Season in Review: The Games That Got Away
Year in Review: The ones that got away
The Jets season has ended and the goal of making the playoffs wasn’t realized, leading some players to react as if the season was a failure.
The Jets missed the playoffs by eight points, a small margin. Lets take a look back at past games played, and look at “The Great White Buffalo” the games that got away. These were the games where the additional points were within grasp only for them to be squandered. This list includes the games that left Jets fans feeling like they had just received a punch to the stomach. (As detailed in Bill Simmons levels of losing)
Here’s my list of the top five games that got away
March 18, 2012 vs. Carolina
The Jets had a 3-2 lead heading into the third, when Eric Staal took over in the 3rd scoring the game tying goal, and assisting on the game winning goal with less than two minutes left in the game. While the Jets weren’t mathematically eliminated after this loss, this was the game they had to win to keep the playoff chances within reason.
This game will be remembered for Andrew Ladd bobblehead night, and the chants of “Jordan’s Better” which were aimed at Eric Staal. The chants had no effect on the elder Staal as he laughed them off and was the first star of the game scoring three points and celebrating enthusiastically after each goal.
Points lost from this game: one, maybe two.
December 15th, 2011 vs. Washington
This was for the most part an uneventful game against the division rival Capitals, a team who the Jets would be chasing for that 8th and final playoff spot. This game was in the middle of the successful December home stand. The Jets already beat defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston, and red hot Minnesota the Jets looked like playoff contenders.
The game was tied 0-0 and it looked like the Jets would get one point, with potential for another in the shootout, but Alex Ovechkin put a stop to that squeaking one through Ondrej Pavelec with a minute and fifteen to go. The Capitals took two in what was truly a four point game.
Points lost: one or two
February 21, 2012 vs. Philadelphia
Deep into the playoff race, the Jets were matched up against the high flying Flyers (can I say that?). Winnipeg struck first in the opening frame, but Philadelphia quickly responded. The lead alternated back and forth throughout the first two periods until Evander Kane scored at 4:57 into the third. It looked like the Jets were on the way to victory when Wayne Simmons scored with ten seconds remaining to send the game into overtime. Future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr put the cherry on top for the Flyers when he scored with 45 seconds left in overtime.
Points lost: two
March 8, 2012 at Vancouver
The Jets went into Vancouver on a crucial road trip to keep their playoff hopes alive. With a game the next night in Calgary, it was imperative for the Jets to get some points in Vancouver before the dreaded back-to-back. Winnipeg was able to keep pace with the defending Western Conference Champions, they went down 1-0 two minutes into the game, but former Canuck Kyle Wellwood answered back later in the first. It was a tie game going into the third when scoring leader Blake Wheeler put the Jets ahead 2-1.
It looked like the Jets would be able to scrounge out some points but Vancouver stormed back former Manitoba Moose Alex Edler tied it up quickly after the Jets took the lead. Newly acquired Sammy Pahlsson put the Canucks ahead with under six minutes left. The Jets had their chances in the final minutes but it was not enough as they dropped the two points to Vancouver and had a pitiful showing the next night in Calgary.
Points lost: one, possibly two
December 20, 2012 vs. New York Islanders
Coming off the high of a win three days earlier against Anaheim, the Jets continued their month long home stand against the lowly Islanders. Coming into the game it looked like it would be an easy win for the Jets, but the Isles played tougher than anticipated. Andrew Ladd tied the game up in the second period, but despite 38 total shots on Isles goaltenders (Montoya and Nabokov) the Jets were unable to take the lead. Overtime solved nothing and the Jets went into the shootout. PA Parentau and Frans Nielsen made easy work of Ondrej Pavelec propelling the Isles to victory.
Points lost: one
Honourable mention: December 25, 2012 vs. St. Louis (3-2 shootout loss, Jaroslav Halak makes 39 saves for St. Louis)
Between six and ten points (depending how you look at it) were squandered by the Jets in these games. A majority of them were home games that should have been won. When we look back at the 2011-12 season, these are just some of the games that will make you think, what could have been.