Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Jets' confidence sky-high after third straight win

Learning how to manage games, how to win

  • Print

It's the kind of mini-streak that will raise eyebrows, but hardly send shock waves through the National Hockey League neighbourhood.

Still, say this about the Winnipeg Jets' third straight victory Saturday afternoon at the MTS Centre -- an occasionally dominant, sometimes sloppy 6-4 decision over the Philadelphia Flyers: The most powerful after-effect of this little run might be felt within the team's own walls.

It's about confidence. And this squad which looked so lost after losses to Florida and Columbus just over a week ago now has some jump in its step after victories over heavyweights Tampa, Washington and Philadelphia that has made their record of 8-9-3 a little less ugly on the eyes.

"Three wins in the last three games... it's been fun in our building in front of our fans to show that we can beat some of the best teams in the NHL," said goaltender Ondrej Pavelec, who made his 12th consecutive start in the Jets' net and kicked out 27 of the 31 shots he faced.

"We had great teams to play against and I thought we did a very good job this week," added Dustin Byfuglien, named the game's first star after a three-point effort. "Winning is everything. It shows we can play with any team. All three teams were top-notch. It's chemistry, learning how everyone is going. We got Fehrsy (Eric Fehr) back tonight... We're getting in the groove of things and that's something we need.

"We're just building off hard work and simple play."

Using the home crowd as energy -- again -- the Jets built a 3-0 lead in the first period on two goals by Bryan Little and one by Andrew Ladd, two of the three on the power play, and led 5-1 midway through the game. But penalty trouble -- again -- allowed the Flyers to get back up off the canvas and deliver some punches of their own, cutting the Jets lead to 5-4 before Nik Antropov's empty netter with 1:14 remaining ended the nail-biting and sealed the deal.

Winnipeg also got a short-handed goal from Jim Slater and a power-play marker from Byfuglien while the Flyers were led by Scott Hartnell and Matt Read with two goals each. Hartnell added an assist for a three-point afternoon.

"We're playing simple and we're out-working teams," said Little, who now has four goals in the last six games. "These weren't easy teams that we were playing. They were tough teams, teams that could give us some real trouble. This is just going to give us more confidence."

The Jets head out on a three-game jaunt to Washington, Carolina and Boston this week before returning home for a run of 13 of 15 at the MTS Centre that could very well define how their 2011-12 season is remembered. But right now it's about baby steps for a squad still transforming and the footprints left this week were pretty significant.

"I think our group understands better how to win, how to play to win and manage the game better," said head coach Claude Noel. "We've still got some areas (to work on), but this was pretty good.

"We're playing as a group. It's a team that is enjoying winning. We were frustrated at the beginning because I think we thought we could be a little bit better than what we were. We're watching a team think this is how we can play. It's a confidence thing.

"We're managing, we're listening and we're paying attention. I think it's just a group coming together."

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

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 20, 2011 B4

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

    No

  • 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 winnipegfreepress.com. 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 winnipegfreepress.com. 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.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Keri Latimer looks for beauty in the dark and the spaces between the notes

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • 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
  • A Canada goose protects her nest full of eggs Monday on campus at the University of Manitoba- Standup photo- Apr 30, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who are the real Bombers?

View Results

Ads by Google