WINNIPEG — The Jets have replaced their ailing head coach. Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey scored twice as Winnipeg beat the St.
WINNIPEG — The Jets have replaced their ailing head coach.
Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey scored twice as Winnipeg beat the St. Louis Blues 4-0 in front of 13,936 fans at the Canada Life Center with head coach Rick Bowness nursing home from illness Monday.
Morrissey assisted on goals for forwards Sam Gagner and Mark Scheifele. Forwards Morgan Barron and Cole Perfetti, in an empty net, also scored.
“I’m sure (Bowness) was happy to watch that one,” Scheifele said. “I hope this will cheer him up. You just hope and pray that he gets better and better. That’s really all we can do. Obviously our trainers and doctors are there to make sure he comes out of this thing healthy and stronger. All we can do is pray for him.
But the Jets played the way Bowness wanted them to play.
“Tonight was good for our team to play like we did against a really, really good hockey team,” Scheifele said. “You just have to get used to it, get used to each other and get used to the guys’ routes. It was a pretty solid win.
It was the Blues’ first loss of the season and they were shut out for the first time in 109 games.
Goalkeeper Thomas Greiss stopped 41 of 44 shots for St. Louis (3-1-0).
Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves for his first NHL shutout of the season as Winnipeg improved to 3-3-0.
“He is (Hellebuyck) heart and soul here,” Scheifele said. “He’s a guy who stands on his head all night. He made all the saves he needed. He was fantastic again tonight.
Hellebuyck was pleased with the effort.
“It was awesome,” he said. “I felt like it was a step in the right direction. We know we have it in this room and we had to show it for 60 minutes. Now that we have it, now we have something on what to build.
Associate head coach Scott Arniel, who replaced Bowness behind the bench, said the head coach was pleased with the effort.
“He immediately said how hard we worked,” Arniel said. “We knew we would face a team in St. Louis that made you work for every inch of the ice. We did a great job of fighting, going from zone to zone, getting to their end of the rink. … I think everyone was rock solid – Helle (Hellebuyck) too.
The Jets took a 1-0 lead in the second, then opened play by scoring three unanswered scorers in the third.
Scheifele opened the scoring midway through the second. Winning made it 2-0 midway through the third and Barron got the insurance marker a few minutes later. Perfetti froze the match with his empty net.
The Blues thought Greiss deserved a better fate.
“Greiss was great for us tonight,” said forward Brayden Schenn. “He made a lot of great saves for us and we have to be better in front of him.
“You’re still in there, but they kind of locked us in there. I don’t think we deserved to win by any means.
Jets head coach Rick (Bones) Bowness was not behind the bench for the game. Bowness, who just returned from a bout with COVID-19, had cut off a media availability after morning practice due to dizziness and was asked to rest. Judging by the video of his speech, Bowness, 67, was in obvious distress. Bowness has only been behind the bench for one of six regular season games since being hired. That game was a loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.
ON A ROLL
Jets forward Cole Perfetti extended his point streak to four games. … The Jets were once again without sniper Nikolaj Ehlers, who had been placed on the disabled list but could be back on the team’s road trip later this week. Forward Dominic Toninato was recalled from the Manitoba Moose farm team, but did not dress for Monday’s game. … The Blues played without injured strikers Brandon Saad and Pavel Buchnevich.
Blues: Return home to host the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday.
Jets: Embark on a three-game road trip that begins in LA against the Kings on Thursday.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on October 24, 2022.
Jim Bender, The Canadian Press