Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Jets trounced by Habs, fall out of playoff spot

  • Print

MONTREAL — They are a beaten, lifeless lot. But, just so we’re clear: There is no truth to the rumour that instead of flying home on a charter, the Winnipeg Jets were toe-tagged and wheeled the entire distance on a gurney.

Although that may be the best analogy for where this crew is right now.

The Jets fell for the fifth consecutive game Thursday night, serving up another indifferent effort in a 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre that not only drops them out of top spot in the Southeast Division, but down to 10th in the Eastern Conference at 18-19-2.

The Washington Capitals, who knocked off the New York Islanders 2-1 in a shootout, now lead the Southeast with an 18-17-2 record. In fact, three conference rivals chasing the Jets all picked up points on them last night — the Caps, Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers — while the Islanders moved two ahead with the point earned in the shootout loss.

"It’s not like we don’t know what’s going on," said Jets coach Claude Noel. "I don’t think you can expect to lose five straight games and expect that things aren’t going to change. We know that if we continue down this road, it isn’t good. That’s why there’s urgency. We’re running out of games; we know that."

First period

The Jets actually look decent early and open the scoring for the first time in six games when Alex Burmistrov takes a perfect pass from Grant Clitsome to beat Canadiens netminder Peter Budaj. The Habs’ Michael Ryder ties it just over two minutes later with the first of two power-play goals. But Burmistrov’s goal has the Jets in a decent spot heading into the second.

"That was not what I was looking for right now," Burmistrov said afterward. "We’re looking for a win right now and battling for a playoff spot, so I didn’t care if I scored that."

That said...

"That was the easiest goal I ever scored, probably," he added with a brief smile. "A great pass by him."

Second period

The wheels come off again for the visitors. A Ryder shot finds its way through traffic, another power-play goal glances off Brian Gionta past Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec and the Jets counter with little push. It marked the first time since a 4-1 loss to Ottawa on March 17 — a stretch of 10 games — that the penalty-kill unit surrendered two goals.

"Our team has got to be better," said Noel. "We didn’t score on the power play and we gave up two-for-two on the penalty kill. I mean, if it’s not one thing, it’s another thing."

Third period

Little push-back for the Jets again, although they do fire 17 shots at Budaj. Same old, same old, though: A beaten-down team has little response. It didn’t help that a Jets goal when it was 3-1 was disallowed because Blake Wheeler was in the crease.

"These are tough situations sometimes because it feels like everything is going the other way," said Andrew Ladd. "The toughest thing to do is not start playing the blame game. You have to look at yourself first and find ways to help this team win."

After the buzzer

So many people at the beginning of the season looked to the upcoming stretch for the Jets as critical — seven of their last nine games will be at the MTS Centre. No truer words have ever been spoken or written.

"The bottom line is we’ve got some things we need to figure out in the room here," said Mark Stuart.
"It comes down to us. There’s really no excuses here. We need to turn this around because we’re running out of time.

"That’s something we’re going to talk about and figure out internally. When you get in a rut like this you can blame it on so many things. But first and foremost is our effort level. It needs to be better. We have the guys that can do it. We know we can be a good team if we all play together."

Twitter: @WFPEdTait


Updated on Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 7:21 PM CDT: after 1 period

8:08 PM: after 2 periods

9:05 PM: game over

11:07 PM: game over rewrite with quotes

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


Lawless in the Morning: Gary answers your questions (March 25)

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Young goslings are growing up quickly near Cresent Lake in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba- See Bryksa 30 Day goose project- Day 11- May 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Goslings enjoy Fridays warm weather to soak up some sun and gobble some grass on Heckla Ave in Winnipeg Friday afternoon- See Bryksa’s 30 DAY goose challenge - May 18, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


What are your feelings on NHL potentially implementing 3-on-3 overtime?

View Results

Ads by Google