Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

On-ice product not so hot

Jets look sloppy, ineffective, vow to get better

  • Print

It was a warm and fuzzy story that spoke of reclaiming something lost, had nationalistic undertones and provided a dandy boost to civic pride.

But the end of the opening chapter, frankly, could have used the deft touch of Disney's team of writers.

Sports has long taught us that the good guy isn't always guaranteed to get the girl, the hero doesn't always ride off into the sunset and the princess who smooches the frog in search of her prince sometimes is simply left staring back at the ugly amphibian.

The reborn Winnipeg Jets were sloppy, nervous and mistake-happy in a 5-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens Sunday in front of 15,004 fanatics jammed into every nook and cranny of the MTS Centre in what was hardly a memorable National Hockey League debut, Part II.

And, no, it was hardly how so many had hoped the script would unfold.

"Tonight was pretty special as far as a historical point of view," said Jets winger Chris Thorburn. "It's just unfortunate we couldn't match the fans' enthusiasm on the ice. When it comes down to it, it's a business. We want to win hockey games. We want to make the playoffs. And it feels like we let them down. They've been waiting for this all summer and to come out and lose 5-1 is nothing to be proud of, from our point of view."

The Jets gift-wrapped the first two goals when a Johnny Oduya pass was gobbled up and buried by Mike Cammalleri 3:05 into the contest and with Oduya pick-pocketed by Tomas Plekanec for the second marker early in the second.

"We gave up some free pizzas in the middle of the ice," said Jets' head coach Claude Noel. "The first one was a free pizza that we gave up and that's exactly what good players do: turnovers result in goals. And good players get one chance and it's in the back of the net."

Winnipeg did cut the gap to 2-1 when Nik Antropov whacked home a rebound past Carey Price early in the third, but any momentum was sapped by an interference call on Dustin Byfuglien that led to a Yannick Weber power-play goal.

Price was steady in the Habs' net, kicking out 30 of 31 shots, while Ondrej Pavelec was also beaten by Max Pacioretty and Travis Moen. Plekanec also picked up two helpers to finish with three points.

Asked afterward what good he took from the game, Jets' captain Andrew Ladd said: "Not much, to be honest with you. The biggest thing is you've got to kinda get pissed off and expect more from each other. That's not the type of team we want to be. We've got to be better going forward. We've got to get going."

Amazingly, even after a dud of a debut, the Jets earned a standing ovation at the end.

"In Barrie (his OHL team) if that had happened fans would have been leaving half-way through the second period," said rookie Mark Scheifele. "To get a standing ovation after we lose shows we're going to have the fans behind us. We should have got them the win."

"I thought I was in Montreal or something because they were cheering for Montreal at the end," added Thorburn. "It just goes to show the type of fans we have here. They understand the game of hockey and they know when to chant and get our enthusiasm and motivation up. And it worked at times."

But it didn't work often enough. And the tale, this part of it at least, hardly has a storybook finish.

 

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

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 10, 2011 C4

History

Updated on Monday, October 10, 2011 at 8:22 AM CDT: Adds art.

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

Gail Asper says museum honours her father’s vision

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A water lily in full bloom is reflected in the pond at the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden Tuesday afternoon. Standup photo. Sept 11,  2012 (Ruth Bonneville/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

Poll

Do you think Ray Rice should be given a lifetime ban from the NFL?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google