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Plucky, physical Jets win three out of four

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Winnipeg Jets' Zach Bogosian (44), goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) and Andrew Ladd (16) celebrate their NHL win over the over San Jose Sharks in Winnipeg on Sunday, November 10, 2013.

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Winnipeg Jets' Zach Bogosian (44), goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) and Andrew Ladd (16) celebrate their NHL win over the over San Jose Sharks in Winnipeg on Sunday, November 10, 2013. Photo Store

Just like that, the Winnipeg Jets have won three of four games and two in a row. Joy in joyville, as Claude Noel likes to say.

Here’s a view from the pressbox on a chilly Sunday night in November.

1. Class act

The Jets put together a poignant Remembrance Day moment on Sunday as they followed up a moment of silence with anthem singer Stacy Nattress getting some help from World War II veteran Len Kropioski. Kropioski is the gentleman featured on the scoreboard saluting at the end of O Canada prior to Jets games.

2. Mad Ladd

Jets captain Andrew Ladd is always a much better player when he plays angry. When Ladd is hitting and battling with more edge, the Jets have success. Ladd sets the tone for the Jets in so many ways, but when he’s physical the entire team follows suit. Ladd scored the equalizer to force overtime and the winner in the shootout, but he was solid all game.

3. Pluck

The Jets were down 2-0 after one period and 3-1 during the second before climbing even at 3-3 after 40 minutes. San Jose went ahead 4-3 but the Jets kept pushing and tied it at 4-4 with less than two minutes to go in the game. Too often this season the Jets have faded when pushed. This was a nice example of the team fighting back, not quitting and then getting rewarded for it.

4. 5-on-5

The Jets have scored 37 goals and allowed 38 in 5-on-5 situations. They have scored three goals on the power play and allowed six on the penalty kill. The lack of success on the power play is killing this team. The Jets have a lot of issues, but a little success on the power play would go a long way in masking them.

5. Pav's pads

It’s been said in this space that Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec hasn’t been making the timely save the Jets need on enough occasions but that wasn’t the case Sunday. The game could have been lost early in the second period with the Sharks on the power play but Pavelec kept the puck out of the net and gave his team a chance to win.

6. Winging Wingels

Sharks winger Tommy Wingels has been hot of late and earned a bump up to Joe Thornton’s line. Wingels now has points in six straight (3-4-7) and leads team his in hits with 31.

7. Put Butch and his helmets in the Hall

Butch Goring played in 1107 NHL games scoring 375 goals and 512 assists for 888 points. The Winnipeg native won a Calder Cup and four Stanley Cups during his pro career. He also won three major NHL awards, the Lady Byng Trophy, the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy and the Conn Smythe Trophy.

Goring has slipped through the cracks but one of the greatest two-way players of his time, he should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Goring was also famous for his Snaps helmets worn throughout his career.

The helmets were bought for him by his father Bob and Goring wore the same pair from the age of 12 throughout his 16-year NHL career. They were repainted first in Los Angeles Kings colours then for the Islanders and finally the Bruins.

8. Playoffs or bust

At 8-9-2, the Jets have 18 points. One number we’ve been hearing is it will take 94 points to reach the playoffs in the Western Conference.

To reach 94 points, the Jets would need to go 38-25 the rest of the way leaving them with a record of 46-34-2.

Seven of the next 10 games are what one might call "winnable" for the Jets.

The next stretch of games should tell us all we need to know where the Jets playoff hopes are concerned.

9. Excellent Ellerby

Waiver wire pickup Keaton Ellerby has been a solid addition. Most nights one can say one didn’t notice him on the ice, which is the perfect compliment for a fifth or sixth defenceman.

 

gary.lawless@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @garylawless

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About Gary Lawless

Gary Lawless is the Free Press sports columnist and co-host of the Hustler and Lawless show on TSN 1290 Winnipeg and www.winnipegfreepress.com
Lawless began covering sports as a rookie reporter at The Chronicle-Journal in Thunder Bay after graduating from journalism school at Durham College in Ontario.
After a Grey Cup winning stint with the Toronto Argonauts in the communications department, Lawless returned to Thunder Bay as sports editor.
In 1999 he joined the Free Press and after working on the night sports desk moved back into the field where he covered pro hockey, baseball and football beats prior to being named columnist.

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