July 31, 2015


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Jets continue to stumble with man advantage

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.
Evander Kane tries a wraparound as Avalanche defenceman Cory Sarich gives chase in the first period.
Avalanche defenceman Ryan Wilson (front) picks up the loose puck in the first period.
Andrew Ladd (right) is hooked by Colorado Avalanche centre Ryan O'Reilly while reaching for the puck in the first period.
Colorado Avalanche center John Mitchell (left) has his stick break while trying to clear the puck along the boards as he battles with Tobias Enstrom in the second period.
Blake Wheeler (centre) celebrates his power play goal with Andrew Ladd (left) and centre Bryan Little (right) in eth second period.
Colorado Avalanche winger Steve Downie (front) gets tangled up with Winnipeg Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien while fighting for the puck during the second period.
Winnipeg Jets goalie Al Montoya talks with a referee during a break in play in the second period.
Winnipeg Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian (right) clears the puck from behind the net as Nathan MacKinnon (left) and John Mitchell give chase during the second period.
Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny puts the puck in the net for the go-ahead goal in the third period.
Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny (left) celebrates after scoring the scoring the game-winning goal as Al Montoya (centre) and winger Michael Froliklook on in the third period.
Colorado Avalanche centre Paul Stastny celebrates scoring the go-ahead goal in the third period.
Gabriel Landeskog (left) gets tangled up with Olli Jokinen while pursuing the puck in the third period.
Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov stops a Blake Wheeler shot in the third period.
Winnipeg Jets goalie Al Montoya makes a stick save off a shot by Colorado Avalanche winger PA Parenteau (centre) as Jets defenceman Mark Stuart backchecks during the third period.
Jets winger Matt Halischuk (left) battles for control of the puck with Colorado Avalanche defenceman Tyson Barrie (centre) and center Marc-Andre Cliche in the third period.
Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson (left) sends Jets captain Andrew Ladd into the boards in the third period.
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. - David Zalubowski / The Associated Press
Evander Kane tries a wraparound as Avalanche defenceman Cory Sarich gives chase in the first period. - David Zalubowski / The Associated Press
Avalanche defenceman Ryan Wilson (front) picks up the loose puck in the first period. - David Zalubowski / The Associated Press
Andrew Ladd (right) is hooked by Colorado Avalanche centre Ryan O'Reilly while reaching for the puck in the first period. - David Zalubowski / The Associated Press
Colorado Avalanche center John Mitchell (left) has his stick break while trying to clear the puck along the boards as he battles with Tobias Enstrom in the second period. - David Zalubowski / The Associated Press
Blake Wheeler (centre) celebrates his power play goal with Andrew Ladd (left) and centre Bryan Little (right) in eth second period. - David Zalubowski / The Associated Press
Colorado Avalanche winger Steve Downie (front) gets tangled up with Winnipeg Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien while fighting for the puck during the second period. - David Zalubowski / The Associated Press
Winnipeg Jets goalie Al Montoya talks with a referee during a break in play in the second period. - David Zalubowski / The Associated Press
Winnipeg Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian (right) clears the puck from behind the net as Nathan MacKinnon (left) and John Mitchell give chase during the second period. - David Zalubowski / The Associated Press
Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny puts the puck in the net for the go-ahead goal in the third period. - David Zalubowski / The Associated Press
Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny (left) celebrates after scoring the scoring the game-winning goal as Al Montoya (centre) and winger Michael Froliklook on in the third period. - David Zalubowski / The Associated Press
Colorado Avalanche centre Paul Stastny celebrates scoring the go-ahead goal in the third period. - David Zalubowski / The Associated Press
Gabriel Landeskog (left) gets tangled up with Olli Jokinen while pursuing the puck in the third period. - David Zalubowski / The Associated Press
Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov stops a Blake Wheeler shot in the third period. - David Zalubowski / The Associated Press
Winnipeg Jets goalie Al Montoya makes a stick save off a shot by Colorado Avalanche winger PA Parenteau (centre) as Jets defenceman Mark Stuart backchecks during the third period. - David Zalubowski / The Associated Press
Jets winger Matt Halischuk (left) battles for control of the puck with Colorado Avalanche defenceman Tyson Barrie (centre) and center Marc-Andre Cliche in the third period. - David Zalubowski / The Associated Press
Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson (left) sends Jets captain Andrew Ladd into the boards in the third period. - David Zalubowski / The Associated Press

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.

Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd is hooked by Colorado Avalanche centre Ryan O'Reilly while reaching for the puck Sunday night in Denver.

DAVID ZALUBOWSKI / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd is hooked by Colorado Avalanche centre Ryan O'Reilly while reaching for the puck Sunday night in Denver.

Evander Kane tries the wraparound.

DAVID ZALUBOWSKI / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Evander Kane tries the wraparound.

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.

'We created quite a few of our own problems, whether it's a breakout, blind passes through the middle...'

-- Jets head coach Claude Noel

"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

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 28, 2013 C1

History

Updated on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 6:48 AM CDT: Replaces photo, changes headline, adds slideshow

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