Let's get this right out of the way: Sergei Bobrovsky started the game, but midway through the second period he left the game with a lower body injury. It did not look good. It's highly unlikely he'll be able to participate in the All Star Game.
Michael Hutchinson started the game for the Jets, and was spectacular. If Bob can't go this weekend, bring Hutch. He's earned it.
The Jackets started the game by setting the tone early, with Brandon Dubinsky taking the puck hard to the net, but he couldn't solve Hutchinson.
If you recall the last time these two teams faced each other, the Jets scored just nine seconds in. It took a little longer this time, but the Jets got another early goal in this one. After a failed clearing attempt by the Jackets, Andrew Ladd gathered the puck in the slot, and forced it toward the net. Blake Wheeler snagged the puck and backhanded behind Bob to give his team the lead.
1-0 Jets: Blake Wheeler - Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little
The Jackets didn't fold over however, following up shortly after with a solid scoring chance. Ryan Johansen found Jeremy Morin alone in front, but Morin's shot found Dustin Byfuglien's arse. Morin would later leave the game, and would not return.
Shortly after, after a Josh Anderson giveaway at the blueline, Mark Scheifele entered the zone, dropping the puck to Evander Kane, who's shot trickled through Bob's gear and into the net.
2-0 Jets: Evander Kane - Mark Scheifele
Cam Atkinson later had a chance to cut the lead in half after going full afterburner to get to a puck just inside the Winnipeg zone. His shot was saved by Hutchinson. Cam can't buy a goal right now. Once he gets the next one though, his next binge should start.
With 8:20 left, the Jackets went to the powerplay. They wouldn't convert, but there was excellent puck movement, and Alexander Wennberg was terrific manning the half wall. A strong second half by the rookie would be a positive amid the turmoil of this lost season.
The Jackets would go back to the powerplay later in the first period, but the Jackets couldn't muster any shots. The best offensive chance was actually a shorthanded two-on-one by the Jets, but Bob came up huge to keep the score 2-0.
Shortly into the second period, the Jackets and their lethal powerplay went back to work, but were again stymied by the Jets killers. Wennberg drew the penalty on Jacob Trouba, who will one day win a Norris trophy methinks.
At the 4:45 mark, the Jets scored again, to put this game out of reach. Jay Harrison blasted a point shot that seemingly glanced off Jim Slater en route to the net.
3-0 Jets: Jim Slater - Jay Harrison, Jacob Trouba
In Bob's final action before his injury, he stoned Michael Frolik on a breakaway, and stopped two followup shots by the Jets. Moments later, Bob extended his left leg to make a save, and without contact he came up lame. It sure seemed like a groin pull, but I'm no doctor. The Jackets, already down three goals, were completely deflated after seeing their MVP get helped off the ice. Curtis McElhinney entered the game in relief.
With Morin and Bobrovsky out, there was another tense moment when Fedor Tyutin was seen hobbling in front of the net. Luckily it wasn't an injury, he had just broken a skate blade.
At 14:10 of the second, Chris Thorburn scored off a cross-crease pass, capping the scoring.
4-0 Jets: Chris Thorburn - Adam Lowry, Matt Halischuk
The Jackets were resilient despite everything in the third period, pressuring the Jets and leading in the possession game.
Hutchinson maintained his clean sheet with a handful of great saves, including a point-blank left pad stop on Dubinsky.
The Jackets killed off two Winnipeg powerplays in the final frame, but couldn't solve Hutchinson.
FINAL SCORE: 4-0 Jets.
- Hutchinson was awesome. As I said above, give him the All Star nod if Bob can't go.
- Josh Anderson led the Jackets in shots and hits, with four of each. It's something, right?
- It's a real shame that Bob got hurt. If he can't play this weekend, that's a damned shame. No hug on the podium when Foligno drafted him on Friday. Forget seeing Bob's personality and abilities in the skills competition. Forget the chance for the home fans to give him a rousing ovation when he plays his third of the All Star Game itself. A real damned shame.
- Lost in the Bob injury was the injury to Jeremy Morin. Hopefully it's not too serious and he can get back after the break. He was just starting to look like he was finding chemistry with Ryan Johansen on the top line.
- David Savard had a tough night, with a handful of turnovers and some mistakes on the powerplay.