5 Goals Against the Jets I Haven’t Forgotten

With the NHL season currently suspended, it has been fun to use the time to look back and reminisce on some of our favourite sports memories. I joined the party on Twitter by posting my lists of the Top 10 Winnipeg Jets 2.0 players with under 41 games played the Top 5 Regular Season Jets 2.0 Games I would like to re-watch and this compilation of Dustin Byfuglien’s most viral moments.

Following in the footsteps of Mike McIntyre’s column in the Free Press on the Top 10 Jets 2.0 goals, I have put together a list of five goals against the Jets that I certainly haven’t forgotten about.

Mike Cammalleri – Oct 9, 2011

Three minutes into the first regular season game in the Winnipeg Jets 2.0 era, Johnny Oduya’s pass up the middle was intercepted by Mike Cammalleri who sniped over the shoulder of goaltender Ondrej Pavelec. After the game Jets head coach Claude Noel described the giveaway as a “free pizza”. Even after two Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks, Oduya is still known as the “Pizza Man” in Winnipeg. (Sorry Johnny!)

Lars Eller – Jan 4, 2012

In the third period of what was a tight Jets/Canadiens game at the Bell Centre the game completely unraveled as Montreal scored three consecutive goals. With the Habs leading 6-2 with 9 minutes to go, forward Lars Eller who already had 3 goals and 1 assist was awarded a (questionable) penalty shot. Eller said YOLO and put home his 4th goal of the night on a spin-o-rama and then fell on top of Jets goalie Chris Mason. Just an exclamation point on a rough day at the office for the Jets.

Eric Staal – March 19, 2012

In the early days of Jets 2.0 the Winnipeg fans were known for their chants towards opponents. “Mario’s Poolboy” for Sidney Crosby, “Crosby’s better” for Alex Ovechkin and “Silver Medal” to Ryan Miller were some of the highlights. Jets fans may have gotten too confident as they began to shower Hurricanes captain Eric Staal with chants of “Jordan’s Better”.

The chants only motivated the elder Staal brother as he scored the game tying goal in the 3rd period and assisted on the game winning goal, celebrating enthusiastically after each one. While the loss didn’t mathematically eliminate the Jets from playoff contention, they needed to win to have a realistic shot at a postseason berth.

Emerson Etem – April 22, 2015 (Game 4 of the Jets/Ducks 1st round series)

The Jets had played the Ducks close for three games but entered Game 4 down 3-0 in the series. Bryan Little got the Jets on the board first but less than two minutes later Emerson Etem tied the game back up with this pretty dangle on Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba. The Jets couldn’t regain the lead and the Ducks would go on to win the game and sweep the series.

Jaden Schwartz – April 18, 2019 (Game 5 of the Jets/Blues 1st round series)

After going to the Western Conference Final in the 2018 postseason, expectations were high for the 2018-19 Jets. The team dropped the first two games at home of the opening round series vs. the Blues but managed to win Games 3 and 4 in St. Louis to tie it at 2-2. It looked as if the series was turning in Winnipeg’s favor after quick 2-0 start to Game 5, but the eventual Stanley Cup Champions clawed their way back to tie.

With fifteen seconds left in the third, overtime seemed inevitable until Blues forward Jaden Schwartz was able to get open in front of the net and score the winner, putting a dagger through the hearts of the Jets and their fans.

Honourable Mentions

Wayne Simmonds – Nov 7, 2015

This one isn’t about the goal or the scorer but about Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec’s stick. I don’t think a goalie’s stick has ever gotten stuck in the top of the net like Pavelec’s did on this play.

Mark Letestu – Oct 23, 2016 (Heritage Classic)

Mark Letestu had the Jets number in the 2016-17 season. In three games vs. Winnipeg he had 5 goals and 1 assist. The first of those came shorthanded in the Heritage Classic to put the Oilers up 1-0. The Jets weren’t able to respond and the Winnipeg crowd was left silent all afternoon at IG Field.

Alex Ovechkin – March 21 & 22 – 2013

Throughout his career Alex Ovechkin has put up phenomenal numbers vs. the Jets/Thrashers franchise – 67 games, 48 goals, 44 assists for 92 points. On March 21 & 22, 2013 Winnipeg hosted their Southeast Division rival Capitals for a rare home back to back. The Jets were right in the middle of the playoff race and two wins would put them in great position in the standings to make the postseason for the first time since returning to Winnipeg.

It was not to be as Washington asserted their dominance over the Jets in those two games winning 4-0 and 6-1. The Great Eight feasted in those two games combining for 3 goals and 2 assists. I’ll never forget seeing Ovechkin wide open in his spot on the left side knowing that the inevitable would be coming.

When I think of memorable goals (for the skill involved or the emotional devastation it caused) against the Jets, these are the ones that come to mind first. I’m sure I forgot to mention the one you were thinking of, please comment below or tweet me @mremis for some more discussion.

Revisiting the Jets Bobblehead Curse

Back in 2014 (and updated for 2015), I wrote about the “curse” of the Jets bobbleheads, chronicling the featured player’s poor performance in his bobblehead night. From 2012-2015 The Jets had accumulated a record of 1-3 in bobblehead nights, and 0-3 if the player being honoured with the collectible was playing in the game.

With tonight being Nikolaj Ehlers’ bobblehead night at Bell MTS Place, I had been reminded of the curse by Illegal Curve’s Dave Minuk & TSN 1290’s Andrew “Hustler” Paterson while on “The Warmup”. I thought the curse was over but it appears to have reared his ugly head after the Jets 5-4 loss to the San Jose Sharks.

Here are the results from the bobblehead nights since 2015:

March 12, 2019 vs. San Jose – Nikolaj Ehlers bobblehead night.
At 12 seconds left, Just when it looked like the two teams were headed to overtime, Nikolaj Ehlers entered the offensive zone with the puck and attempted a cross ice pass to Andrew Copp. Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic tipped the pass to forward Timo Meier who was off on a 2 on 1. Meier fed Joe Pavelski for the game winner with 3.6 seconds left. Sharks 5. Jets 4.

Ehlers ended the night with 0 points and a -4 rating.

March 20, 2018 vs. Los Angeles – Jacob Trouba bobblehead night
Jacob Trouba did not play due to a concussion after colliding with Stars forward Jamie Benn two days earlier. The Jets defeated the Kings 2-1 in overtime.

March 30, 2017 vs. Anaheim – Mark Scheifele bobblehead night
Mark Scheifele is the only Jets player to break the curse. Winnipeg won 4-3, and of course, Scheifele scored the OT winner.

Final line: 1 goal. 1 point. +2. 5 SOG. 26:47 TOI

April 3rd, 2016 vs. Minnesota – Bryan Little Bobblehead night
Jets win 5-1. Bryan Little did not play after fracturing a vertebae in February following a hit from Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman.

After eight bobblehead nights, the Jets record in those games is 4-4. However, when the featured player plays in their bobblehead game the team’s record is 1-4.

Final Stat lines of players who played in their bobblehead game.

2019: Ehlers – 0 points. -4 (Jets lose 5-4)
2018: Scheifele – 1 goal (OT Winner). +2. (Jets win 4-3)
2014: Byfuglien – 0 points. -2 (Jets lose 3-2)
2013: Pavelec – 5 goals allowed, 19 saves on 24 shots, .792 save percentage, one stick smashed into pieces. (Jets lose 6-4)
2012: Ladd – 0 points. -3. (Jets lose 3-2)

Combined skater numbers: 4 games. 1 goal. 0 assists. -7.

Jets Lunch – June 9, 2016

I made my first appearance on TSN3 co-hosting Jets Lunch with Darrin Bauming. In the clips below we interviewed Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka, and discussed why fans should be optimistic about the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Winnipeg’s NHL History belongs to the Jets

It’s time for the NHL to end the charade and return the original Winnipeg Jets 1.0 history back to the current Winnipeg Jets. With a team in the NHL named the Winnipeg Jets, there is no reason for the Arizona Coyotes to honour the Winnipeg Jets history that took place in Winnipeg from 1979-1996.

This may seem like something minor and petty, but when the Coyotes are honouring events that didn’t happen in their city and the Jets ignore their own city’s hockey history, it doesn’t seem right. Other leagues in the same predicament have simply moved over the records and history.

After True North Sports & Entertainment, picked the Winnipeg Jets as the new team’s name, the team and fans took all of the tradition that came with it. That includes, The Whiteout, The Queen, cheering for Teemu Selanne and starting “Go Jets Go” chants anywhere and everywhere.

As it stands now; the previous Jets franchise’s records and history have remained in Arizona where the team moved, and the new Jets have inherited the Atlanta Thrashers’ history and records.

Examples

Earlier this season when Chris Thorburn passed Ilya Kovalchuk for the Jets/Thrashers franchise leader for games played. I said on The Warmup with Matt Leibl on TSN 1290 Winnipeg (at 35:40) that it was a nice accomplishment, but Kovalchuk didn’t play here, Winnipeg hockey fans don’t have any emotional attachment to him, and the true record for games played with the Winnipeg Jets belongs to Thomas Steen with 950 games played.

When Nikolaj Ehlers recorded his first career hat trick on Jan 26, 2016, the NHL’s PR account was quick to point out that Ehlers was the youngest player in Jets/Thrashers franchise history to record a hat trick since Kovalchuk in 2002.

And when Dustin Byfuglien scored a rare 3-on-5 goal the game notes pointed out that it was the first 3-on-5 goal in Jets/Thrashers franchise history since Daniel Tjarnqvist on Jan 18, 2004 at Carolina.

Again, these moments in ‘franchise’ history are great accomplishments, but Winnipeggers are more likely to celebrate Teemu Selanne’s stats recorded in a Jets uniform than anything done by Ilya Kovalchuk in a Thrashers uniform.

The same thing is occurring in Arizona where the Coyotes are forced to honour records that were established in Winnipeg.

On Friday night, Shane Doan passed Dale Hawerchuk for the Jets/Coyotes franchise lead in points. This is a tremendous accomplishment for Shane Doan, but he didn’t need to pass Hawerchuk to be the Coyotes’ all-time leader in points. Hawerchuk never played in Arizona and Doan has been the face of hockey in the desert for the last twenty years.

Past Precedents

Professional sports franchises moving locations while their records and history remain has happened in the NFL, NBA and CFL.

NFL

In 1995 Art Modell moved the Browns out of Cleveland to Baltimore. The fans and the city revolted and struck a deal to keep the Browns’ name, colours, history, records, award and archives in Cleveland. When Cleveland was awarded an expansion franchise, it remained the Browns. In their history and record books it states that the team was ‘deactivated’ from the years 1996-1999.

NBA

The original Charlotte Hornets moved to New Orleans following the 2001-02 season. In 2004 Charlotte was awarded an expansion franchise named the Bobcats. After the 2012-13 season New Orleans’ franchise became the Pelicans, leaving the Hornets name open. The Charlotte Bobcats quickly reclaimed the name ‘Hornets’ and since May 2014 the old Hornets name, history and records from 1988-2002 were moved from New Orleans back to Charlotte.

CFL

When the CFL’s American expansion failed, the Baltimore Stallions moved to Montreal. They were reincarnated as the Alouettes. The CFL now recognizes all the clubs that have played in Montreal since 1946 as one franchise, and the Stallions became defunct. Meaning, the Alouttes didn’t have a 20th anniversary celebration for the 1995 Baltimore Stallions Grey Cup Win. Additionally, all of Ottawa’s CFL teams have been combined into one franchise.

How would it work?

The Winnipeg Jets 1.0 Records would be combined with the Winnipeg Jets 2.0 Records . *The updated Winnipeg Jets 2.0 records would not include anything that took place in Atlanta (see below).

The Arizona Coyotes can continue to grow their franchise and history without having to recognize their past in Winnipeg.

Currently the Arizona Coyotes Top 10 All-Time Points Leaders are: Shane Doan (930), Dale Hawerchuk (928), Thomas Steen (817), Keith Tkachuk (623), Teppo Numminen (534), Paul MacLean (518), Doug Smail (397), Jeremy Roenick (379), Laurie Boschman (379) and Morris Lukowich (345).

After the change, the Coyotes Top 10 All-Time Points Leaders would be: Shane Doan (914), Jeremy Roenick (379), Keith Tkachuk (334), Keith Yandle (311), Radim Vrbata (288), Martin Hanzal (271), Teppo Numminen (269), Ladislav Nagy (249), Mikkel Boedker (210), and Daymond Langkow (196).

The Coyotes Top 10 after removing the Jets history is much more marketable and valuable to the Coyotes franchise than having to recognize Thomas Steen, Paul MacLean, Doug Smail, Laurie Boschman and Morris Lukowich who never played in Arizona.

What to do with Atlanta?

The Atlanta Thrashers records and history of events that happened in Atlanta, would be in the same spot as the California Golden Seals/Cleveland Barons. (aka defunct). The current Jets can choose to honour certain Thashers’ traditions (aka the Dan Snyder Award).

Finally

Having Winnipeg’s NHL history in two different places is confusing to fans and is not fair to their respective cities. Events that occurred in Winnipeg from 1979-1996 are now being recognized and honoured in Arizona, while Winnipeg is forced to celebrate the Atlanta Thrashers history from 1999-2011.

Now that Shane Doan has become the Coyotes franchise leader in all major statistical categories and Winnipeg’s franchise has had five years to establish it’s own identity. It is time for the NHL to move the Winnipeg Jets 1.0 history from the desert back to the prairies.

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McKenzie: Winnipeg is actively trying to sign Byfuglien

TSN Hockey Insider joined the TSN 1200 Ottawa Senators pregame show and was asked about the pending UFA Status of Winnipeg Jets Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd:

“I don’t think there has been a lot of dialogue with Ladd, although the lines of communication are open. Both sides understand where each side is at, they know the gap they are dealing with and it remains to be seen whether anyone chooses to close that gap. At this point, it doesn’t appear that’s the case”.

“The sense does seem to be that Dustin Byfuglien is the player that Winnipeg is actively trying to sign. But whether they’re able to do that; that determination probably won’t be made for a while. I can assure you of this, if they determine they can’t sign Dustin Byfuglien, or Byfuglien is not prepared to sign back for what Winnipeg is offering, and he becomes available in trade. That’s the big buzz in terms of a rental that would generate significant interest amongst a lot of the big boys in the National Hockey League looking for a big boy like Byfuglien.”

Listen to the full interview at TSN.ca