Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Toss this one into the trash basket

Hockey games just don't get much worse

  • Print

As debuts go, let's sum up the Winnipeg Jets' 2013 opener this way:

The first 10 minutes -- with the joint jumping and the Jets responding -- was spectacular. And, then... well, this crew looked a whole lot like a squad that needed a dress rehearsal or two after nervously throwing up all over themselves and forgetting a pile of lines.

The positives?

Dustin Byfulgien was the best Jet by a long shot and rookie Mark Scheifele had his moments while bopping from one line to another.

After that? Well, ummm... let's just say it's a good thing the beer was half price.

Yes, the curtain-lifter on this season looked a whole lot like the 5-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on that historic October day in 2011.

Too many turnovers and sloppy defensive zone play. Too many guys squeezing their composite sticks into dust. And a lack of finish around the net.

Here's how sloppy it was at times: Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean called the game a "dog's breakfast." And he exited the rink with a 4-1 victory.

Claude Noel, his counterpart, looked afterward like a man who was going to spend the rest of his night rewinding and fast-forwarding the game in his head over and over again to find some answers -- in a hurry.

Consider this: The Jets left for Boston Saturday night and face the Bruins on Monday, are in Washington Tuesday and return home to face Pittsburgh next Friday.

Sorry to interject some reality here, folks, but that has potential nightmare-start written all over it.

"You gotta win games," said Noel. "You go into Boston and Washington and you gotta win games. Now you've got to rest-manage and figure this out.

"But you've got to make a self-assessment of your game and you've got to be honest before your start criticizing our game. How did you do? I think everybody was rusty."

That much was quickly evident after the quick start. Continuing an ugly trend that plagued this outfit in Year 1, the Jets were outshot 37-28, were guilty of 19 turnovers to the Senators' eight and were just one of six on the power play.

"We've got to learn from our mistakes here," said defenceman Mark Stuart. "A lot of the things (today) are things individually that we know without it being said by anybody else. We know what we have to work on."

It could start here -- more of the same from the opening 10 minutes and less of the free-for-all sloppiness of the last 50.

"We got off to a good start," said Byfuglien. "We did the simple things and kept the pace up well. At times it did get a little sloppy. We've got to keep working and playing as a group.

"(Ottawa) was ready to bang in the rebounds and shoot the puck and I felt that we got away from shooting the puck. We tried to make it a little too pretty out there. That's something we're going to have to work on."

In the end, Byfuglien's take might be the perfect critique of the Jets' second debut. They fumbled around trying to paint a masterpiece and ended up with a work best crumpled up and tossed in the trash. Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 20, 2013 B3

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


  • 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 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 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.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Winnipeg Free Press 27 cent digital payment system

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project. Baby peregrine falcons. 21 days old. Three baby falcons. Born on ledge on roof of Radisson hotel on Portage Avenue. Project Coordinator Tracy Maconachie said that these are third generation falcons to call the hotel home. Maconachie banded the legs of the birds for future identification as seen on this adult bird swooping just metres above. June 16, 2004.
  • A golfer looks for his ball in a water trap at John Blumberg Golf Course Friday afternoon as geese and goslings run for safety- See Joe Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge- Day 24– June 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


What do you think of Manitoba Hydro's deal to create a surface-parking lot to allow for construction of a new substation?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google