(C) Geoff Brookes
If there was any doubt about who won “the trade”, it was obliterated by Tyler Myers’ second period net-crashing rush, and ambushed by Drew Stafford’s hockey IQ, chemistry, and moxy.
Never mind the 2 prospects and the first round draft pick.
As the trite saying puts it, there’s no “I” in team. Since Kane has been out, and then traded, this team has had their mojo back. They’ve been playing with the same intensity that they did for most of the season up to the All-star Game break.
But the brutal pace of this Western Conference playoff race might have been too much, with the Jets down a forward.
Instead, Chevy acquired not only a forward with an instinct for the back of the net, but also a defenseman who’s cut from the same cloth as a Byfuglien or a Trouba. Someone who has that slightly crazed ability to read a play, and take the opportunity to launch an unexpected offensive against an unsuspecting enemy.
Tyler Myers’ kamikaze attack on Jimmy Howard’s crease created a moment of mayhem, leaving not one, but two Jets with a puck in front of a wide open Detroit net. Wheeler made the tap-in, but it could have been Perreault just as easily.
At that moment, Detroit was leading 3-1, at the Joe, where they’ve been a lock all year long. Cue the comeback by the Jets, who reversed the tide and gained a 4-3 3rd period lead, before winning it in the shootout – by the way, on a shifty, speed-gaining move by that same Stafford, who also scored in the second period.
If the Jets go on to make the playoffs for the first time in Jets 2.0 history, this comeback victory over Detroit might be regarded as a key moment in their maturation as a team. Beating one of the league’s classiest, most talented teams, in a comeback victory, on the road.
Tyler Myers’ rush said to the Wings, and to the world, “We’re not done with you yet!”
Here’s the actual post game quote from Tyler Myers:
“Coming here, even after two games, it’s not so much defensive-zone play. The way these guys play is the right way to play the game and it allows each and every guy to get the most out of what they can do,” said Myers. “I’ve never gone through anything like that before. It was a whirlwind 24 hours. I definitely had some nerves going into the game in Nashville. This was so much more comfortable and I just want to continue playing at this level for this team.”
Right way to play the game. Most of what they can do. Just want to continue playing at this level for this TEAM.
If the Jets carry this energy and attitude with them the rest of the way, they WILL make the playoffs. And, as some commentators have said lately, they just might be a scary team to face in the aggressive test that is the NHL playoffs.