BLUES DID NOT SURPRISE JETS
In the first meeting between the Blues and Jets since late April, nothing the defending champions did Friday night caught the Jets off guard. There are not that many new faces on the Blues and really the only thing that stands out is their consistency.
"They have the ability to make some plays, they've got good players there. But there wouldn't be anything that appeared in our game (against the Blues). Their change happened really when we beat them (8-4 on November 24, 2018)," said Paul Maurice.
"Patty (Laine) scores all those goals (five of them) from the slot and they became a much better defensive minded team."
BOUNCE BACK FOR HELLEBUYCK
Allowing a goal on the game's first shot and then another one from a bad angle to Alex Pietrangelo wasn't the best thing for Winnipeg in their first game back from the Christmas break. Hellebuyck has shown resilience to these types of performances by not allowing any type of doubt to creep in and it shows in his numbers and where the Jets haven't gone on extended losing streaks.
"I felt the same it (my game) was nice and tight and a couple of pucks squeaked through, kind of bad luck goals," said Hellebuyck.
"It's tough to say why those went in but that's hockey, it happens to everyone."
LOWRY LINE GELLING
After taking some time to build some chemistry Friday night's game against the Blues showed what Adam Lowry, Gabriel Bourque and Mason Appleton can do together. They were arguably Winnipeg's most consistent line and had numerous chances to score outside of Bourque's goal in the period that was set up by a dazzling individual effort from Appleton. With Mathieu Perreault not playing Sunday the line will get another game together.
PK LOOKED BETTER
Even though the Jets allowed a power play goal for the fifth straight game on home ice on Friday night, as a whole the team did a better job shorthanded. They denied the Blues on the first power play and only a fluky bounce off a blocked shot by Anthony Bitetto right over to Tyler Bozak allowed St. Louis to score with the man advantage.
"That extended zone time (by the opposition) is a challenge for us," said Maurice of the PK.
"When our penalty kill is at its best the other team isn't in its structure very long and we had a long run of that."
KEEPING AN EYE ON THE STANDINGS
As we close in on the midway point of the NHL season the Central Division is jammed up with the second and sixth place teams being separated by just eight points. Dallas beat Colorado in overtime Saturday night. Because of that result, the Jets dropped down into the first wildcard spot in the Western Conference, one point behind Dallas for third in the division.