Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

REPLAY: Jets lose to basement-dwelling Blue Jackets

  • Print

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Good NHL citizens that they are, the Winnipeg Jets threw the foundering Columbus Blue Jackets a life preserver Saturday night.

The Jets opened the door for the league’s worst team to score in the game’s first minute and then fumbled away most of their top-quality offensive chances in a 2-1 defeat at Nationwide Arena.

It helped the Blue Jackets snap a three-game losing skid and improve to 3-12-1, still buried in the NHL basement.

"I thought we threw pucks at the net but we didn’t get that first goal and we had challenged ourselves before the game to come out hard and really try to get after them right away," said Jets defenceman Mark Stuart. "Then we gave up one quick.

"Then we were trying to play catch-up after that."

Eight, maybe 10 times on Saturday night the Jets found themselves alone and unchecked in front of or with puck possession and a clear path to Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason, who has struggled mightily this season.

But there were no red lights until Stuart scored a short-handed marker with just 3:45 remaining. It was too little, too late as the Jets fell to 5-9-3 with their fifth straight defeat (two of those in overtime).

"I think both teams played the same way," Jets forward Kyle Wellwood said about the battle between two league teams well under .500. "They had chances in front of our net by themselves, too. And they scored on only two of them. It wasn’t a fun game to be in, and unfortunately we were on the losing end."

Columbus rookie Ryan Johansen had both goals for his team, the first just 53 seconds in and the second converting a two-on-one at 4:06 of the third.

Trailing a team that has been so rattled this season was not what the visitors had drawn up.

"They scored the first goal; we wanted to jump on some things and I didn’t think we did that very well," said coach Claude Noel. "But you’ve got to give them credit. Mason, I think, played a good game. I thought the addition of (Jeff) Carter (from a broken foot) helped them. They created some offence and they were dangerous.

"We tried to be aggressive and we didn’t get (the first goal). Our guys played OK but I don’t think we played as smart as we need to play."

Noel, however, wasn’t as irritable as he was after the Jets lost at home Thursday, 5-2 to Florida. Many words have been spoken since then, and the coach confirmed he’s seen some response.

"Yes, I’m fine with our team tonight," he said. "I’m not sitting here going, ‘Well, we lost the game.’ I was unhappy (Thursday) because there were things in that game. We took strides and we tried to push this thing and push it hard and we knew we had to take some risk. We got down 2-0 but I sensed the players wanted very much to do well and to push this thing and we couldn’t get one.

"We had some untimely penalties at key times. We’ve got to be better at managing the game. To me, it gets frustrating, but it’s part of maturity and growth. We’re going to get better at it. It’s not because they don’t want to or because they’re bad people. It’s because they are just a young team."

The Blue Jackets had a much better performance by Mason, who ended with 35 saves, and were helped not only by Carter’s return, but by two new faces acquired this week in trades, Mark Letestu from Pittsburgh and defenceman Nikita Nikitin from St. Louis.

And of course, by that first goal on Saturday.

"I’ll take the first goal, especially early like that, because it gets the building energized, but I liked the way we played the first 10 minutes," said embattled Columbus coach Scott Arniel, the former coach of the Manitoba Moose.

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

History

Updated on Saturday, November 12, 2011 at 1:48 PM CST: fixes typo

5:59 PM: Updated headline to LIVE BLOG

6:22 PM: First goal

6:51 PM: First period story

7:50 PM: Second period story

8:17 PM: Second goal

8:38 PM: Jets score

10:31 PM: Final game story

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Kevin Cheveldayoff announces Maurice contract extension

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • June 24, 2012 - 120624  -  Amusement riders on the last day of The Ex Sunday June 24, 2012.    John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google