ANALYSIS: Jets need to ensure Saturday’s win is first step of bounce-back
The Jets’ bounce-back performance in Saturday night’s 7-5 win over Edmonton was highly entertaining, a thriller right to the end, and very much needed.
But at the end of the day, it’s just one game — and not necessarily the recipe for success in going forward.
First and foremost, when a team has gone 1-6-1 in the previous eight games — and been outscored 30-17 in the process and tumbled from a comfortable top-three position in the division to the last remaining playoff berth in the conference — Saturday’s positive result for the home team was all that mattered.
That’s especially the case with the sixth sellout crowd of the season watching and needing a reason to be engaged.
But let’s not kid ourselves. The Jets’ puck mismanagement created way too many unnecessary adventures. The NHL’s second-best penalty-killing unit was manhandled by Edmonton’s league-leading powerplay — which needed all of 20 seconds to convert on their first two chances.
Read more: Edmonton Oilers fall 7-5 to Winnipeg Jets
And while there is no disputing Winnipeg played with urgency, passion, and purpose, the home team was also the benefactor of a mediocre performance — or less — by struggling Oilers’ netminder Jack Campbell.
Mustering up that same level of emotion and physicality for Monday night’s first meeting of the season with the Connor Bedard contending San Jose Sharks might be a tall ask.
Eliminating easily correctable mistakes and focusing on improved execution is not.
Starting Wednesday, the Jets face perhaps the most challenging nine-day stretch of their schedule. Visits by red-hot Minnesota and league-leading Boston to Canada Life Centre sandwich a road trip through Florida and Carolina.
Monday night is an excellent opportunity to keep the needle moving forward, inject another boost of confidence, and ensure the response Saturday was indeed the start of the climb out of the abyss — and not just a one-game hiatus.
John Shannon on the Jets: February 22
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