Jets trounce Avalanche 6-1 Featured

Written by  Published in Winnipeg Jets
Winnipeg, Manitoba (NHN)-Blake Wheeler scored twice and added an assist to pace the Winnipeg Jets as they dominated the Colorado Avalanche 6-1 Friday night.

The Jets captain snapped a 16 game scoring drought.

“With the amount of ice time I get, the guys I play with, the expectation would be that you’d score a goal once in a while. Sometimes it doesn’t happen. It’s a crazy game. I had 13 shots the last two games before this one, and one behind the goal line goes in. I don’t lose much sleep over it. Like I said, the expectation is you gotta produce given that opportunity. But I think we try to make an impact on the entire game. The goals, the assists, the plays. They’re going to come and go," said Wheeler.

Jets assistant captain Mark Scheifele continued his post-injury dominance with three assists for the Jets, who have won their last two games.

Scheifele has 7 points in 4 games since returning to the Jets lineup after missing 16 games with a shoulder injury.

Tyler Myers and Dustin Byfuglien each had a pair of assists for Winnipeg.

Patrick Laine had a goal and an assist.

Kyle Connor, Andrew Copp and Nikolaj Ehlers added singles for the Jets.

Connor Hellebuyck made 29 saves to pick up his 30th win of the season.

The Jets moved to 34-15-9 on the season, good enough for a share of 1st place in the NHL's Central Division with the Nashville Predators as both have 77 points.

Mikko Rantanen scored for the Avalanche.

Jonathan Bernier and Symon Varlamov combined to stop 22 shots for Colorado, who dropped to 31-22-4.

Blake Wheeler got Winnipeg on the board just over the halfway mark of the first period scoring off a fortunate bounce off of Colorado goaltender Jonathan Bernier's skate.

Mark Scheifele got the original shot on goal before Wheeler banked the puck in off of Avalanche goaltender Jonathan Bernier's skate from the end boards when he attempted to center the puck at 10:09.

The goal was his 15th of the season and snapped a 16 game scoring drought for the Winnipeg captain.

The Jets scored three times in the middle frame to take control of the contest. Kyle Connor made it 2-0 10:49 into the second period taking a pass from Dustin Byfuglien from the right side boards before moving in and wiring a high wrister past Bernier beating him high glove side to score his 19th of the season.

Andrew Copp put the Jets up 3-0 with a shorthanded marker at 15:50 of the second period.

With Joel Armia off for slashing Mark Scheifele stole the puck off of Colorado's Mikko Rantenan along the boards in the Jets zone breaking in on a two-on-one with Copp before hitting him with a backhand saucer pass which Copp wired past Bernier off the goal post with a high shot.

The goal was his 5th of the season.

“After the goal, you saw a little relief on my face. There was one (chance) in the first and another in the second on that two-pad stack. So, it was good to get back on the board there and I could have had another one in the third period, it was just laying there (in the crease). I liked the line. We had a lot of good chances and (Scheifele) made a great pass on the one that I buried. I feel like this could be the start," said Copp

With Gabriel Bourque off for goaltender interference, Patrick Laine one timed a partner pass from Dustin Byfuglien past Bernier off a face off win from Mark Scheifele to put the Jets up 4-0 at 19:32 of the second period.

The goal was his 26th of the season.

Semyon Varlamov started the third period in goal for the Avalanche.

Nikolaj Ehlers put the Jets up 5-0 5:24 into the third period, tipping a Tyler Myers blast past Varlamov.

The goal was his 22nd of the season.

Blake Wheeler scored a power play marker at 7:54 of the third period, scooping a puck off of the side boards off of a shot from Patrick Laine before moving in and firing a high wrister past Varlamov.

Mikko Rantanen scored at 14:04 of the third, breaking wide to the left side boards in the Jets zone before stuffing the puck just inside the far post past Connor Hellebuyck's skate to score his 18th of the season.

Colorado Centre Colin Wilson said they didn't help themselves against the Jets.

"They played a great game. They outplayed us. But I think we gave them too many chances ourselves, turning pucks over, not getting pucks out. They took advantage," he said.

Avalanche Head Coach Jared Bednar said his club didn't have a whole lot going for them on this night.

"I didn't really love our first period and actually strangely enough I liked our second period better than our first and we gave up three goals. Some of the mistakes we made tonight you just can't have them."

"We win a faceoff on our power play and it ends up in the back of our net," he said.

"They (Jets) are where they are in the standings because they're a really good team. They're well rounded, deep team and they're even better at home," he added.

Winnipeg Head Coach Paul Maurice said he couldn't be happier to see his captain end his 16 game scoring drought.

“It’s nice to see a guy get a pay off he deserves. He’s earned big point nights on his effort alone. He’s had a bunch that haven’t gone for him and those guys do (need to score). He needs to score goals to keep that shooter’s confidence. He doesn’t change his game when he wasn’t scoring. He’s played so very well for a long time without putting a goal in the net and we were winning hockey games. It doesn’t affect his play. He’s not cheating the game. He’s not barking at guys to feed him the puck. He’s all about winning all the time, but you want that kind of guy to have a pay off, too.”

SHOTS-COLORADO 31 WINNIPEG 28

ATTENDANCE-15,294

NOTES-Avalanche goaltender Jonathan Bernier was hit in the head with a puck late in the second period.

He left and did not return and underwent the concussion protocol.

The Jets went 5-for-5 on the penalty kill on the night.

Winnipeg improves to 22-5-2 on home ice this season with the win.

Last modified on Saturday, 17 February 2018 04:46
Philip Paul-Martin

A well rounded journalist with experience in both print and broadcast mediums, Philip has written news stories with impact, broken national news while at the CBC, anchored radio news and hosted talk show radio. His coverage includes feature writing, game stories and more in-depth pieces during the off-season as well as writing about the National Hockey League and the Winnipeg Jets. He calls Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada home.