By any measure it was impressive. In fact, given the circumstance, environment and size of the stage, it was a virtually flawless performance.
Even by Vegas standards, Tuesday night’s Winnipeg Jets win over the hometown Golden Knights — at least for one night — was a showstopper, an exhibition of hard work, toughness, efficient puck movement and offensive prowess.
In earning a convincing Game 1 victory over the Western Conference winners — and series favourites — the Jets stole away home-ice advantage from Vegas and likely cast some shade on the bright lights of Sin City.
Whether it was Pierre-Luc Dubois’s two points, including scoring the game-winning goal, or Adam Lowry’s two goals and 20 minutes of ice time, or Morgan Barron’s five hits, three shots and 75 stitches he took above the right eye in the first period, the Jets simply outplayed the Golden Knights — so much so, it likely had Vegas showgirls blushing at how good Winnipeg was, Wayne Newton looking to book them as a warm-up act, and Caesar’s Palace providing free $500 markers just to play their tables.
Yes, the Jets were that good in Vegas on Tuesday night.
Twitter may be down, but we are not‼️ pic.twitter.com/ENW5N1tfvk
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) April 19, 2023
But it takes four games to win a series, and the Jets are only 25 per cent of the way there. Moreover, we should all be reminded of how things turned out after Winnipeg won Game 1 in the Western Conference final five years ago, only to drop the next four straight and suffer a disappointing playoff ouster.
But should the Jets provide anything resembling an encore performance on Thursday night in Game 2 — and snatch another contest from the Golden Knights at home — with the series then switching to Winnipeg, it might be time to change the phrase to something like this: what happens in Vegas shouldn’t stay in Vegas when it comes to impressive playoff performances.
© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.