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Jets come up short against red-hot Avalanche

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David Zalubowski / The Associated Press

Winnipeg Jets winger Blake Wheeler (centre) picks up the loose puck as Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny (left) gives chase during the first period Sunday's game in Denver, Colo.

DENVER — It is a recipe for disaster in the National Hockey League... heck, in any hockey league anywhere on this green earth.

It goes like this: An impotent power play, mixed with nightmarish defensive-zone play on most nights equals one big, fat loss. And the evidence was never more clear than in Sunday night’s 3-2 Colorado Avalanche win over the Winnipeg Jets.

The Jets carried a 2-1 lead into the third but nosedived in the final 20 minutes against the NHL’s hottest team, giving up two goals in the final 13 minutes. That, coupled with an ineffective power play — actually, ineffective doesn’t begin to describe an 0-for-26 run that stretches back eight games — means the Jets are now 5-6-2 overall and 1-1-1 on this four-game jaunt through the Central Division.

"In the third you could say we imploded," said Jets coach Claude Noel. "Our decisions were poor. But I thought they were poor in spots throughout the game and we still managed to be up 2-1. It’s a situation where we could have closed the game out. You look at the last two goals and there were some mistakes that were poor, poor in a lot of ways. Things that we haven’t done to that degree lately.

"We created quite a few of our own problems, whether it’s breakout, blind passes through the middle... some of the stuff we did, you had to really give your head a shake.

"The biggest disappointment for me in this game," added Noel, "is this is a game we believed we had a chance to win. And regardless of which place they’re in, whose record is what. The game was up for grabs and, to me, we let it slip away."

 

POWER PLAY... DECLINED?

There must have been stretches during the Jets' latest run when Noel & Co. might have been tempted to decline the man advantage. For the record, the Jets last scored on the power play back on Oct. 11 in a 4-1 loss to the Dallas Stars. Since then? Zilch. Nada.

"We can’t expect to win a game when we’re not putting our best game forward against a team like this," said Devin Setoguchi. "I think it starts with our power play. It’s pretty much been the difference here. It starts with me, it starts with the guys on the power play. We need to figure it out right away."

Yes, for as solid as the Jets were with the man advantage early in the season — they scored man-advantage goals in each of the first five games — it’s starting to look very familiar to the unit that finished dead last in the NHL a year ago.

That, too, could soon change.

"The power play’s getting old, but these are pretty much the same players we had here last year," said Noel. "What we’re proving on the power play is there’s a reason why we were last last year and it looks like, unless we change — we’ve changed the dynamics of the power play, we’ve done some different things — but we keep doing some of the same things we saw last year.

"We will continue to attack it, practise it, find different ways. But at the end of the day we don’t make the greatest decisions. We don’t execute. And this is the same stuff we lamented about before. That cost us the game. We were 0-for-5. It’s a momentum killer. It’s like shooting yourself in the foot over and over again. It does a lot of things to you and none of it is positive. It demoralizes you, it takes momentum away. It adds frustration and all the negative stuff that surrounds it is all right there."

It was during his rant about the ineffective power-play when Noel took a brief breath and offered up a sly suggestion... in which he might not have been joking.

"We have to find a way. We have the players we have. We have to find different combinations," said Noel. "I don’t care if we’ve got five defencemen on the ice. We’ve got to get it done."

 

THE UGLY FINAL 20

The Jets were outshot 17-6 in the third as the Avs came in wave after wave. But the Jets also got completely away from all the things that had given them a 2-1 lead after 40.

"For some reason when we have leads in the third period we feel that playing defence means sitting back," said Evander Kane. "We had way too many turnovers in our end. We didn’t want the puck. They had the puck, they created turnovers and we gave it to them."

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Live Winnipeg Jets Coverage Twitter bird

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: Listening to #nhljets coach Noel post-game he seemed a lot more concerned with his top power play unit than anyone else. 8:03 am on Oct 28

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: if #nhljets demote Scheifele, are they better down middle with Cormier or O'Dell? Doubt it.55's development must trump. Where is best? 8:01 am on Oct 28

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: Big Show guys are right. Scheifele hasn't earned his spot with #nhljets and he should be in AHL on merit. Debate is where he develops best 7:58 am on Oct 28

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: is Mark Scheifele the biggest issue with #nhljets? low lying fruit IMO. he's a rookie learning on the job. where's the Bogosian criticism? 7:48 am on Oct 28

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets fall 3-2 to Avs in Denver. Now 5-6-2. Avs now 10-1 9:27 pm on Oct 27

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets go to the PP with 7:46 left. Can they get this thing 'unclogged' as Claude Noel would say? 9:12 pm on Oct 27

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets on heels now. Avs buzzing. 9:08 pm on Oct 27

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: I'd like my 6-5 winger to win some puck battles in his own end #nhljets 9:06 pm on Oct 27

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Jan Hejda blasts shot over Al Montoya and it's 2-2 Avs and #NHLJets 9:05 pm on Oct 27

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: Noel needs to develop some trust in his 4th lne - this should be a game he goes to them down the stretch. Puck management not off. #nhljets 9:04 pm on Oct 27

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets numbers: both Wheeler and Little with 1G 1A; Jokinen has won four of five draws, Buff has played 16:42 8:37 pm on Oct 27

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets lead Avs 2-1 after 2. 8:34 pm on Oct 27

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets blast by Blake Wheeler gives them 2-1 lead. Three seconds after PP had ended. Technically 0-for-23 on PP, but... 8:18 pm on Oct 27

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: Let's give Olli some credit folks - different player from last season for #nhljets 8:18 pm on Oct 27

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Dustin Byfuglien led all #NHLJets in ice time at 7:39. Scheifele, FYI, had six shifts totaling 5:13 working with Frolik and Halischuk 7:43 pm on Oct 27

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Real iffy start for the #NHLJets, but a much better finish. Tied 1-1 with Avs after 1. 7:41 pm on Oct 27

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets PP now 0-for-22 dating back to Dallas game. 7:32 pm on Oct 27

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets Bryan Little ties it, hammering home a rebound after a nifty play by Adam Pardy. 1-1 tie. 7:25 pm on Oct 27

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Avs owning the #NHLJets early here and the trigger-happy goal-horn guy gets it right on third time on Matt Duchene goal 1-0 Avs. 7:18 pm on Oct 27

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets Montoya gets a piece of Duchene shot 30 sec in then off the post. Goal horn sounds, but no goal 7:10 pm on Oct 27

  • RickRalphTSN

    @RickRalphTSN: Does thin air affect singing as well? #NHLJets 7:07 pm on Oct 27

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: The scoreboard here at Pepsi Center is massive. Wouldn't fit in my rec room, unfortunately. #NHLJets pic.twitter.com/tpyLQQk01t
    6:37 pm on Oct 27

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Unofficial, but my count has #NHLJets Ondrej Pavelec at 2-15 with an .870 GAA in the second game of back-to-backs dating through 2010-11 6:33 pm on Oct 27

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets Al Montoya leads team out for warm up. 6:30 pm on Oct 27

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: More #NHLJets Noel on Postma: "He sensed that something was up, he just didn't know it was of that magnitude." 5:06 pm on Oct 27

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets Noel on Postma's blood clot: "We just learned of it today so we're doing some follow-up stuff on that as we speak." 5:04 pm on Oct 27

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets Claude Noel states Paul Postma out indefinitely with a blood clot in his leg 4:56 pm on Oct 27

  • WFPHockey

    @WFPHockey: Jets' confidence slowly building on the road bit.ly/1dysCZL #NHLJets 12:57 pm on Oct 27

  • WFPHockey

    @WFPHockey: Jets vs. Stars bit.ly/19JEWT5 #NHLJets 12:56 pm on Oct 27

  • WFPHockey

    @WFPHockey: Jets get out of town fast bit.ly/17oAHg2 #NHLJets 12:56 pm on Oct 27

  • WFPHockey

    @WFPHockey: Pavelec lone star in Texas bit.ly/19JEX9n #NHLJets 12:56 pm on Oct 27

History

Updated on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 7:46 PM CDT: Updates headline after first period.

8:36 PM: Updates headline after second period.

8:43 PM: Updates photo.

9:31 PM: Updates headline after third period, adds slide show.

9:49 PM: Updates copy.

11:05 PM: Updates with complete game writethru.

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