There’s no confusion among the Winnipeg Jets about how they must play, but whether they can deliver remains the biggest question surrounding this team.
The Jets were physical, competed for pucks and had an edge on Sunday night in defeating the New Jersey Devils 3-0. They say that effort needs to be replicated tonight against the Montreal Canadiens (TSNJets, TSN1290).
"It’s about buying in and every guy in here getting on the same program," said defenceman Zach Bogosian. "You can talk all you want about the Xs and Os but when it comes down to it, it’s about playing hard. If we play that way, we have a chance to win a lot of games."
Captain Andrew Ladd was to the point when asked if the Jets could summon up a similar effort again and again.
"We did it. So we know we can," answered Ladd. "Now it’s about consistency."
Ladd admitted playing with an edge is more difficult than bringing a softer effort.
"Playing with jam is definitely harder," he said. "It starts with the way you practise. If you practise hard it translates into that kind of a game. It’s up to the players in this room, all of us, to try and gain that consistency on a day-to-day basis."
Jets coach Claude Noel said both the coaching staff and the players are working together to achieve a consistent style of game.
"What we have been trying to raise is our compete level," said Noel. "Whether it’s the faceoff circle or along the boards, unless we were going to step up our game, our success is going to be determined by our drive and our compete level. You’re not going to have success and get a 60-minute game if you don’t have the work ethic and compete level."
The Jets will start goalie Ondrej Pavelec and Carey Price is expected to go for Montreal.