Wasn’t Tuesday night’s win against the Winnipeg Jets just the kind of game goalie Mackenzie Blackwood pulls off every once-in-a-while for the New Jersey Devils? On October 19, he threw a 1-0 shutout against the Vancouver Canucks. Sometimes he’s up; sometimes he’s down. Sadly, for the Jets, he was hot.
Anyway, he toasted the Jets on Tuesday evening by a 2-1 score. Although our goal at NHLTradeRumorTalk.com is to cover the Canadian-based NHL teams, sometimes there’s news out of the USA teams as well.
So, the word on the Devils is that they were so bad at the start of the season that there was speculation that Taylor Hall was thinking about bailing on the team. However, they are 4-1-2 in their past seven games. Perhaps Hall will still sign somewhere else, but it isn’t because the Devils are hopelessly awful.
Blackwood talked about the team’s resurgence after the game, ”I think the group is still a little bit frustrated about the way we started, but we’ve turned a new leaf here with the way we’ve played and the way we know we want to play so the results have been coming for us, which is great. Guys are happy, the vibes in the room are growing. There’s a long way to go still, but at least we’re headed in the right direction.”
It was a tough loss for the Jets because they got stoned by the goalie – and that happens. As the Jets take a couple of days off to prepare to play the Vancouver Canucks on Friday evening, here’s some of the news that’s coming out of the team. Sadly, and I’m thinking of Bryan Little, it isn’t all good news.
Item One: Bryan Little Has Nothing But Bad Luck
Veteran Bryan Little, who’s in his ninth season with the Jets, has been snake bit this season. Little had missed the first nine games of the season with a concussion. And, although he’d been productive since returning to the line-up from that injury, word is that he’s out for an extended period of time after getting hit close to his ear by a puck fired by teammate Nikolaj Ehlers. He had between 25-30 stitches to close the cut that was caused by the frozen orb that he couldn’t avoid.
Little had scored five points (two goals and three assists), in six games since playing in his first game of the season on October 22. Then he had a muscle injury that he was able to play through, but still. That’s tough luck.
After Little left the ice, he was taken to the health sciences center’s neurological unit for further observation. The Jets reported that Little was “in good spirits” (which, in my experience is a euphemism for “he’s hurt pretty badly”) and was alert at all times after leaving the game.
Today, November 7, Little was placed on the injured reserve.
Item Two: Connor Hellebuyck Plays Great but Loses
In the game against the Devils, Connor Hellebuyck was trying to continue his great play after last week’s amazing win over the San Jose Sharks (he stopped 51 of 53 shots). And, he was successful in that he played well. However, he still lost after allowing a single goal on 32 shots in the team’s home shootout loss against the Devils.
The young goalie should have won, all things being equal; however, in hockey, sometimes things are not always equal. The only goal scored by the Jets was one from Andrew Copp.
Item Three: Nathan Beaulieu Made His First Start of the Season
Nathan Beaulieu made his first start of the season against the Devils, returning from an injury. He played his regular number of shifts in his debut but was kept off the score sheet. In fact, as noted, anyone not named Andrew Copp didn’t score.
The 26-year-old Beaulieu isn’t much of a scoring threat and scored only 12 points in 48 games last season. But his return is welcomed by the Jets, who are suffering right now on defense because Dustin Byfuglien and Tucker Poolman are not suited up for the team. Byfuglien is suspended and Poolman was injured in a game against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Item Four: C.J. Suess Sent to the Manitoba Moose of the AHL
C.J. Suess was sent to the Jets’ AHL affiliate – the Manitoba Moose (maybe my favorite team name ever). Suess played just one game (with 6:26 of ice time) against the Sharks. It was his first NHL game.
What’s Next for the Winnipeg Jets?
The Jets play on Friday against the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks have had a good run recently, especially on the road. They have got points in their last eight games and are now sitting second in the Pacific Division. It will be a tough game for the Jets.
Just today Finnish winger Joona Luoto was recalled from the Moose because Little was placed on the IR. He’s not likely to play against the Canucks, but he might play if he stays with the club for an extended time. It’s always fun to see these young players make their first NHL starts.