‘We lost again’: Little knows moral victories mean little


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ST. LOUIS — Give Bryan Little credit.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/11/2015 (2692 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

ST. LOUIS — Give Bryan Little credit.

On a night Little’s Winnipeg Jets teammates — and even head coach Paul Maurice — were talking about moral victories and the pride of effort in a 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues, Little was having none of it.

“It was a better effort but it doesn’t make it any easier to swallow — we lost again,” said Little, who had a goal and a team-high four shots against the Blues on a night he was clearly the best Jets player on the ice.

“But it doesn’t make it better — or make this trip feel better — that we put in an effort. Sometimes, it’s just not enough.”

The loss to St. Louis sent the Jets home from a much-hyped four-game road trip through the Central Division a perfectly awful 0-4. Add to that two earlier losses — a regulation loss to Philadelphia at home and a shootout loss to Ottawa — and Winnipeg has now lost six in a row.

So yeah, full marks to Little for recognizing the hollowness of any moral victories and seeing his coach’s post-game comments for what they were — the very best efforts of a man trying to find something, anything, positive upon which he can build a turnaround.

“It was absolutely a bounceback (game),” Maurice insisted. “We needed a better result to feel good about it, but certainly it was there.”

As Maurice saw it, the Jets played faster, more confidently and more effectively than they had in awhile. Yes, they trailed the Blues 2-0 after the first period, but Maurice said he felt Winnipeg had out-chanced St. Louis 5-3 in the period.

That’s an interesting take on a period in which the Jets had just one shot through the first 11 minutes and St. Louis ultimately outshot Winnipeg 11-3, but Maurice was adamant he felt his team gave the Blues all they could handle right from the opening faceoff.

“We had quite a bit more offence than we’ve had in the past here,” said Maurice. “So I’ve got no fault. It was a hard game for our guys to find some energy in based on our road trip. But they did.”

Maurice also had praise for Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba, who got into the second fight of his career against Blues forward Troy Brouwer midway through the second period.

Trouba held his own and the scrap seemed to give his teammates a lift.

“Troy Brouwer can handle himself,” said Maurice. “Whether there’s fighting in the game or not, I don’t care much. But being that there is fighting in the game, I like to see the intensity out of that young man.

“He’s started to pick up that part of his game and I think he’s going to develop into a guy that will play a bit more of a game like that. I was happy for him.”

Maurice’s lineup changes for yesterday’s game paid some immediate dividends. Forward Anthony Peluso, who was inserted into the lineup in place of Nic Petan, picked up an assist, as did forward Mathieu Perreault, who was shuffled to the top line with Little and Blake Wheeler.

Maurice said he liked what he saw out of defenceman Adam Pardy, who was paired with Dustin Byfuglien. “It’s tough for Adam to come in and play (against) two pretty good offensive units that they put out on us. I thought he did a good job.”

It was Pardy’s first game action since Oct. 18.


Twitter: @PaulWiecek

Paul Wiecek

Paul Wiecek
Reporter (retired)

Paul Wiecek was born and raised in Winnipeg’s North End and delivered the Free Press -- 53 papers, Machray Avenue, between Main and Salter Streets -- long before he was first hired as a Free Press reporter in 1989.

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