Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 02/7/2013 6:17 PM | Comments: 0
Last Modified: 02/7/2013 11:10 PM | Updates
If a team can be defined by its killer instinct, then the Winnipeg Jets might be best described early in this 2013 season as a bunch with all the ferocity of a newborn baby.
Actually, that might be considered a slight to newborns everywhere.
Given the opportunity to wrap their fingers around the throats of the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday night and squeeze out a win, the Jets instead loosened their grip and gave up a critical two points in a 3-2 loss that drops them to 4-5-1 through 10 games.
"We let that game get away. To say I’m disappointed would be an understatement," said Jets head coach Claude Noel. "The problem I have is we are finding a way to lose games. And some of the problems we have are created by ourselves, and that’s the disturbing part."
The Jets do everything but finish to get the joint jumping, dominating the first handful of shifts but failing to capitalize. And yet when Dion Phaneuf is sent to the box to give the Jets the man advantage, the power play actually serves as a buzz-killer with no shots.
That ineptitude with the man advantage would continue all night. The Jets were 0-4 on the power play and generated just one shot on goal in those four tries.
More power-play woes for both teams. The Jets open the scoring while short-handed as Bryan Little tees up Zach Redmond — the same two teamed up for the OT winner against Florida — for his first career NHL goal.
"Awesome. It’s always a great thing to get out of the way and always something you dream of," said Redmond. "I never thought it would come on the PK (penalty kill), but I’m definitely happy to get the monkey off my back."
Noel praised Redmond, again, as being one of the best of the Jets. He now has three points (1G, 2A) in four NHL games played. As for the puck he scored his first with...
"I don’t have it right now," said Redmond. "I don’t know where it is, but I’m sure they’re keeping it for me somewhere."
One word: disaster. The Jets were clinging to a 2-1 lead late but kissed away the win when Matt Frattin tied it with 5:02 left and Phil Kessel won it — with Alex Ponikarovsky in the box — when he rifled home the winner with 4:08 remaining.
"When you have a 2-1 lead in the third you’ve got to be smarter and learn to close out games," said Bryan Little. "Same thing last year... we had trouble closing out games. We’ve got to be better with it. We’ve got to learn to sacrifice and get those points."
After the buzzer
Noel, understandably, came to the podium for his post-game media scrum looking like a man who had just swallowed sour milk. And he’s promising some changes to his top lines. The Evander Kane-Olli Jokinen-Blake Wheeler trio was a combined -3 and is now -20 as a unit this season.
"We’ve got the one line that is minus all over the place, so you’ve got to make changes," Noel said. "You just can’t sit back and watch this. You’ve got to juggle this thing around a little bit."
Winnipeg Jets host the Toronto Maple Leafs at MTS Centre.
Updated on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 7:51 PM CST: updates after first period
8:43 PM: updates after 2 periods
11:10 PM: rewrite with quotes
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.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Nepal quake death toll climbs to 1,910
Coulter the hero for Wheaties
Flames advance to second round of playoffs
Second possible homicide under investigation
Winnipeg pastor helps parishioners in Nepal earthquake
The Opening Sky takes Book of the Year honour
Cloud Punchers recover U of W weather balloon
Canada to send disaster aid team to Nepal
Selinger silent on builder’s rush job claim
Mrazek shuts down Lightning again, Red Wings win Game 5
Judge: Attending Pink concert didn't harm New Jersey girl
Former Expos GM Jim Fanning dies at 87
Thousands march in Baltimore protest, with some violence
Google executive among hundreds dead from Nepal quake
Blue Jays have record 3 Canadian position players in lineup
The Cuban way: Life after 'El Bloqueo'
Man in hospital after overnight Windsor Park crash
High of 13 on Saturday, warmer on Sunday
Turbulence at the track
Fowler wins women's senior curling gold
PM: I'm Canada's crime fighter
You're all invited to a kick-off party
Willis guilty of first-degree murder
Farmers plowed under
Where are they...
Balanced budget off the table until 2018: NDP
Cash for nursing students in need
Key of Bart - Four Little Games
Police say downtown death of elderly man was homicide
Pick 3: Blue in position to solidify future in draft
Sales pitch to hockey players a lot easier, says Jets GM
Provincial govt. puts off balanced budget until 2018
Winnipeg woman 2nd in Manitoba to contract measles
The Jets are Winnipeg’s tribal totem
NDP’s deficit-funded election run
Accused in storage locker infants case released on bail
Glorious sporting past on display at WAG's Olympus exhibition
Vote against merger due to intolerance to LGBT community surprises credit union CEO
What lies behind mystery Calgary ad?
Jets GM enthusiastic about team, future