JAN. 24, 2017:
SHARKS VS. JETS
The Jets are a fun team to play the what-if game with. They hung around the fringe of the playoff race for much of the season but were basically done by the time the final few weeks rolled around. With nothing to play for, the Jets infuriated their fans by going on a late-season winning streak, rattling off seven straight victories to torpedo their lottery odds.
Or so we thought. As it turns out, that late-season streak left the Jets just one point short of catching the Flyers for 19th place overall. That means we could technically take any Jets loss from the season as the one that cost them a second straight lottery win. So let’s go with one of the most agonizing.
This January meeting with the Sharks marked the return of Patrik Laine, who had missed time with a concussion. But it was remembered for a controversial third-period play that saw Jacob Trouba knock the puck away from Melker Karlsson on a partial breakaway with the Jets up by one. Replays appeared to show Trouba making a nice stick-on-stick defensive play, but Karlsson was awarded a penalty shot. He converted to tie the game, and the Sharks went on to a 4-3 win. To make matters worse, the Jets appeared to tie the game in the dying seconds, only to have the goal waved off.
Jets coach Paul Maurice and the players were fuming about the calls after the game. They might’ve been even more upset if they’d known the loss would eventually cost them the second overall pick.