© Geoff Brookes
This has been an unprecedented season for Jets 1.0, Jets 2.0 (or the Thrashers, if we ever thought that was relevant).
Here are some of my highlights. Enjoy!
- The Jets “response” victory over Edmonton in game 3, with Ehlers hat trick. After 2 bad losses to start the season, this gave fans reason to hope that this season might be different. The Jets had been terrible in the second period against Calgary, in the previous game. After giving up 2 quick goals to Edmonton in the middle frame, fans were groaning, “oh no, here we go again.” Instead, the Jets took control of the game, with quick goals from Ehlers (including a beauty feed from Wheeler). The Jets kept the puck thereafter, and won 5-2. The fear of long-time Jets fans of a new era of Oiler domination were set aside, at least for now.
- Wheeler’s first period hatty against Pittsburgh, in a lop sided win over the defending Stanley Cup champions. Coming after a 1-1-2 stretch, with a very poor home loss to Columbus, fans’ confidence was flagging. The Jets left no room for doubt in this dominating performance over the star-studded Penguins. This game included a highlight-reel goal by Wheels, which should have been included in the top NHL goals of the year.
- Hawerchuck night. The recognition of Jets 1.0 history continued with the induction of Ducky into the Jets Hall of Fame. His Jets jersey now hangs from the rafters in the place where he actually played. Good on you, True North! Oh, and Jets 2.0 scores a convincing victory over Jets 1.0, inspiring a great brain teasing tweet from the king of twitter, Randy Turner. If someone can help me find that, thanks. It’s a beauty.
- Comeback victory over Flyers. The Jets have now established themselves as an early season leader, coming into this game with a 10-4-3 record. Hellebuyck has taken the #1 goalie role and broken out with 10 wins. But the Jets allow 2 first period goals, and we are wondering again if this is a mirage. But on this night, Bucky settles down, Perreault returns to the lineup with a second period goal, and big Buff delivers a crushing mid-ice hit. The Jets continue to press, but it looks like it could be a hard-fought loss. With 55 seconds left, Wheeler hits Scheifele with one of his lightning-quick passes in the slot. Scheifele buries it to tie the game. After more magic from the duo in a scoreless overtime, Laine scores in the shootout with his classic dragging misdirection deke. Little blasts in the extra marker, and the Jets come back in a tremendous crowd-pleasing win.
- 6-4 road win in Nashville. One of many incredibly entertaining games between these 2 great teams. The game is sealed with an unexpected goal by Brandon Tanev, rushing down the left wing and sweeping the puck by a stunned Pekka Rinne. A delirious Jets nation cannot believe it either.
- January 30– beginning a record-length 10 game homestand, the Jets take on the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning , and beat them convincingly, 3-1.
- February 23 – just days before the trade deadline, the Jets beat the Blues convincingly in St.Louis; so much so that Blues GM decides to trade pending UFA Paul Stastny to the division rival Jets for a first rounder and solid prospect. This trade stuns the NHL on the morning of the trade deadline day. Jets fans are elated this unexpected coup by Chevy!
- March 6 in the Big Apple, Patrik Laine puts on a show, duelling with King Henry, scoring all three goals in the Jets 3-0 victory. The hockey world reacts with jaw-dropping awe at his incredible shooting.
- March 23 versus the Ducks- the Jets absolutely dominate the team that owned the nightmare of the 2015 playoffs. Not for the first time this season, the 2018 Jets show that they are a much better team than their vaunted rivals of 2015.
- March 27 – the Jets topple yet another contender, beating the Bruins 5-4 in a shootout. Oh, and Brandon Tanev scores three times, with 5 goal celebrations (3 on his first goal, in which the referees once again steal the spotlight). Tanev scores his third as a shorty, during a 5 minute penalty kill. The Jets survive OT thanks to some Buck magic, and win the shootout.
Go Jets Go!!!