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Declan Schroeder The Hockey Writers

Published on Wednesday, August 12, 2020





Top 5 Craziest Jets Games

Every NHL games has its wild moments, but some are just a little bit wilder than others and never quite fade from the memory.

Top Five Craziest Winnipeg Jets Games

The Jets have played 649 games since relocating from Atlanta in 2011, including plenty of crazy ones. Here’s five of them.

5: Jets Set Records in Destruction of Ducks — Feb. 2, 2019

One would be forgiven if they mistook this hockey game for a round of the Nintendo Entertainment System classic “Duck Hunt.”

The Jets roasted the woeful Anaheim Ducks for six first-period goals. Andrew Copp opened the scoring at 2:07, and Jack Roslovic, who was a question mark after leaving that morning’s skate with cramping followed it up with a power-play goal at 5:26. Then Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little, Roslovic again, and Brendan Lemieux pumped goals past John Gibson in less than a six-minute span.

Related: Jets Top 5 Games of 2019

The six-goal first was a Jets franchise record, breaking the previous mark of five tallies, which the team set in 2017 against the Pittsburgh Penguins (see the honourable mentions at the bottom of this piece). It was also the first time since 2007 any NHL team had been ahead by an unconverted touchdown after 20.

Winnipeg Jets' Jack Roslovic
Jack Roslovic gets a bro hug from then-teammate Brendan Lemieux after scoring his first-career hat trick in the 9-3 win. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods)

Roslovic completed his first-career hat trick in the mid-second as the Jets added three more en route to a 9-3 victory. It was the first time the Jets scored nine since 2011 (more on that later), but fans wanted more.

The fans chanted “we want 10” in the third period and Andrew Copp came close to delivering double digits on a breakaway chance but was stopped by backup goalie Chad Johnson.

4: Bogosian Caps Marathon Shootout Versus Maple Leafs — March 16, 2013

Zach Bogosian? Going bar down?

No, you didn’t stumble into an alternate dimension where the former Jets’ d-man is a shootout sniper, but his skills-competition heroics DID once lift the Jets to victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It was “Bogo’s” first-ever shootout attempt, and it came in Round 10 — Blake Wheeler and Tyler Bozak scored early on, but then 16 straight shooters failed to score on either Ondrej Pavelec or James Reimer.

The Jets probably shouldn’t have found themselves in a shootout in the first place. James Wright, Antti Miettinen, and Blake Wheeler scored four unanswered second-period goals to open up 4-1 lead, but the sophomore squad blew it quickly. They allowed two goals in the final 1:25 of the second period and the tying goal to Phil Kessel in the third.

After overtime solved nothing and the Jets burned through most of their offensively adept players in the lengthy shootout, Bogosian got his opportunity and made the most of it, wiring one off the crossbar and in glove side on Reimer.

“Once a stallion, always a stallion,” then- head coach Claude Noel said post game. “He was looking at me on the bench like he wants to go, and I was just trying to find someone who wanted to shoot. He gave me the look.”

Bogosian, to this day, has never had another shootout attempt. He’ll likely finish his career a perfect one-for-one.

3: Laine Tops Matthews in First Meeting of Rookie Phenoms — Oct. 19, 2016

It was only fitting that the two players causing all the hype leading into this October matchup took centre stage.

Related: Patrik Laine Versus Auston Matthews

It was the first time Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine — who were selected first- and second-overall, respectively, at the NHL Entry Draft just a few months prior — ever faced in the NHL.

Patrik Laine, Winnipeg Jets, NHL
Patrik Laine, Winnipeg Jets (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

It looked as though Matthews would get the bragging rights of coming out on top in their inaugural NHL showdown, as the Maple Leafs were up 4-0 by the mid-second thanks to goals from Connor Carrick, William Nylander, and a pair from Nazem Kadri. (Matthews had an assist on Nylander’s goal.)

The Jets roared all the way back though, led by Laine himself. The fresh-faced Finn scored twice in the third — one a minute in to cut the lead to 4-2, and one with just 55 seconds left to tie the game 4-4 and send it to OT.

In the then-brand-new three-on-three format, Matthews had a chance to lift the Leafs to victory but was stoned on a breakaway by Michael Hutchinson. The play went back the other way and Laine, after receiving a pass from Dustin Byfuglien, wired his signature writer glove-side past Frederik Andersen to complete the first hat trick of his young NHL career.

“I think it was just a normal regular-season game,” Laine would say with a chuckle post-game.

2: Jets Stage Playoff Comeback Versus Predators — May 1, 2018

“It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.” That old axiom was on full display during Game 3 of the second-round series between two Central Division juggernauts.

The Predators, in the swirling storm of the Winnipeg Whiteout for the first time, at first looked impervious to the hostile conditions inside Bell MTS Place.

Mike Fisher, P.K. Subban, and Austin Watson all put pucks past Connor Hellebuyck in the first period, giving the visitors a 3-0 lead, quieting the crowd, and making a Predators’ 2-1 series lead look likely.

Not so fast, said the Jets. They turned the tide in the second and sent the 15,000-plus in attendance into a frenzy.

A fluky deflection off of Paul Stastny and in after a Jacob Trouba point floater early in the period got the Jets back in the game. A little later, Dustin Byfuglien and Trouba scored just 18 seconds apart to tie the game at three.

The Jets took the lead in the last minute of the second when Byfuglien scored his second of the period, one-timing a Patrik Laine pass past Pekka Rinne.

Filip Forsberg tied the game 4-4 in the third, but Blake Wheeler potted a power-play goal with just 4:59 to go after Mark Scheifele’s slot shot produced a big rebound.

The Jets added two empty netters to capture the 7-4 victory and would go on to conquer the Predators in seven games before falling in five to the Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference Final.

1: Jets and Flyers Combine for 17 Goals — Oct. 17, 2011

The 2011-12 Jets were not very good, but they were memorable. The most memorable game they played in their inaugural season — and by far the most absurd game in their eight seasons so far — was their first-ever road win in the 2.0 era: a 9-8 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Arena.

Evander Kane Jets
Just about the expression one would expect a 17-goal game would garner. (Bruce Fedyck-US PRESSWIRE)

“It’s the strangest game I’ve been a part of, it was like an NFL game,” then-coach Claude Noel said. “We can’t make a lot of logic out of what we did there. I thought to myself, ‘Self, you’re a sick man trying to make logic of this.'”

The Jets were up 3-1 after 20 thanks to goals from Randy Jones, Jim Slater, and Kyle Wellwood. A high-scoring first, sure, but just the tip of the iceberg in a contest that descended into sheer parody.

The goaltenders looked floppier than New York-style pizza slices as the two teams combined for 17 goals. After the Jets built up a 5-1 lead by the mid-second, Ilya Bryzgalov replaced Sergei Bobrovsky. The Jets later had a 6-2 lead — a lead that would usually be more than safe. But then the Flyers popped off five in a row, two in the late second and three in the first 3:01 of the third, to take a 7-6 lead.

Pavelec got the hook after the tying goal and was replaced by Chris Mason. (Pavelec was later thrust back into the blue paint with 8:20 to go after Mason suffered an injury.)

Ondrej Pavelec, Winnipeg Jets, NHL
Ondrej Pavelec allowed seven goals on 43 shots and was actually pulled at one point, but was forced to go back in and got the win. (Dustin Bradford/Icon SMI)

But the teams decided a five-goal swing wasn’t quite crazy enough — the Jets responded and scored two in a minute-and-a-half to go up 8-7. They didn’t hold onto that lead either, though, as James van Riemsdyk scored his second of the game with less than five minutes remaining to knot things 8-8.

The game looked destined for overtime, but Bryzgalov couldn’t stop the inexplicably point-less Andrew Ladd from scoring the greasiest of net-front goals after Blake Wheeler threw it in front. The goal with 1:06 remaining, surprisingly, stood up as the game-winner.

Everyone except Bogosian, Kenndal McArdle, and Johnny Oduya had at least one point for the Jets. Sean Couturier, Erik Gustafsson, and Wayne Simmonds were the only pointless Flyers. It was the first time the 2.0 Jets scored more than five goals in a single game.

The ludicrous display produced some great sound bytes from players on both sides.

“It was like Blades of Steel out there,” Ladd said.

“I have zero confidence in myself right now,” Bryzgalov, the losing goalie who allowed four goal on 10 shots, said. “I am terrible… I am the reason we lost the game tonight. I am lost in the woods right now.”

Five Honourable Mentions

None of these were your average NHL games either, but they couldn’t quite crack the top five:

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