Some teams have a measured home ice advantage. Last season, the Winnipeg Jets prided themselves in making the MTS Centre a place of winning. But this year is clearly different and today’s 3-0 afternoon loss to the division rival Washington Capitals just deepened the Jets’ home woes.
After a scoreless first period in which the Jets tried Braden Holtby–who was making his ninth consecutive start–with 15 shots, Matt Hendricks was the first to get on the board midway through the second period. In the middle period, the tempo shifted in Washington’s direction and they brutally out-shot Winnipeg 13 to four, which may have portended how this game would look in the end.
Despite the fact that the home team did get it together and win the shots column for the third period, and even though they played a big physical game and out-hit the Caps (plus Anthony Peluso took on new Cap Aaron Volpatti in the first period), the Capitals got two wrist shots from Troy Brouwer and Mike Ribeiro past Ondrej Pavelec to widen the margin of victory. The 3-0 score held and the Jets were shut out for the first time this season.
Some Jets worked especially hard to try to get on the board–Evander Kane and Dustin Byfuglien took six shots on goal each while Zach Bogosian had four–but it just wasn’t their day today. Perhaps the only good news is that their next four games are on the road.
The Jets will take on another Southeast Division team on March 5 when they ditch chilly Winnipeg temporarily to head down to Sunrise, Fla. and face the Florida Panthers as part of a road trip to the Sunshine State.