It’s fair to say this season hasn’t gone the way the Winnipeg Jets and their fans anticipated. After returning to the playoffs last season for the first time since the Jets franchise was reincarnated, Winnipeg has taken a step back in a tough division. Entering Tuesday’s game against the San Jose Sharks, the Jets were last in the Central and only four points clear of last place in the entire conference.
Now, maybe this game shouldn’t have been so close in the first place. Not only was this a home game, but the Jets were hosting a Sharks team that was playing its second game in as many nights. But San Jose held a 2-1 lead late in the game – and that’s when Myers took a bewildering penalty that cost his team a chance.
Check it out. San Jose’s 6-foot Tommy Wingels throws a hard check on the 6-foot-8 Myers, who snaps for some reason. Instead of just taking the hit, Myers cross-checked Wingels…in the head!
It was an easy five-minute major and game misconduct call for the referees, which put the Jets down a man for five of the final seven minutes of the game. All this over an initial check that was completely clean.
Wingels left the game and did not return.
The Jets nearly caught a break right away, when Blake Wheeler forechecked hard on a loose puck and put a wraparound into San Jose's net. That one was called back, however, after it was ruled that Wheeler had tripped Sharks goalie Alex Stalock and he was sent to the box for two minutes. You be the judge if it was intentional or not. But there's no denying he did knock over the goalie.
The Sharks converted a power play marker and added an empty netter for a 4-1 win that really looked awful on the Jets, who were out shot 27-22 on the night.
What's up with players not being able to accept a clean check and move on? Sometimes we watch as perfectly clean hits devolve into a fight for unknown reasons. Heck, that happened this same night in St. Louis, when Bobby Farnham lost it after he was hit cleanly into the boards. Chaos ensued.
Myers, for some reason, took his own immediate retribution at the worst possible time. It not only cost his underachieving team a shot at a comeback in an important game, but also could leave the Jets without their second-biggest minute muncher if the NHL's Department of Player Safety comes calling.