Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Booooo! Hisssss! Jets heard it all

And they say they don't blame you

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They heard you.

Thursday, fans at the MTS Centre were disappointed and shocked when their Winnipeg Jets fell 4-0 to the Washington Capitals.

Friday, many Jets faithful went from disappointed to dissatisfied and let their team hear it as a 6-1 defeat wore on.

"I would not expect the fans to be happy about us losing two in a row at home to the same team," defenceman Ron Hainsey said Saturday after the Jets met at the MTS Centre to discuss preparations for tonight's home game against the Tampa Bay Lightning (7 p.m., TSN Jets, TSN 1290). "How it plays out is not really of much concern."

To some extent, the Jets are circling the wagons and trying to keep away the mounting criticism from the doubleheader loss.

"It's something we can't really control," said Jets centre Bryan Little. "A 6-1 game, you expect them to react the way they did. They obviously pay money to come see us play and they want to see us do well and see us win.

"It's been a tough couple of games. They pay money to come watch us and they can react however they want to."

Jets captain Andrew Ladd said fans' reaction was no surprise.

"As a player, you realize they pay the money and they support you and it's their right to do it if they want," Ladd said. "They've been great for us since we've been here and you can't complain."

As an aside, Ladd's Friday night included a post-game extended interview nationally on Hockey Night in Canada.

"Not the greatest timing but that's part of the gig," Ladd said Saturday. "As a player, you have to stand up and talk whether you win or lose, whether things are good or things are going bad.

"I'll go home and hang out with my son and that helps put things in perspective and gives you a little refresh. Then I'll come back (today) excited to play Tampa."

Jets coach Claude Noel, fresh off two nights of a slow burn behind his team's bench, seemed dismayed with the question of the fans' reaction to the losses.

"I don't know that it has a big effect on the team," he said. "Players don't take it personal. I think our fans have been supportive. They have the right to be able to do what they do. They feel the same type of passion that they've always felt.

"If that something is driven by frustration, they do things that entertain themselves I suppose. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. They have the right to do that. It's always disappointing. It's not like it doesn't affect you but I think we all understand it."

The cold light of Saturday morning brought Jets defenceman Zach Bogosian to his own opinion.

"They're passionate fans," he said. "They care as much as we do. It's not like we're in here laughing about it."

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 24, 2013 B2

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