The Winnipeg Jets put an 8–4 beatdown on the St. Louis Blues Saturday night. I am told ... yes, my sources are confirming that the Blues are, in fact, crud, but that should not in any way detract from the performance of exemplary hockey man Patrik Laine, who spent the evening shredding the hell out of the Blues defense:
That’s five goals for Laine, who had a hat trick with more than seven minutes left in the second period, and didn’t even need any empty-net help from the poor Blues to bang home number five, with the Jets up four goals early in the third period. Laine is on an insane tear, with 11 goals in Winnipeg’s last four games, including another hat trick six days ago in a win over the Canucks.
Obviously Laine deserves a ton of credit, but also the Blues defense was awful, especially on Laine’s final goal, when the puck found him with an acre of open ice around him and time to dance the Dance of the Seven Veils before taking his shot. Laine and teammate Kyle Connor couldn’t hide their surprise at St. Louis’s defensive confusion:
“I was pretty surprised that I was wide open and had the time to look where I’m shooting and kind of pick the spot,” he said. “So I think with that goal, I was pretty surprised how open I was.”
“I wouldn’t leave him wide open in the slot,” said Kyle Connor, who assisted on four of Laine’s goals. “I don’t know what’s going on over there, but he seems to just be finding the right holes and it seems like he’s always open too.”
It helps when the opposing players manage to get hopelessly lost on a relatively small expanse of flat ice, but it helps even more to be a badass Finnish goal-scoring machine. Laine is now up to 19 goals on the season, which is good for first overall in the NHL.