Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Wheeler working overtime

Has played key role in all three Jet wins in OT this season

  • Print

Blake WHEELER is certainly developing a flair for the dramatic.

The Winnipeg Jets big right-winger set up the overtime winner Saturday afternoon, racing around Oiler defenceman Jeff Petry -- only to fail in stuffing his attempt behind Ilya Bryzgalov -- before feeding a streaking Jacob Trouba for the decisive goal.

"I've started to play with Troubs enough to know his knack for getting in those scoring areas is awesome," said Wheeler. "You could see the momentum of everyone swaying and going with me. The goalie was with me, both the defencemen were with me. Once I saw out of the corner of my eye that he was streaking down the side I was damned if that puck was going to get behind me (as Petry attempted to clear a loose puck).

"I just really wanted to get him the opportunity to put it home after missing the empty net myself. He sure barked out for it. I'm sure everyone in the province heard him on that one."

Interestingly, the Jets have won three games in OT this year and Wheeler has had his fingerprints all over each of them -- setting up Mark Scheifele for the winner in Tampa on Dec. 7, scoring the winner in Colorado on Dec. 29 and then finding Trouba on Saturday.

500 AND COUNTING: Dustin Byfuglien appeared in his 500th NHL game against the Oilers. And while he was held off the scoresheet, he did finish plus-1, manned the point on the power play, played some minutes shorthanded and finished with three hits, a blocked shot and two takeaways.

So while some saw the shift from defence to forward as a way for the Jets to showcase Byfuglien before the trade deadline, there's also no mistaking the new coach's affinity for how unique the big man is as a player.

"I think this guy's a good player," said Paul Maurice. "A really, really good player... He's that good. I liked his game."

UNDERSTANDING HOME ICE: Maurice has been behind the bench at the MTS Centre before, but with two games under his belt as the Jets' boss, he's also developing an understanding for what the crowd can bring. He also was impressed with how his crew didn't stray from the game plan.

"This is what I like about the game: We've got this building and it's a bit of a powder keg," he said. "If we can get a goal in the first five minutes this place will rock for the rest of the night. But what we didn't do tonight in a 0-0 game or when we're down one, was open up our game or change. You know that run-and-gun game we've seen? All the teams do it, but tonight we didn't. Keep it focussed, stay with what we're doing, and we were really good with that."

QUOTABLE: "I don't think they've looked like rookies for a long time. They're both playing like they've been in the league for a while. They're both comfortable and confident right now. It's just another good game by them tonight." -- Bryan Little on Mark Scheifele and Trouba.

CAUTION: SIZE LARGE OBSTRUCTIONS AHEAD: The Jets deserve full credit for their current three-game win streak, decisions over Phoenix, Calgary and now Edmonton. But they are in Anaheim and San Jose next week and, following a home date with Toronto, Chicago. Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 19, 2014 B5

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


  • 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 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 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.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Christmas Cheer Board hamper kickoff

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS June 23, 2011 Local - A Monarch butterfly is perched on a flower  in the newly opened Butterfly Garden in Assiniboine Park Thursday morning.
  • An American White Pelican takes flight from the banks of the Red River in Lockport, MB. A group of pelicans is referred to as a ‘pod’ and the American White Pelican is the only pelican species to have a horn on its bill. May 16, 2012. SARAH O. SWENSON / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos


Who has been the Jets best defenceman so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google