The Jets opened the scoring at 2:27 into the game on a power play goal by Patrik Laine. Might want to cover that guy. Then the game was pretty much a grind it out back back and forth affair for the next two periods until the Jets added an insurance goal from Jack Roslovic at 5:17 in the third frame.
The Avalanche got a late power play with under five minute to go in the game and did not convert. Head coach Jared Bednar inexplicably chose not to pull goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who was in his first start since returning from injury, at that juncture but instead waited for the magic time of 150 seconds left in the game to risk the empty net goal. Which just that happened when Nikolaj Ehlers deposited the puck for Winnipeg's third goal with 18 seconds to go.
The Avalanche just aren't ready for prime time. They held up valiantly through most of the game against a very good team who is dominant at home but it's clear which team is ready to take the next step and which one is not. Nathan MacKinnon certainly makes a difference but the Avalanche are not one player away from contending.
It might be time to start rethinking the lines at least while the Avalanche have another three game road set upcoming. The Carl Soderberg line just isn't going to hold up to top competition and the other lines need more of an offensive thrust.
For that matter having no set defensive pairs might be coming to its useful end as well. Having no consistency and switching sides on top of it isn't helping Sam Girard or anyone else, really.
A brief rest stop at home to face the San Jose Sharks before heading back out for another week on the road. Puck drops at 7pm MT on Tuesday, February 6th.