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Jets struggle in 2-1 loss to Wild

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Carlos Gonzalez / Minneapolis Star Tribune / MCT

Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec gloves a flying puck during the second period.

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Winnipeg Jets fans showed up in numbers and volume at the Xcel Energy Center on Thursday night, and even had, through the cleverness of the anthem singer, a chance to belt out their favourite "True North" before the game.

Too bad their team’s game went south.

The Jets struggled with most elements of the match against the Minnesota Wild and eventually succumbed 2-1 before 17,366 customers.

A second straight loss staggered the Jets back to 2-2 while the Wild were collecting a first win of the season, now standing 1-1-2.

"We don’t start (with the puck) so we’re always checking, chasing it down," Jets coach Claude Noel said. "Regardless of which end, we’re always checking.

"And you can see our puck-possession game isn’t great. The early games, we had decent puck possession from our own zone to break out through the neutral zone and then down the ice, but now we’re getting stuck.

"And I think a lot of those are battles on the walls."

Faceoffs, a season-worst 16 for 61, and shots on goal, just 15, were major issues on Thursday.

Again. Those have been losing propositions for Winnipeg in each of four games so far.

"Did we generate much in the offensive zone? Not anything continual," Noel said. "And through the neutral zone, very little’s getting done. They clog you up pretty well."

Jets captain Andrew Ladd was lamenting the faceoff tally.

"It definitely makes the game a lot easier when you’re starting out with the puck," Ladd said. "Especially on power plays, stuff like that.

"It would be nice to have a little more jump in our game, win some more battles. That’ll be the key for us tomorrow, to get back to battling the right way."


Holding on

The game could well have been gone in the first period, as the Wild were not what you’d call opportunistic.

Defenceman Jonas Brodin did get credit for a goal when he crashed the net and his moving arm wasn’t deemed enough of a directing force that put the puck back in the net.

But there were other chances, several glorious, for the home team to forge ahead by a goal or four. Jason Pominville missed the easiest one, a three-foot shot that’s a gimme on most nights, while Minnesota was working a power play.

Ondrej Pavelec can get some credit for making those saves — again — as his Jets team was being outshot all night long.


Remove skeleton

For those looking for the silver linings, there was the Jets’ power play on Thursday night.

After going a whole season — albeit shortened by a labour dispute — without a five-on-three goal, Winnipeg put one home in Thursday’s first period when Wild skaters Jonas Brodin and Kyle Brodiak took penalties four seconds apart.

Toby Enstrom took the point shot that nicked the shin pad of centre Bryan Little before finding its way through Wild goalie Josh Harding.

The Jets had 10 chances last season to score in five-on-threes and cashed in on exactly none.


One shot away

For all their trouble, the Jets had the puck behind Harding in the last 20 seconds, but neither Bryan Little nor Ladd could find it quickly enough to score the tying goal.

"The game was still at hand, even the way we managed the last 20 minutes of the game. It was a tough way to manage the game," Noel said, pointing out two Jets penalties in the third. "We were trying to build momentum and spent time in the box.

"On the bright side of things, we have a game tomorrow and we have an opportunity to go back and get this think on the right track and get going. Because I think we can play a lot better."

Live Winnipeg Jets Coverage Twitter bird

  • mremis

    @mremis: Bryan Little, 1st line centre for the #NHLJets 1/20 in face-off's tonight. Wow! 10:08 pm on Oct 10

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: Halischuk is Dawson from Dawson's creek #NHLJets 9:45 pm on Oct 10

  • PaulWiecek

    @PaulWiecek: 15 shots on goal aren't going to win too many games this season for the #nhljets 9:41 pm on Oct 10

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: Waited until last two minutes of game to play road-style #nhljets 9:40 pm on Oct 10

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: Koivu has been excellent for #wild #NHLJets 9:28 pm on Oct 10

  • JetsStatsGuy

    @JetsStatsGuy: Little and Jokinen are a combined 2 for 29 in faceoffs. #NHLJets 9:26 pm on Oct 10

  • Tim Campbell

    @Tim Campbell: more than 1,000 empty seats, crowd announced at 17,366 9:13 pm on Oct 10

  • Tim Campbell

    @Tim Campbell: ... that erased because of a hooking penalty to Toby Enstrom. 9:09 pm on Oct 10

  • Tim Campbell

    @Tim Campbell: Another really awful "interference" penalty, this time returned to the Wild's Keith Ballard. Jets pp at 3:24 9:08 pm on Oct 10

  • Tim Campbell

    @Tim Campbell: From 150 feet away, Dan O'Rourke calls an "interference" penalty on Dustin Byfuglien racing Zach Parise. Jets a man short to start the third. Wild 2 Jets 1 after 2 8:45 pm on Oct 10

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: Trouba promoted to top-4 now playing with bogosian #NHLJets 8:43 pm on Oct 10

  • Tim Campbell

    @Tim Campbell: Veilleux a holding penalty, another Jets pp. 16:12 8:37 pm on Oct 10

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: Zenon konopka and Jon mirasty were straight out of slapshot in Syracuse. Credit konopka for becoming an nhl regular #NHLjets 8:37 pm on Oct 10

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: Parise making most everyone in this game look ordinary #NHLJets 8:29 pm on Oct 10

  • Tim Campbell

    @Tim Campbell: Wild 2, Jets 1, 10:30 of 2nd. Matt Cooke jams in puck that appears to be under Pavelec's pad. 8:27 pm on Oct 10

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: Yeesh. Clitsome is having a rough week #NHLJets 8:27 pm on Oct 10

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: Bryan little is vastly under-rated #NHLJets 8:24 pm on Oct 10

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: Let me know when parise loses a puck battle #NHLJets 8:21 pm on Oct 10

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: Ladd can't make that play just inside the blueline on the road. Get it deep and slug it out #nhljets 8:18 pm on Oct 10

  • Tim Campbell

    @Tim Campbell: Ladd, the gate for hooking. 7:12 8:17 pm on Oct 10

  • ScottBilleck

    @ScottBilleck: I think the #NHLJets need a little more of… during their intermissions. @PentonKirk @PaulWiecek @DoubleEmMartin 8:13 pm on Oct 10

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: Trouba struggling a bit #nhljets 8:12 pm on Oct 10

  • Tim Campbell

    @Tim Campbell: Game recorder says Jets are 6 for 19 in faceoffs in first. That's not very good, again. 8:06 pm on Oct 10

  • Tim Campbell

    @Tim Campbell: It's a Bryan Little goal. 1-1 after 1 period 7:49 pm on Oct 10

  • Tim Campbell

    @Tim Campbell: Jets goal on a deflection. Jets 1 Wild 1, 19:17 7:49 pm on Oct 10

  • Tim Campbell

    @Tim Campbell: Jets 5 on 3 coming up. Brodziak for hooking off the faceoff. 7:47 pm on Oct 10

  • Tim Campbell

    @Tim Campbell: Now a Jets PP, Brodin goes for holding. 7:44 pm on Oct 10

  • Tim Campbell

    @Tim Campbell: And now Bryan Little for hooking, 15:36 7:42 pm on Oct 10

  • Tim Campbell

    @Tim Campbell: Mark Stuart gets the gate for tripping. 13:41 7:37 pm on Oct 10

  • Tim Campbell

    @Tim Campbell: It's a goal. Wild 1 Jets 0 7:25 pm on Oct 10

  • Tim Campbell

    @Tim Campbell: at 7:39, #MNWILD have first goal, a rebound off a Minnesota body in front. Quick review will take place. Off Brodin's arm or hand. 7:25 pm on Oct 10

  • PaulWiecek

    @PaulWiecek: Nice touch as the Wild anthem singer pauses to let the thousands of #nhljets fans in the house fill in the 'True North' line. 7:06 pm on Oct 10

  • DoubleEmMartin

    @DoubleEmMartin: So he's injured in the Thornton Goal Muscle? RT @WiebeSunSports: Scratches for #NHLJets: RW Chris Thorbrun (lower-to-mid body) 6:58 pm on Oct 10

  • kkopansky

    @kkopansky: We do not have to tell our customers when to cheer for #NHLJets . It's Thursday wine night @earlspolopark #gojetsgo #wild #103"plasma 3:51 pm on Oct 10

  • FPTimCampbell

    @FPTimCampbell: Curious/interesting choice this morning. #NHLJets go for optional skate in Minnesota; just 9 skaters for morning drills. 11:52 am on Oct 10


Updated on Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 12:41 PM CDT: Writethru

7:50 PM: Updates headline after first period.

8:49 PM: Updates headline after second period, updates photo.

9:43 PM: Updates headline with final score.

9:56 PM: Post-game writethru, moves blog box to bottom.

10:33 PM: Adds slide show.

10:55 PM: Updates with longer post-game writethru.

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