Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Jets better even when losing

At least they look like they know what they're doing

  • Print

Losses are all recorded the same way, but the subtext behind each defeat is different.

Thursday night's 1-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks was far different for the Winnipeg Jets than their last defeat, which came at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets on Jan. 11 and signalled the end of the Claude Noel era.

Did the bubble, created by a four-game win streak, burst? Or was this another step forward in the lives of the Winnipeg Jets under new coach Paul Maurice?

Losing to the Sharks bears no shame. They sit fifth in the league overall and are one of the best teams in the NHL at home. The Jets played them to a near standstill for large chunks of this game and one mistake was the difference on the scoreboard.

Are the Jets ready to compete with the Sharks and the best of the league? Nope. But they're not the rattled and confused bunch they were two weeks ago in the last days of Noel.

Thursday's loss showed as much. The Jets stuck to their plan and adhered to what Maurice is preaching. It didn't pay off in a win, but the Jets will understand they gave themselves a chance to win on the road against one of the league's best teams.

They didn't shoot themselves in the foot, but instead did many of the little things right. They created a foundation for a win. That's much different than beating themselves, as they have so many times over the last three years.

The next step in this group's recovery is to stay the course. Play the right way today at home against the Leafs and don't revert to old habits.

This was the pattern under Noel. The difference now is Maurice has these players believing in his words. The message isn't that different from Noel's, but the air of legitimacy Maurice carries from his previous NHL experience has players both listening and agreeing. When Maurice says it, his players live it.

Will the Jets now lose a few? Maybe. This team still has a long way to go and is only five games into the Maurice experiment. Twenty games or so will give us a much more clear picture of what is actually going on with this group.

But there's been a step forward. The coaching change was warranted and the desired short-term results have been achieved.

Long term is a different story and Maurice will need some roster help to further the progress sought by fans, players and management alike.

There is no arguing, however, 4-1 is a lot better than 0-5, which is the split of the last 10 games between the two coaches.

Welcome to Winnipeg, Mr. Maurice.

gary.lawless@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @garylawless

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 25, 2014 C4

Fact Check

Fact Check

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.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Exclusive architectural tour of CMHR with Antoine Predock

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local- A large osprey lands in it's nest in a hydro pole on Hyw 59  near the Hillside Beach turnoff turn off. Osprey a large narrow winged hawk which can have a wingspan of over 54 inches are making a incredible recovery since pesticide use of the 1950's and  1960's- For the last two decades these fish hawks have been reappearing in the Lake Winnipeg area- Aug 03, 2005
  • RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS June 23, 2011 Local - A Monarch butterfly is perched on a flower  in the newly opened Butterfly Garden in Assiniboine Park Thursday morning.

View More Gallery Photos

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.

Poll

Do you plan on attending any of the CMHR opening weekend events? (select all that apply)

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google