The point of a stick lift is just to get it off the ice, where it’s in prime position to deflect a shot from the point. That’s all Zdeno Chara was trying to do here to Mark Scheifele on the Jets’ power play—that he lifted it into the netting was just a happy accident. That Chara wasn’t whistled for interference was a happier one for Boston ... for about 40 seconds.
“Who knows how that wasn’t called,” said Scheifele. “But I think the hockey gods were on our side there and that’s what happens.”
“That” being Scheifele chasing down his stick after it crashed back to earth and scoring on an odd-man rush when play came back down into the Bruins’ end.
Scheifele added two assists in the 4-3 win, while Blake Wheeler had a goal and an assist and Patrik Laine added a pair of helpers. Winnipeg’s top line remains one of the league’s best, and the result was especially heartening for Laine, who’s stuck in a goalscoring slump but is still contributing.
“Yeah, I’m not just a shooter, I guess. I’m a pretty decent passer as well, like we saw in this game,” said Laine, who was tempted to shoot before dishing off to Scheifele on the second goal.
“I thought I was going to shoot, too. Yeah, if I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t think the goalie’s going to know what I’m doing. I thought first I was going to shoot it, I was pretty close. But then I saw Scheif back door, so might as well pass it, sometimes,” he said.
Still, it’s Scheifele who’s the engine of this line and this team. His team-leading 33rd goal also represents a new career high for the centerman, who has benefited from a particularly selfless season by right wing Blake Wheeler—Wheeler’s 66 assists are two shy of his own career high. “It’s never ‘one guy’s the passer, one guy’s the shooter,’” Scheifele said of Wheeler. “We all do the work, we all do what needs to be done. “When you’re the guy to score, you’re the guy to score. When you’re the guy to pass, you’re the guy to pass.”
The Jets, a year removed from the disappointment of falling a game shy of the conference final, are one point up on the Predators with two games in hand.