loss in their first game against the Senators. The history between these two teams reveals high scoring games.
With Jets’ uncertainty around the goaltender situation, I think that this game will be no different. On the other side, the team has dangerous offensive players like Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele to help them find the net. Over 5.5 goals seem like a great option in the first meeting this season as well.