Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mission Accomplished

It took the Winnipeg Jets four games to do so, but the first win is equal to having that huge monkey off their back.

Not only did the Jets take advantage of the Pittsburgh Penguins mistakes, especially with eight seconds off the clock in the first, but they played their first complete 60 minute game of the season.

The team looked hungry for a win and fed up with being 0-3.

And this was a team that was missing Evander Kane and then during the game lost Ron Hainsey.

To top things off, the Jets won their first game in front of 15,004 at MTS Centre who had wished it would have come on October 9th, but they'll take this win over being 0-4 anyday.

All in all, this is the Jets team many fans were expecting to come over from Atlanta - a team that was hungry to play in front of fans who cared and elevate their game to the next level.

Head coach Claude Noel said it best in his post-game press conference that they needed to make up the gap of 17 points that the team needed last season to make the playoffs.

Winning this game was the first step towards making up the points to grab a playoff spot.

And again, this was only game number four on the season and with 78 more to play, the Jets can now focus on playing hockey instead of the pressure of winning that first game.

Standouts included Alexander Burmistrov, who is looking more and more like the seventh overall pick that Atlanta took in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, as he collected two assists on both Jets goals, including a beautiful set up pass on the eventual game winning goal by Tanner Glass.

Burmistrov now has three points in four games, a far cry so far from his 20 points in 74 games last year in Atlanta, he has been one of the best - if not the best - players in the Jets lineup.

Zach Bogosian also continues to get better with each game, as his Bobby Orresque rush almost put the Jets up 3-1.

And, last, but definitely not least, Ondrej Pavelec's 28 save performance was the shining star in a first star performance in his first win as a Jet, in the MTS Centre, and against the Pittsburgh Penguins in his career.

Seeing a young team get this win this way against a still formidable opponent minus Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin shows how much this team has room to grow and the momentum is building.

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