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Four-point night from Toews helps Hawks move past Jets 6-3

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BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Bryan Little gets in close on Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford during the first period.

A lesson the Winnipeg Jets have learned, the hard way, about using the Stanley-Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks as a measuring stick:

It hurts like Hades when the champs snatch said measuring stick and promptly use it to spank your backside raw.

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The Jets battled the champion Hawks fairly even through 40 minutes Thursday night in downtown Winnipeg — with the game tied 3-3 heading into the third — but, alas, played the punching bag in the final 20 minutes and exited bruised and battered physically — and, no doubt, emotionally — after a 6-3 loss.

Just to quickly detail the carnage to date against Chicago: the Jets are now 0-3 against the their rivals this season and have been out-scored 15-5. The victory pushes Chicago to 15-4-4 while the Jets, winless in their last three (0-2-1) fall to 10-11-3.

And so if the Hawks are the measuring stick, captain Andrew Ladd was asked, what do the Jets have to do to close the gap?

"I don’t think we had everyone going tonight, so that’s the first thing," said Ladd. "We need everybody to show up and play hard and I don’t know if we had that tonight. To me, that’s the biggest thing. When we’re skating and putting the puck behind their ‘D’ we were able to play in their end and create some chances.

"But it can’t just be a shift here or shift there."

 

THE COACH CONCURS WITH THE CAPTAIN

A number of Jets grabbed some pine at various stages during Thursday’s game, including Devon Setoguchi, who had only 11:01 of ice time spread out over 13 shifts as Claude Noel bumped Michael Frolik to the second line.

Keaton Ellerby also watched for a stretch after Jonathan Toews swept around him for his 11th goal of the season. Two Jets — Evander Kane and Olli Jokinen — were -3 while four others, Grant Clitsome, Zach Redmond, Blake Wheeler and Toby Enstrom, finished -2.

"When you watch that, I didn’t think we had a lot of good players," said Noel. "We really got exposed in our ‘D’ zone. I thought their skill was evident in the game.

"And I didn’t think we had enough good players... or strong players. They won a lot of battles in the hard areas.

"When you win Cups and years that they won ‘em, you can see why."

 

CENTRAL DIVISION/WESTERN CONFERENCE WOES

It would be pure folly to suggest, with a week still left in November, that the Jets’ playoff chances are slowly slip-sliding away. Consider Nashville’s win over Toronto Thursday pushed the Predators past the Jets in the Central, dropping Winnipeg to last in the division.

The Jets are now an abysmal 3-9-1 against their new Central rivals and 6-10-2 against the West.

"We got what we deserved," said Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec. "If you play in your zone like we did tonight it’s tough to get a point. They won the Cup for a reason.

"We did some good things, we scored some power-play goals and the second period was really good. But, the ‘D’ zone coverage... I don’t know if we didn’t know what to do... that’s a really good team and we had problems handling those guys."

SMALL ‘P’ PROGRESS

The Jets’ power-play, an Achilles Heel for much of the season, accounted for two goals against the Hawks, giving them five in their last four games. And a good chunk of that PP offence has come from the big man, Dustin Byfuglien, who had a goal and an assist with the man advantage.

After going goal-less in his first 18 games, Byfuglien now has six in his last six. And he’s picked up a point on 10 of the Jets’ 11 power-play goals (4G, 6A).

 

CAPTAIN SERIOUS, THE SUPERHERO

Winnipeg’s own Toews was the best player on the ice at MTS Centre and it wasn’t even close. The Hawks captain finished with a goal and three assists, equalling a season high (3G, 1A, Oct. 29 vs. Ottawa) and now ranks second on the club with 11 goals and 23 points in 23 games.

 

SO... NOW WHAT?

Back to the measuring-stick angle... here’s Noel with the last word on the topic of what to do to close the considerable gap obvious between the champions and his squad:

"It’s a good question, what do you do? That’s what I’ll be thinking about tonight. How? Why? It’s something I’ve got to figure out.

"Having said all that, we walk into the third period and we’re tied 3-3, still in the game. We just need to muster up 20 minutes. But they stepped it up and played and we couldn’t handle it."

—with files from Tim Campbell

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Live Winnipeg Jets Coverage Twitter bird

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: If you're in Regina this weekend Pressbox @pressboxregina will have #nhljets game on #tsnjets - free shot if you say u know @hustlerlawless 9:52 pm on Nov 21

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: So I just hooked up with @hustlerama to watch third period of #nhljets game in Regina. He's sitting with 2 dudes that own four bars #player 9:02 pm on Nov 21

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets getting dominated in the face-off circle again, with Hawks having won 63% of the draws. Olli Jokinen is 9-3, though, on draws. 8:48 pm on Nov 21

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets and Hawks tied 3-3 after two. Winnipeg with two PP goals, now has five in last three games. 8:44 pm on Nov 21

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets Dustin Byfuglien ties it with a two-man adv goal. His 6th goal in six games. 8:32 pm on Nov 21

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets will have 2-man adv for 33 seconds. 8:29 pm on Nov 21

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Highlight of the night goal by Jonathan Toews, around Ellerby and up over Pavelec. 3-2 Hawks over #NHLJets. 8:25 pm on Nov 21

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets fall behind 2-zip and then answer with two goals in 29 seconds by Ladd and Ellerby. 8:08 pm on Nov 21

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Hawks lead #NHLJets 1-0 after 1. Dustin Byfuglien led all Jets with 9:30 in ice time. 7:44 pm on Nov 21

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Hawks open scoring on PP goal by Patrick Kane. Lead #NHLJets 1-zip and have out-shot them 12-2. 7:39 pm on Nov 21

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets shorthanded for second time in period as Kane now headed to the box. Shots are 11-2 for Hawks. 7:34 pm on Nov 21

  • PaulWiecek

    @PaulWiecek: #NHLJets being outshot 10-1 through first 14 mins. 7:31 pm on Nov 21

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets starters: Pavelec, Ellerby, Enstrom, Ladd, Little, Wheeler. Scratches: Peluso, Melchiori. Halischuk in for Peluso. 6:59 pm on Nov 21

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Hearing that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be in the house tonight for #NHLJets and Hawks. 6:44 pm on Nov 21

  • NHLJets

    @NHLJets: #NHLJets prospects Josh Morrissey and Nic Petan named assistant captains for Team WHL in the Subway Super Series. 2:24 pm on Nov 21

  • PaulWiecek

    @PaulWiecek: Fabulously wealthy #NHLJets owner gets fabulously wealthier... theglobeandmail.com/report-on-busi… 9:03 am on Nov 21

History

Updated on Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 7:42 PM CST: Updates headline after first period.

8:47 PM: Updates headline after second period.

9:41 PM: Updates headline after third period.

9:43 PM: Adds slide show.

10:05 PM: Updates post-game copy.

10:38 PM: Post-game writethru.

10:58 PM: Corrects number of Toews assists.

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