July 6, 2015


Record: 43 – 26 – 13

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Start of third the killer

Jets make fools of selves with horrible play to begin frame

John Woods / the canadian press
Dallas Stars� Valeri Nichushkin scores on beleaguered Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec.

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John Woods / the canadian press Dallas Stars� Valeri Nichushkin scores on beleaguered Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec.

Point an accusatory finger at Anthony Peluso and his awful five-minute major penalty with the game tied, if so inclined. Go ahead and single out the bad line changes and sloppy defensive zone coverage.

John Woods / the canadian press
Winnipeg Jets winger Matt Halischuk scores on Dallas Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen to tie the game 1-1 in the first period on Saturday.

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John Woods / the canadian press Winnipeg Jets winger Matt Halischuk scores on Dallas Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen to tie the game 1-1 in the first period on Saturday.

But if you want to get a real sense for the level of the Winnipeg Jets' frustration after Saturday afternoon's 6-4 loss to the Dallas Stars -- and a potential turning point -- Blake Wheeler offered up a different take.

And it was as much about their collective response in the third period when trailing 5-3 against a division rival as anything.

"We were terrible in the first period after kind of a gut-wrenching loss against Colorado," said the Jets right-winger. "Normally our team has been better after we've had tough losses; we've responded pretty well most of the year. That first period, we were terrible. That's inexcusable. We fought back and got ourselves back in the game. I don't even look at it so much as the two power-play goals at the end of the period. That's fine, 5-3.

"How do we start the third? We give, like, two two-on-ones, two breakaways. It's embarrassing. It's just no respect for each other, for Monty (Al Montoya). He goes in there and he's cold and that's what we do? You just can't believe it."

Indeed, on a day in which the Jets trotted out Ondrej Pavelec bobbleheads the club's No. 1 netminder never made it to the third period, yanked after surrendering five goals on 24 shots. Pavelec has been beaten for eight goals on 50 shots in his last five periods, a .840 save percentage.

"We know we didn't play our game, that's the biggest thing," said Mark Scheifele. "We didn't play our best, we got away from our game plan. It's unacceptable. We need a good bounceback game against Columbus (on Monday).

"They had more chances than they had goals. They had a ton of breakaways and chances off bad D-zone coverage. It's something that's unacceptable and we have to all be accountable for that. Our goalies kept us in... with the chances they had it could have been way more than that.

"It's the will to want to play defence, that's the biggest thing. We have to want to be reliable in our own end and bear down.

HOME WOES: The Jets are 0-3-3 in their last six at home, their last win a 3-2 shootout decision over Philadelphia on Nov. 15. Since Year 1 of their rebirth, when they were 23-13-5 at the MTS Centre, the Jets have gone just 20-18-5 at home. And, dating back to last season's slump to the finish line, Winnipeg is 10-13-4 in their last 27 home games.

SENSATIONAL SEGUIN: Stars' centre Tyler Seguin has scored five goals in six periods at the MTS Centre this season, including the game winner Saturday.

'NO PLACESSRq: Stars defenceman Alex Goligoski suffered a deep cut near his right eye after being hit from behind by Peluso, but came back to finish the game.

"It was gutsy of him to come back," said Stars head coach Lindy Ruff said. "Let's face it, that hit has no place in the game."

NO. 1 AND COUNTING: Colton Sceviour's third-period goal Saturday was the first of his NHL career, coming in just his third game after being called up from the AHL, where he led the league in scoring with 18 goals in 26 games.

"It's confidence," Sceviour told The Dallas Morning News. "I think I've been known to have slow starts, take a little while to get going, but once things get going they go well. This year I've been fortunate that things have gone well right off the bat, and when things go well, things start going better even more often. The confidence builds and snowballs. I've been feeling confident, and things have been going my way.

"I've played all over in my five years (in the minors), and I can fit anywhere, if there is room."

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

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 15, 2013 B2

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