Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

A loss they can take

Jets upbeat after defeat in shootout to powerhouse St. Louis

  • Print

ST. LOUIS -- They still have their flaws and some nasty warts. And the identity they want to create -- a lickety-split-quick team that is a beast to play against -- isn't consistently revealed enough yet to slap them with the label permanently.

But the Winnipeg Jets that head into the Olympic break today look a heckuva lot different than the crew that christened 2014 with five straight losses. And that was never more evident than in Saturday afternoon's 4-3 shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues in front of 19,052 at the Scottrade Center.

Playing against one of the NHL's real heavyweights, the Jets stepped into the middle of the ring and traded blow after blow, rallying three times to tie the contest and killing off eight power-play chances en route to picking up a coveted single point.

The Jets finished their road trip 2-1-1 and improved to 9-3-1 under new head coach Paul Maurice -- a man who was positively beaming afterward.

"We played a hell of a game in here on the road," said Maurice.

"Down three times and battled back, good power play, big power-play goal (to tie the game at 3-3), fantastic penalty killing and they got a few lucky hops around the net.

"We had some good looks. We played a real solid game. I was happy with it. We played a hell of a game in here. I don't put any stock in the shootout deciding how we played. We played a great game."


The Blues entered the contest having gone 0-for-10 on the power play in their two previous games but still sporting one of the loop's deadliest units -- tied for second overall. But the Jets penalty-kill crew killed off eight advantages totalling 11 minutes and four seconds -- including a 61-second two-man power play -- while limiting St. Louis to just 10 shots during that stretch.

As well, the Jets' own power play, which hadn't scored in four games, got a critical marker from Dustin Byfuglien with 6:17 remaining (Mark Scheifele's first goal came just as another Blues penalty expired) and showed some life against what had been the NHL's fourth-best PK.

"Our power play, I thought, did a good job tonight and did a good job when we needed to," said Jets centre Bryan Little. "It's something we might have been missing in the past... it basically got us one point tonight."

"We were trying to do things faster," added Maurice. "We changed some personnel as we went on. But I liked the looks we were getting. That's a real good penalty-killing team that we faced. The power play is getting faster."


The Jets fell to 5-5 in the shootout as T.J. Oshie and Vladimir Tarasenko scored in the skills competition while Brian Elliott bested Bryan Little and Andrew Ladd. Winnipeg opened the season absolutely loving the shootout, going 5-1 in its first six opportunities, but has since gone 0-4.

Even more telling: In the last three shootout losses, the Jets are just 1-for-8 in attempts, the lone goal by Little against the Minnesota Wild on Nov. 23.

So while they were praising the format earlier in the season, the same tune wasn't being sung late Saturday afternoon.

Mark Stuart: "It always sucks losing in the shootout. It's kind of a kick in the nuts."

Little: "It's never fun losing that way. I felt like we worked hard all game, battled to stay in the game and fight our way back. Those are the times you hate a shootout, when you lose a game like that and you feel like the team really worked and played a good game. I feel like we deserved to win."

Scheifele: "It definitely sucks to lose in a shootout after a hard-fought game like that. But we know we played a good game and to have it end in a shootout is a tough way to end it."


The Jets rebounded after a sloppy and sluggish effort in Thursday's 4-2 loss in Washington to grab five of a possible eight points on the trip. Just as important, they head into the break still in the playoff discussion.

When the Jets do return to action on Feb. 27, four of their next five will be at the MTS Centre.

"We're in every game," said goaltender Al Montoya, who stopped 23 of the 26 shots he faced. "We're bringing our game every single night. There may be times in the game where you're not making things happen. But that's going to happen. You hang in there, you battle and we did that on the road trip."

NOTES: The Jets announced Saturday they have re-assigned defenceman Zach Redmond and forward Eric O'Dell to the AHL's St. John's IceCaps. Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 9, 2014 B7

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


Key of Bart: Another Kick At A Paywall

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Down the Hatch- A pelican swallows a fresh fish that it caught on the Red River near Lockport, Manitoba. Wednesday morning- May 01, 2013   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Susan and Gary Harrisonwalk their dog Emma on a peaceful foggy morning in Assiniboine Park – Standup photo– November 27, 2011   (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