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Jets douse Flames 5-2

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Jeff McIntosh / The Canadian Press

Winnipeg Jets' Anthony Peluso, left, fights Calgary Flames' Brian Mcgrattan during first period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Thursday.

CALGARY — Paul Maurice is still undefeated this morning as head coach of the Winnipeg Jets.

The Jets won their second game in a row here Thursday night since Maurice took over from Claude Noel behind the Jets bench last Sunday, dumping the hapless Calgary Flames 5-2.

Add last night’s victory to an equally dominating 5-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes in Maurice’s debut Monday at the MTS Centre and a Jets team that has struggled all season long to string consecutive wins together suddenly has two in a row to improve to 21-23-5.

Yes, it bears noting, both wins came against struggling opponents. Phoenix had lost four out of five coming into Winnipeg and looked every bit on Monday like a team down on its luck. And with the loss to the Jets, the Flames set a new franchise record for futility at home, losing their seventh straight at the Pengrowth Saddledome in an unspeakable run that has seen them outscored by a cumulative 22-4.

Still, if the primary motivation for relieving Noel of his duties was because he was unable to extract consistently winning performances from this Jets team — and it was — and the earliest returns thus far would suggest the Jets braintrust might be on to something.

"We did a good job using our speed and I think that’s been the key for us the last couple games," said Jets forward Blake Wheeler, who was one of six Jets who had two-point nights.

"But it’s two good games. I don’t think we can get ahead of ourselves. We have a long ways to go. We’re back to playing the way we want to be playing. But the key now is to stay with it."

Buff still shining

With a first period goal that put the Jets up 2-0, Dustin Byfuglien now has one goal and three assists in his last three games since moving up to wing and looks increasingly comfortable with his new role as the ultimate power forward.

While Byfuglien continues to see time on the blue-line as a forward, he’s spending most of his time lately playing wing on a line with Olli Jokinen and Devin Setoguchi and it seems unlikely that will change anytime soon.

Maurice was gushing with his praise when asked prior to last night’s game for his thoughts on Byfuglien playing a hybrid role for the Jets.

"He’s a dominant force up front and he’s a dominant force on the blue line. From what I’ve seen, he does things that other coaches would never be able to teach....And if you can’t teach it, you can’t defend against it."

The Kid is all right

With Winnipeg’s third goal of the game in the second period last night and an assist on Jacob Trouba’s third-period marker, rookie Jets forward Mark Scheifele now has 16 points in his last 17 games.

Scheifele has been playing of late on a line with Wheeler and Chris Thorburn and the line seems to have developed some quick chemistry. Wheeler’s goal-mouth pass that set up Scheifele’s goal was a thing of beauty and the normally workmanlike Thorburn was all over the score-sheet with a pair of assists.

"They’re smart players," Scheifele said of his linemates. "They’re big, they move the puck well and we’re getting more used to each other. I think it’s a big thing."

Olli Jokinen right at home

While the Jets forward spent the week downplaying his return to an arena where he spent the better part of four seasons with the Flames, Jokinen certainly played like he was enjoying the experience.

Jokinen set up Byfuglien for Winnipeg’s second goal of the game midway through the first period and then scored one of his own on a knuckle-puck at 17:31 of the second period to put the game out of reach at 4-0.

In addition to Jokinen, Thorburn, Scheifele and Wheeler, other Jets players with two-point nights were Andrew Ladd, who had two assissts, and Bryan Little, who had a goal and an assist.

 

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @PaulWiecek

Live Winnipeg Jets Coverage Twitter bird

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Hard to get a good read on this. #NHLJets have been solid but, man, are the Flames ever bad. 10:04 pm on Jan 16

  • PaulWiecek

    @PaulWiecek: #NHLJets Jacob Trouba beats Flames G Reto Berra five-hole at 2:57 of 3P. Jets 5 Flames 1 10:02 pm on Jan 16

  • PaulWiecek

    @PaulWiecek: Flames score just their 3rd goal in last 7 home games as Mark Giordano beats #NHLJets Ondrej Pavelec at :40 of 3P. Jets 4 Flames 1. 9:57 pm on Jan 16

  • PaulWiecek

    @PaulWiecek: #NHLJets 4 Calgary Flames 0 through 2 periods. Jets out-shooting Flames just 16-11, but have made most of their chances. 9:37 pm on Jan 16

  • PaulWiecek

    @PaulWiecek: #NHLJets F Olli Jokinen fires a knuckleball past Flames G Reto Berra and it's 4-0 Jets on the PP goal at 17:21. 9:34 pm on Jan 16

  • PaulWiecek

    @PaulWiecek: #NHLJets F Mark Scheifele takes nifty goal mouth pass from F Blake Wheeler and slams puck into the gaping net at 9:09 of 2P. Jets 3 Flames 0 9:17 pm on Jan 16

  • PaulWiecek

    @PaulWiecek: #NHLJets lead Calgary Flames 2-0 after the first period. Shots on goal WPG 10 CAL 8. 8:45 pm on Jan 16

  • PaulWiecek

    @PaulWiecek: Starters for #NHLJets at Saddledome tonight: Pavelec, Stuart and Trouba, Little, Ladd and Frolik. 8:02 pm on Jan 16

  • PaulWiecek

    @PaulWiecek: #NHLJets F Devon Setoguchi apparently no longer sick; made trip to CAL and on line with Jokinen and Byfuglien again this morning. 12:37 pm on Jan 16

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets recall Carl Klingberg, place Evander Kane on IR retroactive to Jan. 7. Klingberg has 18 pits (11g, 7A) in 33 games with St J. 11:38 am on Jan 16

  • PaulWiecek

    @PaulWiecek: #NHLJets place Evander Kane on injured reserve and recall Carl Klingberg from St. John's. 11:24 am on Jan 16

History

Updated on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 8:46 PM CST: Updates first period score; changes headline.

9:40 PM: Updates second period score; changes headline.

10:28 PM: Adds slideshow.

10:46 PM: Updates final score; changes headline.

11:22 PM: Adds full, post-game write-thru.

12:40 AM: Updates post-game story.

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