If there was any concern about Blake Wheeler feeling the pressure or squeezing his stick as his first season as Winnipeg Jets captain got underway, it looks as though those worries can fall by the wayside early in the campaign.
Through three games this season, Wheeler has been one of the few Jets who’s scoring with any consistency, and in Monday’s contest against the Boston Bruins, Wheeler was the only one to find the scoreboard for Winnipeg.
After Wheeler found himself penalized for tripping in the first frame, the Jets were pinned in their own zone thwarting the Bruins’ power play, and as Boston’s final attempt on Winnipeg’s net of the man advantage got turned aside, the puck ended up on the tape of Alex Burmistrov. Instead of firing the puck down ice, Burmistrov took a quick look and spotted Wheeler, only a split second after he had left penalty box, streaking up the ice.
Burmistrov made a perfect pass, and the rest was up to Wheeler. He didn’t make any mistake:
There are at least a handful of moves that Wheeler used to shake Rask, but the leg kick-backhand-forehand sequence was enough to actually force the Bruins netminder to lose his footing and stumble backwards helplessly as Wheeler slid the puck into the net.
For Wheeler, the tally marked his third in three games and the third-consecutive game in which he had scored. With three goals and five points, Wheeler is the points leader on the Jets early in the campaign and, while early, his current pace would suggest that he’s well on his way to breaking his career-high 78 points that he notched during the 2015-16 campaign.
Unfortunately for Wheeler and the Jets, his goal was the only tally Winnipeg registered on the evening. It took only 19 seconds for the Bruins to draw even, and Boston added three more goals before the game was through to skate to a 4-1 victory.
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