September 1, 2015


Sports

Just don't have enough to win

Jets can't find a way to finish the job against the Canucks

Winnipeg Jets defenceman Zach Bogosian (right) checks Vancouver Canucks' Jannik Hansen into the boards during the first period. (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec (right) lets in a shot by Brad Richardson (not shown) as Jannik Hansen watches. (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Brad Richardson (centre) and David Booth (right) of the Vancouver Canucks celebrate Richardson's goal as Winnipeg Jets defenceman Mark Stuart looks on. (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Jannik Hansen (right) of the Vancouver Canucks tips the puck wide of Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec. (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec uses his stick to deflect a shot by Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler wide of the goal during the first period. (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd lines up for a faceoff during the first period. (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Winnipeg Jets forward Devin Setoguchi (left) and Vancouver Canucks' Brad Richardson collide during the first period. (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Referee Ian Walsh (centre) is knocked to the ice after Winnipeg Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba (left) and Vancouver Canucks' Dale Weise collided during the second period. (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Winnipeg Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba (left) and Chris Thorburn watch an airborne puck during the second period. (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane (right) and Mark Scheifele celebrate Kane's goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the second period. (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Winnipeg Jets forward Devin Setoguchi (left) and Vancouver Canucks' Andrew Alberts collide during the second period. (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele (centre) falls on Vancouver Canucks goalie Eddie Lackas Andrew Alberts (right) tries to pull him out of the net during the second period. (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Vancouver Canucks goalie Eddie Lack makes a glove save against the Winnipeg Jets during the second period. (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Winnipeg Jets defenceman Zach Bogosian (right) checks Vancouver Canucks' Jannik Hansen into the boards during the first period. - (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec (right) lets in a shot by Brad Richardson (not shown) as Jannik Hansen watches. - (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Brad Richardson (centre) and David Booth (right) of the Vancouver Canucks celebrate Richardson's goal as Winnipeg Jets defenceman Mark Stuart looks on. - (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Jannik Hansen (right) of the Vancouver Canucks tips the puck wide of Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec. - (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec uses his stick to deflect a shot by Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler wide of the goal during the first period. - (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd lines up for a faceoff during the first period. - (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Winnipeg Jets forward Devin Setoguchi (left) and Vancouver Canucks' Brad Richardson collide during the first period. - (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Referee Ian Walsh (centre) is knocked to the ice after Winnipeg Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba (left) and Vancouver Canucks' Dale Weise collided during the second period. - (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Winnipeg Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba (left) and Chris Thorburn watch an airborne puck during the second period. - (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane (right) and Mark Scheifele celebrate Kane's goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the second period. - (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Winnipeg Jets forward Devin Setoguchi (left) and Vancouver Canucks' Andrew Alberts collide during the second period. - (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele (centre) falls on Vancouver Canucks goalie Eddie Lackas Andrew Alberts (right) tries to pull him out of the net during the second period. - (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Vancouver Canucks goalie Eddie Lack makes a glove save against the Winnipeg Jets during the second period. - (DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

VANCOUVER -- If they knew they could officially call them growing pains -- a term which implies there will be actual growth -- then maybe the Winnipeg Jets could handle a mix of frustration and disappointment churning in their stomach.

But that's not how it works in pro sports, and especially in the National Hockey League.

Canucks' right-winger Brad Richardson (left) celebrates Chris Tanev's third-period game-winning goal against the Jets Sunday night in Vancouver.

DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Canucks' right-winger Brad Richardson (left) celebrates Chris Tanev's third-period game-winning goal against the Jets Sunday night in Vancouver.

Brad Richardson (left) and David Booth celebrate Richardson's tip-in power-play goal against the Jets during the first period in Vancouver.

CP

Brad Richardson (left) and David Booth celebrate Richardson's tip-in power-play goal against the Jets during the first period in Vancouver.

While the consensus was the Jets were deserving of a better fate in Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena -- they controlled the game for long stretches in the second and parts of the third -- the bottom line remains the same:

'It's been the same story for our team for a little bit. We play well for portions of the game and we have that mindset that we're going to pressure and stick to the game plan for extended periods even, but we've got to find a way to have that mentality and stay strong throughout the course of the game...'

-- Winnipeg Jets winger Evander Kane

They just aren't quite good enough to be considered part of the playoff discussion.

"It's been the same story for our team for a little bit," said Evander Kane, who notched the Jets' lone goal. "We play well for portions of the game and we have that mindset that we're going to pressure and stick to the game plan for extended periods even, but we've got to find a way to have that mentality and stay strong with that mentality throughout the course of the game and not be satisfied with where we're at in the game.

"They scored a power-play goal and for us to respond with one of our own was big. After that, we needed to respond. We had some opportunities to score but I felt like we didn't push the pace the way we needed to in order to win the game.

"We've played in a lot of one-goal games and unfortunately fell on the other side of a lot of those games. It's something that we can't be satisfied with. We're a team that skates really well and we need to use that to our (advantage). We're big, but do we play physical all the time? I don't know. That's something we need to use to our advantage as well."

The loss drops the Jets, who will play their third game in four nights today in Edmonton, to 16-17-5. It also comes on a night when they could have gained some ground on the Minnesota Wild, who fell 4-1 to the New York Rangers.

 

NOT ENOUGH

The Jets are now 9-8-5 in one-goal games and the frustration is starting to wear thin on a crew which hasn't posted consecutive wins since Nov. 25-27 against the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders.

"We carried the play, but there's a difference between carrying the play and finishing on your plays," said Jets coach Claude Noel. "It isn't about scoring chances, it's about goals and finishing. I thought we played a pretty good road game. We were into the game. We battled, we were taking things to them. We just couldn't close out the game. That was the disappointing part."

The Canucks, now 9-1-1 in their last 11, got their first goal with one second left on a power play, with Brad Richardson tipping a shot past Ondrej Pavelec. And after Kane evened the score, the Jets dominated but couldn't beat Eddie Lack, who came in out of the bullpen to relieve Roberto Luongo.

 

THE WINNER

Former Manitoba Moose D-man Chris Tanev gobbled up a puck in the Jets' zone and blasted it by Pavelec midway through the third -- a goal that came completely against the flow. But again, that's the difference between a team that is struggling to get to the playoff line and one that is now 22-11-6.

"There were something like three guys in front of me," said Pavelec of the winner. "I had a piece of it... it hit my shoulder and went into the net.

"Every loss is frustrating, especially because we've lost so many games in the third period. Those teams, you make a mistake, they score goals. It's a tough building to play. They're a really good team.

"We have to focus on what we're doing and how we want to play. We have to go game by game and just focus on ourselves, because nobody else is going to help us."

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

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 23, 2013 C1

History

Updated on Monday, December 23, 2013 at 9:27 AM CST: Replaces photo, adds slideshow

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