It’s one of the biggest leaps an NHL team could take through earning just two points from a 5-4 shootout win that took 10 rounds to settle. By winning over the Toronto Maple Leafs last night, the Winnipeg Jets jumped from eighth in the Eastern Conference all the way up to third, the Southeast Division leaders. This was also made possible by the Carolina Hurricanes‘ loss–they now have 31 points to Winnipeg’s 32 and are inactive today–and that was Winnipeg’s gain in a huge way.
Zach Bogosian‘s shootout tally won it all and he just had the look of someone who was eager to go shoot, according to coach Claude Noel, who even referred to him as a stallion.
After a hectic first period in terms of penalties, the Jets got on the board in the second with the first goal of the year from James Wright. Antti Miettinen made it 2-1 for the visitors and then Blake Wheeler potted two–he now has 12 goals and 12 assists, second on the team in terms of goals and points. Captain Andrew Ladd also has an even split of goals and assists, 14 apiece, and helped Wheeler out on both of his goals.
Though Toronto fought back and tied it leaving regulation, Wheeler struck in the shootout’s first round and the stallion Bogosian nine rounds later to seal the deal. Wheeler got first star of the game, Bogosian third and the second went to Toronto’s Joffrey Lupul, playing his first game since the end of January.
The Jets are finishing up a trip to both of Ontario’s teams by facing the Ottawa Senators today at 4 p.m. Central. If they win, that will just increase their lead in the Southeast since the Washington Capitals are the only other Southeast team playing today and there’s no way they could challenge Winnipeg for their lead.