A few clouds

Winnipeg, MB

-7°c A few clouds

Full Forecast

Winnipeg Jets

Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Wounded spirit still a winner

Posted: 01/7/2014 12:43 PM | Comments: 0

Last Modified: 01/8/2014 12:12 AM | Updates

Advertisement

  • Print

Memo to: Steve Yzerman, Team Canada/Tampa Bay Lightning GM

From: Martin St. Louis, Lightning captain

Dear Boss: Thanks a &^%$&! lot for the Canadian Olympic Team snub. P.S: You’re welcome.

Yes, in one of the more compelling stories of the 2013-14 NHL season, St. Louis shook off the soul-crushing news of not being named to the Oly squad heading to Sochi next month by scoring twice in the third period — the game-winner and an empty-netter — to help Tampa, the ‘other’ team Yzerman has put together, knock off a lifeless, listless Winnipeg Jets squad 4-2 at the MTS Centre.

"That’s why he’s a champion," said Lightning head coach Jon Cooper afterward. "That’s why he has a Stanley-Cup ring, that’s why he’s our captain. To go through something like that and respond the way he did, I can’t say enough about him.

"He’s a human being and I know he really wanted to make that team. But he did what he did best: when the whistle started he came to play. Good for him. I’m really happy for him."

MEANWHILE, IN RIVER CITY...

The St. Louis’ performance is a juicy subplot that will grab headlines in Florida and across the NHL. But here in River City, the big story might now be this after the Jets lost their fourth straight: do booster cables work on humans?

"We have to realize we’re not losing by accident," said Ondrej Pavelec. "I mean, the way we play, we can’t expect to be successful.

"I don’t think we showed up tonight. (Tampa’s) a good team, good system. They stick with the system, all four lines play the right way, the way hockey is supposed to be played. We didn’t have much. We get what we deserve. We have to realize people pay for tickets for this, to see this one? I’m not sure.

"It’s disappointing, that’s for sure," added Pavelec. "A day off tomorrow... actually we had day off today, so we got two days off. We have to keep going. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. But if I’m a fan tonight, I wouldn’t be happy, that’s for sure."

WHAT’S IN A NUMBER?

The Jets registered a measly 14 shots on goal Tuesday, the 10th not coming until Eric Tangradi hit Anders Lindback with 11:15 left in the game — an occasion that brought a Bronx cheer from the disgruntled home fans. That they were even in the game until that point was remarkable, but the Jets did score twice on the power-play — Olli Jokinen on a deft feed from Mark Scheifele while Winnipeg had a two-man advantage and Dustin Byfuglien with a knuckler past Lindback that put the home side ahead 2-1 in the second.

But Ondrej Palat evened the game before the second intermission, setting up the St. Louis dramatics in the final frame.

"We come back from the road where we lose three games... we come back to our building in front of our fans and we get, what, 12 shots on net?" said Mark Stuart. "That’s what’s most embarrassing for us. It was right there and we didn’t wake up the whole game.

"It’s hard not to sound like a broken record here. I mean, I don’t really know what to say, to tell you the truth. I feel like I get in front of you guys and say the same thing every game. It’s exhausting. It really is. It’s a low point, it definitely is."

MORE UGLY

The loss dropped the Jets to 19-22-5. And in the aftermath of some telling and critical comments by Penguins players in a Pittsburgh newspaper following Sunday’s 6-5 loss — comments that pointed to the Jets having no discernible system — the handiwork against the Lightning was hardly evidence to the contrary.

"We let Pav out to dry," said Scheifele. "If it wasn’t for him, we would have lost by a lot more. It was embarrassing. We weren’t forechecking as a group of five. It just seemed like a mish-mash out there and no one knew where everyone was going. It just didn’t look like a team game."

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPEdTait

  • Winnipeg Jets' goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) saves the shot as he gets tangled up with Tampa Bay Lightning's Martin St. Louis (26) during first period NHL action in Winnipeg Tuesday.

    John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

    Winnipeg Jets' goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) saves the shot as he gets tangled up with Tampa Bay Lightning's Martin St. Louis (26) during first period NHL action in Winnipeg Tuesday.

  • Tampa Bay Lightning's goaltender Anders Lindback (39) can't stop the shot from Winnipeg Jets' Olli Jokinen (12) during first period of the game at MTS Centre Tuesday.

    John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

    Tampa Bay Lightning's goaltender Anders Lindback (39) can't stop the shot from Winnipeg Jets' Olli Jokinen (12) during first period of the game at MTS Centre Tuesday.

  • Winnipeg Jets' Evander Kane (9), Mark Scheifele (55) and Olli Jokinen (12) celebrate Jokinen's goal on Tampa Bay Lightning's goaltender Anders Lindback (39) in the first period of Tuesday's game.

    John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

    Winnipeg Jets' Evander Kane (9), Mark Scheifele (55) and Olli Jokinen (12) celebrate Jokinen's goal on Tampa Bay Lightning's goaltender Anders Lindback (39) in the first period of Tuesday's game.

  • Winnipeg Jets' Tobias Enstrom (39) blocks the first-period shot by Tampa Bay Lightning's Tyler Johnson (9) in front of Jets' goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31).

    John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

    Winnipeg Jets' Tobias Enstrom (39) blocks the first-period shot by Tampa Bay Lightning's Tyler Johnson (9) in front of Jets' goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31).

  • Winnipeg Jets' Blake Wheeler (26) checks Tampa Bay Lightning's Nate Thompson (44) during first period NHL action in Winnipeg Tuesday.

    John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

    Winnipeg Jets' Blake Wheeler (26) checks Tampa Bay Lightning's Nate Thompson (44) during first period NHL action in Winnipeg Tuesday.

  • Winnipeg Jets' Evander Kane (9) gets stopped on the breakaway by Tampa Bay Lightning's goaltender Anders Lindback (39) during the first period Tuesday.

    John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

    Winnipeg Jets' Evander Kane (9) gets stopped on the breakaway by Tampa Bay Lightning's goaltender Anders Lindback (39) during the first period Tuesday.

  • Winnipeg Jets' Mark Stuart (5) and Tampa Bay Lightning's Ryan Malone (12) fight during the first period Tuesday.

    John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

    Winnipeg Jets' Mark Stuart (5) and Tampa Bay Lightning's Ryan Malone (12) fight during the first period Tuesday.

  • Winnipeg Jets' Tobias Enstrom (39) is checked by Tampa Bay Lightning's Nikita Kucherov (86) during the first period Tuesday.

    John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

    Winnipeg Jets' Tobias Enstrom (39) is checked by Tampa Bay Lightning's Nikita Kucherov (86) during the first period Tuesday.

  • Winnipeg Jets' Eric O'Dell (58) and James Wright (17) collide with Tampa Bay Lightning's Ondrej Palat (18) during first period.

    Trevor Hagan / The Canadian Press

    Winnipeg Jets' Eric O'Dell (58) and James Wright (17) collide with Tampa Bay Lightning's Ondrej Palat (18) during first period.

  • Tampa Bay Lightning's Valtteri Filppula (51) beats Winnipeg Jets' goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) on his first shot in the first period Tuesday.

    John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

    Tampa Bay Lightning's Valtteri Filppula (51) beats Winnipeg Jets' goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) on his first shot in the first period Tuesday.

  • Winnipeg Jets' goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) hangs his head after being scored on by Tampa Bay Lightning's Ondrej Palat (18) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg on Tuesday.

    John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

    Winnipeg Jets' goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) hangs his head after being scored on by Tampa Bay Lightning's Ondrej Palat (18) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg on Tuesday.

  • Winnipeg Jets' goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) hangs his head after being scored on by Tampa Bay Lightning's Ondrej Palat (18) during second period.

    John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

    Winnipeg Jets' goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) hangs his head after being scored on by Tampa Bay Lightning's Ondrej Palat (18) during second period.

  • Tampa Bay Lightning's Martin St. Louis (26) is smothered by Winnipeg Jets' goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) during the first period.

    Trevor Hagan / The Canadian Press

    Tampa Bay Lightning's Martin St. Louis (26) is smothered by Winnipeg Jets' goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) during the first period.

  • Winnipeg Jets' goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) hangs his head after the Lightning's Ondrej Palat's (18) second-period goal.

    John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

    Winnipeg Jets' goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) hangs his head after the Lightning's Ondrej Palat's (18) second-period goal.

  • Winnipeg Jets' goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) can't stop the shot from Tampa Bay Lightning's Ondrej Palat (18) during second period.

    John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

    Winnipeg Jets' goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) can't stop the shot from Tampa Bay Lightning's Ondrej Palat (18) during second period.

  • Tampa Bay Lightning's Martin St. Louis (26) plays against the Winnipeg Jets during second period NHL hockey action Tuesday in Winnipeg. It was announced earlier in the day that he will be left off the Team Canada squad heading to the Sochi Olympics.

    Trevor Hagan / The Canadian Press

    Tampa Bay Lightning's Martin St. Louis (26) plays against the Winnipeg Jets during second period NHL hockey action Tuesday in Winnipeg. It was announced earlier in the day that he will be left off the Team Canada squad heading to the Sochi Olympics.

  • Tampa Bay Lightning's Ondrej Palat (18), not shown, scores on Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) with Eric Tangradi (27) in the crease during second period.

    Trevor Hagan / The Canadian Press

    Tampa Bay Lightning's Ondrej Palat (18), not shown, scores on Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) with Eric Tangradi (27) in the crease during second period.

  • Winnipeg Jets' Dustin Byfuglien (33) celebrates a power play goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during second period Tuesday.

    Trevor Hagan / The Canadian Press

    Winnipeg Jets' Dustin Byfuglien (33) celebrates a power play goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during second period Tuesday.

  • Tampa Bay Lightning's Sami Salo (6) gets slammed into the boards by Winnipeg Jets' Chris Thorburn (22) during second period.

    Trevor Hagan / The Canadian Press

    Tampa Bay Lightning's Sami Salo (6) gets slammed into the boards by Winnipeg Jets' Chris Thorburn (22) during second period.

  • Tampa Bay Lightning's Ondrej Palat (18) celebrates his second period goal against the Winnipeg Jets.

    Trevor Hagan / The Canadian Press

    Tampa Bay Lightning's Ondrej Palat (18) celebrates his second period goal against the Winnipeg Jets.

  • Winnipeg Jets' Blake Wheeler (26) is held back from Tampa Bay Lightning's Radko Gudas (7) during second period Tuesday in Winnipeg.

    Trevor Hagan / The Canadian Press

    Winnipeg Jets' Blake Wheeler (26) is held back from Tampa Bay Lightning's Radko Gudas (7) during second period Tuesday in Winnipeg.

  • Winnipeg Jets' Olli Jokinen (12) hits Tampa Bay Lightning's Eric Brewer (2) during the second period.

    Trevor Hagan / The Canadian Press

    Winnipeg Jets' Olli Jokinen (12) hits Tampa Bay Lightning's Eric Brewer (2) during the second period.

  • Linesmen hold Winnipeg Jets' Dustin Byfuglien (33) back from Tampa Bay Lightning's Jean-Philippe Cole (22) and Eric Brewer (2) during the third period.

    John Woods / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

    Linesmen hold Winnipeg Jets' Dustin Byfuglien (33) back from Tampa Bay Lightning's Jean-Philippe Cole (22) and Eric Brewer (2) during the third period.

  • Tampa Bay Lightning's Martin St. Louis (26) celebrates what would be the game-winning goal against the Winnipeg Jets' during the third period.

    Trevor Hagan / The Canadian Press

    Tampa Bay Lightning's Martin St. Louis (26) celebrates what would be the game-winning goal against the Winnipeg Jets' during the third period.

Live Winnipeg Jets Coverage Twitter bird

History

Updated on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 8:03 PM CST: Updates score, changes headline.

9:01 PM: Updates score, changes headline after second period.

9:59 PM: Updates final score, changes headline.

10:50 PM: Changes photo.

12:12 AM: Adds post-game story, changes headline.

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.