Are the Jets okay?
I know we love to joke about teams getting “sens’d,” but really, when are they going to learn? If your season is on the line, you can’t just expect to walk all over the Ottawa Senators. They WILL Sens you.
This was a good game.
Ottawa started the game on a good note, with the first three shots of the game. All four lines were moving their feet and putting pucks on net. When the Jets finally did get something going, Forsberg kept it out.
Unfortunately, it only took one bad Senators shift for Winnipeg to score the first goal of the game. Holden had an especially bad shift, but it was a total defensive failure for the whole team. 1-0 Winnipeg.
The good news is that the Sens were still playing a pretty good game, for the most part, so they still had a chance to stay in it. Sure enough, it didn’t take too long for Brady Tkachuk to tip in a great Zub shot from the point, to tie the game 1-1.
The last few minutes of the first period basically fit that pattern: Ottawa mostly played a good game, but every once in a while would completely collapse defensively and watch the other team get amazing scoring chance after amazing scoring chance. We were still tied, but the game could really go either way.
It was a wild second period, with no defense being played for either team and very few whistles. Ottawa got the best scoring chance of the frame, as Erik Brännström created several good chances and Tkachuk created problems in front of the net. The puck actually ended up in the net on that shift, but the goal was disallowed because the whistle had already gone.
Brännström sets up a great opportunity for Tkachuk. Norris ultimately pokes it in but the whistle had gone. pic.twitter.com/5sO0GtiFJB— Everyday Sens (@EverydaySens) March 25, 2022
Although the defensive breakdowns kept happening, the Sens looked like the better team, with several good looks at the net and a great pace to their game overall.
At this point, the commentators were remarking on how frequently the Jets were having total defensive meltdowns, so clearly these teams were very well matched. The game would surely come down to who could do the best job of capitalizing on the other team’s defensive breakdowns.
The Senators continued to spend most of their time in the offensive zone, because the Jets are a very strange team, but couldn’t bury any of their chances. Winnipeg went most of the period without even getting a shot on net. Fighting for their playoff lives!
About ten minutes in, we still had not seen a single penalty in a very fast-paced, back-and-forth game. The pace changed very abruptly when two Sens players took a beating on the same shift; Zaitsev took a puck to the face, and Joseph blocked a shot right after that. The play was blown down because Zaitsev was bleeding all over the ice, and the veteran defender went straight to the dressing room. Zub got hurt on the next shift, too, but stayed on.
Naturally, things started to get a bit chippy, but despite a bit of pushing and shoving we still didn’t see any penalties.
Just as it was beginning to look like this game might need overtime, Mathieu Joseph did some great work off the rush and sent the puck to the Best To Ever Do It. That’s Jo’s first point as a Senator, by the way. 2-1 Ottawa.
Right after the go-ahead goal, the Jets took the game’s first penalty. Although Winnipeg got a nice rush up the ice shorthanded, Ottawa used the power of Backchecking to send the puck back into the offensive zone. Just as I was getting ready to write something about the inevitable Josh Norris Power Play Goal (he was wide open), Colin White snuck the puck behind the Jets’ goaltender. 3-1 Ottawa.
The Sens just kept going at even strength. This time Stützle pulled a nifty move to set up Connor Brown for an easy tap-in. 4-1 Ottawa.
This was easily the best third period performance the Sens had put together in ages, so naturally the Jets scored the next goal. Just to make us sweat a bit. 4-2 Ottawa.
It was fine, though. Austin Watson and Mathieu Joseph got a good look at the empty net... and missed. There’s the lack of finish Lightning fans were talking about!
Thankfully, the Captain made up for it, securing the game and showing everyone how it’s done with an empty-netter. 5-2 Ottawa.
I’d say we needed that win!
- Nick Holden had a very rough night. Aside from looking bad on the first goal, it felt like he made so many bad decisions. He’s struggled a bit since being separated from Zub - which makes sense - but he’s usually better than this.
- Brännström-Zub was so good. Funny how everyone who plays next to Zub suddenly becomes good.
- Controversial deadline acquisition Travis Hamonic had a very solid game, with several good shots from the point and a few good defensive plays. His defense parter Michael Del Zotto was pretty good too.
- Colin White was one of the most offensively dynamic Sens players in this game, and certainly deserved that goal. He could have had a hat trick.
- Mathieu Joseph had another solid game.