Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

'Every game is huge,' says Pavelec

  • Print

WASHINGTON — The Jets have played many games with consequences since their return to Winnipeg.

It goes to a new level tonight when they meet the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center (6 p.m. CT, TSNJets, TSN1290).

Sparked by their persistence in a 2-1 win Monday night in Buffalo, the Jets have a chance to take over the Southeast Division lead tonight.

Washington is at 52 points in 45 games; the Jets have 51 in 46 games.

An outright Washington win would clinch the division title and the Eastern Conference’s third seed for the Caps.

That wouldn’t eliminate the Jets, who trail the Rangers and Ottawa by a single point, but would bring in the need for a few miracles later in the week plus a win over Montreal in their season-finale on Thursday at home.

The team held an optional skate this morning at Verizon Center. Most regulars took the morning off, but goalie Ondrej Pavelec was on the ice.

"To have a morning skate, like usual before the game," Pavelec said this morning, even though it’s a back-to-back situation for the Jets. "I’ve done that a few times. We had a day off before the games. I didn’t want to hang out at the hotel all day long.

"I just like to go on the ice. Now I’ll have a good nap."

Jets right-winger Chris Thorburn also participated this morning.

"Coming off a big win yesterday... it’s a matter of us going back to the hotel, getting our mindset right and coming back for the game tonight against Washington and you know the implication of this game," Thorburn said. "We’ll be ready."

The rugged forward said that without career playoff experience, "This is probably one of the biggest games of my career."

Pavelec, who will start his 12th straight game tonight, didn’t want to go there.

"I wouldn’t say the biggest game," Pavelec said. "Every game is big. If we lose two games a month ago, we wouldn’t be here. So every game is huge.

"Last night was a huge game as well. It’s going to feel the same.

"I don’t think the last few years we’ve been in this situation. We really enjoy it."

He said he’s up for the challenge against the hot Capitals.

"We’ll play against a really good team," he said. "We’ve got to be ready for them.

In the season series between the Jets and Caps, it’s been visitors all the way.

Winnipeg dominated in an early-season win here in Washington, 4-2, while the Caps won all three outings at the MTS Centre, including back-to-back one-sided games in late March that sparked their climb up the standings.

The Caps have won nine of the last 10, while the Jets are 6-0-1 in their last seven.

Winnipeg will be without several regulars due to injury —defencemen Toby Enstrom and Zach Bogosian and forwards Olli Jokinen, Jim Slater and now Kyle Wellwood. Wellwood blocked a shot early in Monday’s second period and is out long-term with a hand injury, the team said.

Nik Antropov skated this morning and could come into the lineup to fill Wellwood’s spot. Antropov has been out with an injury since April 2.

Noel also hinted Monday that he could resort to seven defencemen tonight, if needed.

default video player to use on WFP

Updated on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 11:51 AM CDT: Updates with quotes from this morning's skate.

11:59 AM: Fixes typo in headline.

12:26 PM: adds video

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 Police remove dumpsters from behind homeless shelter

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Great Horned Owl that was caught up in some soccer nets in Shamrock Park in Southdale on November 16th was rehabilitated and returned to the the city park behind Shamrock School and released this afternoon. Sequence of the release. December 4, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos


Do you plan to watch Saturday's boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google