Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

'It's our fault': Pavelec

Goalie steaming after contest

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Ondrej Pavelec looked like a man who wanted to put his fist through a wall or crack a stick over his knee in frustration.

Or maybe both just to clear the anger from his system.

The Winnipeg Jet netminder was visibly upset after Monday's sloppy 6-4 loss to the Ottawa Senators that -- aside from the obvious impact on the standings -- would best be described as an absolute defensive nightmare.

The Jets surrendered six even-strength goals and lost despite out-shooting the Sens 48-35.

"Again... a wide-open game by both sides. That's going to kill you at this time of year," said Pavelec. "This hockey is not going to take you to the playoffs. Even if we make it, if we're going to play like that everybody's going to kill us.

"A lot of turnovers, there's got to be more responsibility there. You tie the game with three minutes left and everybody's so excited at a time when you need every point and then they score like 10 seconds later.

"It wasn't just about that one, there were a lot of turnovers all game long. I don't know... I don't know any more. We've lost so many games like that this year. At the end of the day, it's our fault. At the end of the day if we're not going to make it we can look in the mirror and say, 'It's our fault.' It's nobody else."

The Jets fell behind 2-0, rallied to tie the game at 2-2, fell behind 3-2, then tied it, fell behind 4-3 and tied it again with 2:57 left in the contest.

But then, just to sum up their defensive effort on the night, gave up the winner just 24 seconds later when they were caught running around in their own zone.

And that's a scene Pavelec has seen play out far too often this season.

"You fight for the playoffs... this isn't the hockey that's going to take us to the playoffs," Pavelec said. "This is the hockey like summer hockey, exhibition games. We had a lot of scoring chances, a lot of shots to the net. Offensively I think we were good. But defensively it's about five guys on the ice... I don't know what to say. It's a tough loss, but it's been like that before. The last game against Carolina it was exactly the same game.

"Wednesday's another game but I don't know if we're still there or not. I didn't see the stats. The Rangers coming up, another hard team to play against and if we're going to play like that, they're going to kill us again. It's pretty simple."

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 27, 2012 C2

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