In a game where the Winnipeg Jets were out-shot 37-14 by the San Jose Sharks, and had killed six of seven power plays, Winnipeg’s Hockey Team was poised to “steal” a point against another Western Conference foe fighting for a playoff spot. With eight seconds left, and the game tied 2-2, it appeared that the Jets had at least one point in the bag.
However, it all turned when Joe Pavelski won an offensive zone draw to Logan Couture who passed to a wide open Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Vlasic then beat Jets Rookie Goaltender Michael Hutchinson to give the Sharks a 3-2 lead and the win.
The feeling of Monday night’s loss felt very familiar. It’s the feeling of heartbreak, thinking that the team is oh-so-close to those coveted two points. If the loss vs. the Sharks had to be ranked, it would be 5/5 on the Heartbreak Scale. It’s easy to point out the Jets losses this season that have been in dramatic fashion.
For a game to be “Heartbreaking” I’ll consider a number of factors.
- Was it against a division rival or a team competing with the Jets for a playoff spot?
- Was a third period lead squandered?
- Was a goal scored with minimal time remaining?
- Were potential points left on the table?
(Required Reading: Bill Simmons’ “Levels of Losing”)
Here’s a look at some of the games that got away from the Winnipeg Jets during the 2014-15 season thus far.
November 15th 2014. Jets 1 Nashville 2: In what was a tight hard fought game, Craig Smith put Nashville on top with just over two minutes remaining when a juicy rebound ended up on his stick at the side of the net.
Heartbreak Rating: 3/5
November 20th, 2014. Detroit 4 Jets 3: The Jets took off to a 2-0 lead against Detroit after goals by Dustin Byfuglien and Adam Lowry. The Red Wings weren’t going to go down easy, fighting back to tie the game in the second period on the heels of goals by Tomas Tatar and Johan Franzen . Jets fans thought they could relax when it was 3-2 into the final ten minutes of the third period, but Mike Babcock’s team fought back and scored two goals just over two minutes apart late in the final frame to win 4-3 and take at least a point out of the Jets hands. The dagger was this goal by Tomas Tartar who scored on a play created by Justin Abdelkader after beating two Jets wide down the left wing.
Heartbreak Rating: 4/5
December 11th, 2014. Jets 3 Colorado 4 (SO): Facing rookie goalie Calvin Pickard, the Jets were looking to take two points from the division rival Avalanche after Mark Scheifele made the score 3-1 4:32 into the third period. Similar to the game vs. Detroit, the Avalanche scored two goals in the final ten minutes of the third period to force overtime. The game was eventually lost in the shootout after Winnipeg was unable to put one past Pickard.
Heartbreak Rating: 2/5
December 7th, 2014. Ducks 4 Jets 3 (OT): In one of the most exciting games at MTS Centre this season, Jacob Trouba tied it for Winnipeg with under 5 minutes remaining in the third period. The Jets got the point for getting to overtime but the game ended quickly after Kyle Palmeri put this shot past Ondrej Pavelec which left fans wondering “how’d that go in?”
Heartbreak Rating: 1/5
December 21, 2014. Flyers 4 Jets 3 (OT): Rob Zepp, playing his first career NHL game started in goal for the Flyers. When the Jets took a 3-1 lead into the third period it looked as if they would make the 33-year-old rookie’s debut a night to forget. Vincent Lecavalier put the team on his back by scoring two third period goals, including one with just over three minutes left in to send the game to overtime. The Flyers weren’t content with Just one point as Jakub Voracek scored ten seconds into OT to snatch victory away from the Jets.
Heartbreak Rating: 4/5
If the Jets miss the playoffs by a few points, fans can look back at these games following the season and think “what could have been?”