Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 04/2/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
NEW YORK -- It was a simple question and Olli Jokinen didn't flinch, not for a second.
The Winnipeg Jets were in the process of conducting their own autopsy after Monday night's 4-2 loss to the New York Rangers when Jokinen was asked in a scrum of media if he thought his squad was a playoff club. Good question, especially given the current freefall.
"Absolutely," he began. "We've been Top 8 most of the year. There's been a lot of highs and lows in the season. Right now we've been through some tough stretches. We've got to get back to what we were doing a week ago and we'll be fine."
Taking that cue, here are three things the Jets were doing a week ago and need to get right ASAP:
1. THE BIG GUNS MUST FIRE AGAIN
The Andrew Ladd-Bryan Little-Blake Wheeler trio has been the Jets' most potent and for stretches one of the NHL's deadliest lines this season.
But it's been four games since they've scored -- Little scored the first in a win over Tampa -- and the goal drought is even deeper for Ladd (10 games) and Wheeler (seven games).
"It's not like they're not trying," said coach Claude Noel. "They're getting a lot of attention. So, that doesn't leave you scoring a lot of goals past that. We've scored zero (against Pittsburgh), we've scored one (vs. Carolina) and now we've scored two (Monday). You can look at things however you want, but that puts more stress on the power play. Those aren't excuses, they're real. So, you've got to get production somewhere else."
2. PUTTING THE 'POWER' BACK IN THE MAN ADVANTAGE
Another disaster for the Jets' power play. Not only were they 0-for-5 on the night, including a brief 39-second two-man advantage, they surrendered a short-handed goal to Ryan Callahan. Winnipeg is now 0-for-12 in its last three games with the man advantage.
3. MORE HELP FROM THE FOOT SOLDIERS
The Jets got a goal from Nik Antropov, but the team's third and fourth lines are invisible. That said, Patrice Cormier saw only three shifts totalling 1:39, Chris Thorburn was on five times for 2:21 and Alex Burmistrov clocked in at 7:37. This has been a three-line club most of the season and has been getting consistent scoring from only a handful of forwards. This might only be fixed by working the phones before Wednesday's trade deadline.
So, repeating the question: are the Winnipeg Jets a playoff club? The cynics are being heard loud and clear now. And the Jets are running out of time to calm the restless masses.
firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @WFPEdTait
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 2, 2013 C1
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.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Welcome to Willypeg
Want to save cash on gas? Here is what you should do
The abuse has started, protect yourself
Welcome to Willypeg
When it's a criminal matter
New Jets look a lot like old Jets
It's Actually Winnipeg
Drivers don't care that 60 means 60
Uprooted teen discovers she has two moms in complex, compelling drama
Better to come clean about pregnancy
Frolik controls his future with one-year deal
Idiotic shark-storm TV movie takes a big, hilarious, deliciously entertaining bite out of the Big Apple
Seafood riches: Cádiz markets, restaurants blessed with diversity of marine delicacies
Breaking up (the cabin) is hard to do
Flood swamps ability to be fierce deficit-slayer
Sad story of an underpass and a home lost
Bombers without borders
Minority Christian Arabs are on the move
Let the last two years go, fans; Bombers have
Don't let your lust scare off 'nice guy'
Fringe candidates get attention they deserve
World-class 'Elvis' to star at tribute festival in Gimli
Massage therapist on call to help ease labour pains, support birthing mothers
Prize will help guitarist launch career
Careful, don't shut large families out of wedding
City dangerous by design
Tell MD your husband is not taking meds
Red River Settler took the high ground
Fargo embraces Canadian winter
From recycling to riches
Strengthening Abbas offers best hope for peace
Your weekend weather
Lack of genetic diversity threat to livestock
An uncomfortable silence
Trending that caught Doug's eye: Famous babies
Demigod or not, Herc's got the goods
Art film chugs into your living room
Mosquito net can solve problem of biting remarks
Muslims share fears of extremism