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.