The Winnipeg Jets are off to a great start - and that’s an understatement. The Canadian team wasted no time to take a 2-0 lead on the Vegas Golden Knights in the first game of the Western Conference Finals, after both Dustin Byfuglien and Patrik Laine beat star goalie Marc Andre Fleury with bullets.
Then, moments later, the Jets added one more tally to the game when Joel Armia pushed the puck past Fleury’s pads. However, he also appeared to have push Fleury as well on the play…
The referees called goalie interefence on the play, which was then challenged by Jets head coach Paul Maurice. It surely paid off for Winnipeg as the call was reversed on the ice and the goal counted, putting the Jets up 3-0.
While the Knights did not waste time to respond, cutting the Jets’ lead to just two goals thanks to Brayden McNabb, they still noted that “goalie interferences really haven't gone their way this postseason…”
During the first intermission, Don Cherry did not understand why the goal was deemed a good one.
"Don't get me wrong, I'm cheering for the Jets, but I can't believe they counted that.I can't believe he did not interfere. Gerard Gallant was upset on the bench; I would be upset too."
Fleury remained in goal, but he is surely being challenged quite a bit earlier on in this game, and in this series. The loud Winnipeg crowd started chanting : "We want Subban!" and of course, they meant backup goalie Malcolm Subban, and not his older brother P.K., whom the Jets have already eliminated from the postseason, winning the second round series in seven games at the start of the week.
Before the game, Laine had commented that Fleury was indeed a good goalie, but that he had not been tested like he would be against the Jets.
"There's a way to destabilize him and it's scoring goals," said the star winger a few hours before the game. "He has been very good since the start of the playoffs, but he has not really been tested. I watched some Golden Knights games and found that the Kings and Sharks sometimes lacked an offensive punch. "
"We will have to block his view," he continued. "We will also need to shoot more and have more traffic in front of his net. "
It looks like Laine was right… The beard surely makes him wiser.