Robert Louis Stevenson would be jealous of the Winnipeg Jets if he was still around.
The Jekyll and Hyde author would have been hard-pressed to come up with a better example of dual personalities in the Jets’ 7-4 drubbing of the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.
“It was unreal. It’s like they wanted to play with us, they wanted to play with our emotions,” said Matt Rueckert, who stood in the concourse of Bell MTS Place after the game, high-fiving everyone he could.
“Awesome, amazing win. This is the greatest thing for this city ever. It brings everyone together.”
The Jets were viciously clawed by the Predators in the first period as the playoff battle between the NHL’s regular season titans landed in Winnipeg.
The opening period for Winnipeg was marred by broken sticks, mistimed shots and passes, bad line changes, and botched power plays when they took their own penalty.
Nashville scored three goals on 12 shots as they wasted little time smothering the Jets in the opening frame of Game 3 of the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal.
“It’s definitely not how you draw up a first period, but nobody panicked,” said Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba, who finished with a goal and an assist.
“We just regrouped. It wasn’t really any different in here than if it was a tie game or if we were winning. We just went out there and played a little bit faster and played with a little bit more confidence.”
“We didn’t quit believing in ourselves,” added Dustin Byfuglien, who had two goals and an assist.