Quaker State shakes up Jets


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PHILADELPHIA — Paul Maurice isn’t ready to slam his fist down on the panic button just yet.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 29/01/2015 (2863 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

PHILADELPHIA — Paul Maurice isn’t ready to slam his fist down on the panic button just yet.

That said, a bag skate or some healthy doses of tough love might be in the Winnipeg Jets’ immediate future after they went 0-for-Pennsylvania this week after Thursday’s 5-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center that brought out a lot of ugly in their game.

But to truly decipher what’s gone south with the club this week, the trail of evidence actually traces back prior to the all-star break and the five-game winning streak the Jets carried into the mid-winter NHL holiday.

Tom Mihalek / The Associated Press Philadelphia Flyers goalie Steve Mason (35) centre, makes a stick save on a shot as Winnipeg Jets' Dustin Byfuglien (33) and Flyers' Nick Schultz (55) watch Thursday in Philadelphia.

Jets coach Paul Maurice admitted as much post-game Thursday, hinting some of their flaws were being masked by all the wins and back-slapping before the break.

“This is what we’ll deal with in the room and I won’t be able to deal with outside of the room,” said Maurice. “It wasn’t that good before the break and it’s not as far off as you think here.

“We’re not quite as quick, maybe, as when we went into the break. It always feel more extreme than it is. It’s just not that extreme. The games are a lot tighter than they feel. We had areas to improve before that are a little exposed right now.”

The loss drops the Jets to 26-16-8 and marks the first time they have lost two consecutive since falling to Minnesota and the New York Islanders on Dec. 29 and 31.

WAVE AFTER WAVE AFTER… Michael Hutchinson surrendered four goals for just the second time in his days as a Jet — and second since Jan. 11 — but if not for the young netminder the Flyers could have very easily reached double digits.

The Jets were awful five-on-five, giving up a number of breakaways, two-on-ones and three-on-ones. And that is what has to be most disconcerting for Maurice & Co., for the defensive foundation has been so critical in the team’s turnaround this season.

“There were far too many odd-man rushes,” said Mathieu Perreault, who had both Jets goals.

“We’ve been playing so well lately and the last two games, we kind of got away from our game. But there’s nothing we can do now. We’ve got to focus on the next one and try to focus on what we’re good at.

“They were quick. They jumped on us and they were moving their feet. We kind of got flat-footed a couple times. They were coming down on two-on-ones. Even when we were breaking out, we were kind of flat-footed and couldn’t generate much. We’re going to have to get back in shape and get our feet moving.”

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: The Jets iced what would be called their Top 6 defensive crew with the return of Mark Stuart to the lineup (T.J. Galiardi was waived to make room). Stuart was paired with Jacob Trouba, while Dustin Byfuglien remained with Ben Chiarot and Toby Enstrom continued alongside Zach Bogosian. Remember, prior to this point the blue-line has battled through injuries all season and Byfuglien began the season up front, with Chiarot in the minors. But Thursday’s handiwork was hardly a collective effort to have Jets fans planning post-season parties.

Asked if there might be an adjustment period, Maurice countered by firing a warning shot across the bow of those in the lineup: Jay Harrison, Paul Postma and Adam Pardy — the three defencemen sitting in the press box — would kill to get back in the lineup again.

“There’s different ice-time allotments for players, but they all play important minutes,” said Maurice. “Maybe it will take them… we’ve got some guys who have been off for awhile… coming back. These games will all get faster, a little more physical, a little more grind to them. I think we’ll be all right.”

NEXT: The Jets were wheels up immediately after the game and are scheduled to practice today in Winnipeg before Saturday’s home date against the Dallas Stars. Then it’s right back on the road for a back-to-backs in Calgary and Vancouver.

“We’ve played pretty well,” said Maurice. “We had a tough trip. We’ll get back at it when we get home.”


Twitter: @WFPEdTait


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Updated on Thursday, January 29, 2015 6:50 PM CST: Updates score.

Updated on Thursday, January 29, 2015 7:45 PM CST: Updates score, adds photo

Updated on Thursday, January 29, 2015 8:42 PM CST: Updates score.

Updated on Thursday, January 29, 2015 9:03 PM CST: Associated Press writethru

Updated on Thursday, January 29, 2015 10:15 PM CST: Local writethru, slideshow.

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