July 6, 2015


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A Wild night for Jets

Only 15 shots on enemy goal as Winnipeg falls to .500

Zach Parise (centre) of the Minnesota Wild jumps clear of a first-period shot stopped by Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec (left), as Jets' Dustin Byfuglien looks on.
Bryan Little (18) and Andrew Ladd (16) celebrate Little's first-period power-play goal off Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding (right), as Zenon Konopka (lower left) swings his stick toward the ice in frustration.
Bryan Little of the Winnipeg Jets races in for the rebound as Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding stops a shot in the first period.
Evander Kane (9) attempts to slow down Mathew Dumba of the Minnesota Wild's as he races around the net for the puck in the first period.
The puck glances off the glove of Minnesota Wild's Jonas Brodin (25) as he scores against Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec in the first period. The goal was reviewed, and it was determined to count as a good goal.
Minnesota Wild defencemen Jonas Brodin (left) and Ryan Suter (right) protect goaltender Josh Harding as Winnipeg Jets winger Eric Tangradi battles for the puck in the first period at the Xcel Energy Center Thursday night. The Jets lost 2-1.
The Minnesota Wild's Zach Parise (left) and Dany Heatley speak on the bench during the first period.
Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec gloves a flying puck during the second period.
Nino Niederreiter of the Minnesota Wild reaches for the puck in the third period.
Zach Parise (centre) of the Minnesota Wild jumps clear of a first-period shot stopped by Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec (left), as Jets' Dustin Byfuglien looks on. - Jim Mone / The Associated Press
Bryan Little (18) and Andrew Ladd (16) celebrate Little's first-period power-play goal off Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding (right), as Zenon Konopka (lower left) swings his stick toward the ice in frustration. - Jim Mone / The Associated Press
Bryan Little of the Winnipeg Jets races in for the rebound as Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding stops a shot in the first period. - Jim Mone / The Associated Press
Evander Kane (9) attempts to slow down Mathew Dumba of the Minnesota Wild's as he races around the net for the puck in the first period. - Jim Mone / The Associated Press
The puck glances off the glove of Minnesota Wild's Jonas Brodin (25) as he scores against Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec in the first period. The goal was reviewed, and it was determined to count as a good goal. - Jim Mone / The Associated Press
Minnesota Wild defencemen Jonas Brodin (left) and Ryan Suter (right) protect goaltender Josh Harding as Winnipeg Jets winger Eric Tangradi battles for the puck in the first period at the Xcel Energy Center Thursday night. The Jets lost 2-1. - JESSE JOHNSON / USA TODAY SPORTS / REUTERS
The Minnesota Wild's Zach Parise (left) and Dany Heatley speak on the bench during the first period. - Carlos Gonzalez / Minneapolis Star Tribune / MCT
Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec gloves a flying puck during the second period. - Carlos Gonzalez / Minneapolis Star Tribune / MCT
Nino Niederreiter of the Minnesota Wild reaches for the puck in the third period. - Carlos Gonzalez / Minneapolis Star Tribune / MCT

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Winnipeg Jets fans showed up in numbers and volume at the Xcel Energy Center Thursday night, and even had, through the cleverness of the anthem singer, a chance to belt out their favourite "True North" before the game. Too bad their team's game went south.

The Jets struggled with most elements of the match against the Minnesota Wild and eventually succumbed 2-1 before 17,366 customers.

The Wild's Jonas Brodin (25), Ryan Suter (20) and Josh Harding (37) spar for the puck with the Jets' Eric Tangradi in front of the Wild's net Thursday.

JESSE JOHNSON / USA TODAY SPORTS

The Wild's Jonas Brodin (25), Ryan Suter (20) and Josh Harding (37) spar for the puck with the Jets' Eric Tangradi in front of the Wild's net Thursday.

Jim Mone / the associated press
Winnipeg�s Bryan Little swoops in for the rebound as Wild goalie Josh Harding stops a shot in the first period Thursday evening.

CP

Jim Mone / the associated press Winnipeg�s Bryan Little swoops in for the rebound as Wild goalie Josh Harding stops a shot in the first period Thursday evening.

A second straight loss staggered the Jets back to 2-2 while the Wild were collecting a first win of the season, now standing 1-1-2.

"We don't start (with the puck) so we're always checking, chasing it down," Jets coach Claude Noel said. "Regardless of which end, we're always checking.

"And you can see our puck-possession game isn't great. The early games, we had decent puck possession from our own zone to break out through the neutral zone and then down the ice, but now we're getting stuck.

"And I think a lot of those are battles on the walls."

Faceoffs, a season-worst 16 for 61, and shots on goal, just 15, were major issues on Thursday.

Again. Those have been losing propositions for Winnipeg in each of four games so far.

"Did we generate much in the offensive zone? Not anything continual," Noel said. "And through the neutral zone, very little's getting done. They clog you up pretty well."

Jets captain Andrew Ladd was lamenting the faceoff tally.

"It definitely makes the game a lot easier when you're starting out with the puck," Ladd said. "Especially on power plays, stuff like that.

"It would be nice to have a little more jump in our game, win some more battles. That'll be the key for us tomorrow, to get back to battling the right way."

 

Holding on

The game could well have been gone in the first period, as the Wild were not what you'd call opportunistic.

Defenceman Jonas Brodin did get credit for a goal when he crashed the net and his moving arm wasn't deemed enough of a directing force that put the puck back in the net.

But there were other chances, several glorious, for the home team to forge ahead by a goal or four. Jason Pominville missed the easiest one, a three-foot shot that's a gimme on most nights, while Minnesota was working a power play.

Ondrej Pavelec can get some credit for making those saves -- again -- as his Jets team was being outshot all night long.

 

Remove skeleton

For those looking for the silver linings, there was the Jets' power play on Thursday night.

After going a whole season -- albeit shortened by a labour dispute -- without a five-on-three goal, Winnipeg put one home in Thursday's first period when Wild skaters Jonas Brodin and Kyle Brodiak took penalties four seconds apart.

Toby Enstrom took the point shot that nicked the shin pad of centre Bryan Little before finding its way through Wild goalie Josh Harding.

The Jets had 10 chances last season to score in five-on-threes and cashed in on exactly none.

 

One shot away

For all their trouble, the Jets had the puck behind Harding in the last 20 seconds, but neither Bryan Little nor Ladd could find it quickly enough to score the tying goal.

"The game was still at hand, even the way we managed the last 20 minutes of the game. It was a tough way to manage the game," Noel said, pointing out two Jets penalties in the third. "We were trying to build momentum and spent time in the box.

"On the bright side of things, we have a game tomorrow and we have an opportunity to go back and get this think on the right track and get going. Because I think we can play a lot better."

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 11, 2013 C3

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Updated on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 10:00 AM CDT: Ads slideshow

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