Nashville debacle a new low for Jets

'Mentally tough' club not about to panic

Advertisement

Advertise with us

ST. LOUIS -- Never, that's when.

Read this article for free:

or

Already have an account? Log in here »

To continue reading, please subscribe with this special offer:

All-Access Digital Subscription

$1.50 for 150 days*

  • Enjoy unlimited reading on winnipegfreepress.com
  • Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
  • Access News Break, our award-winning app
  • Play interactive puzzles
Continue

*Pay $1.50 for the first 22 weeks of your subscription. After 22 weeks, price increases to the regular rate of $19.00 per month. GST will be added to each payment. Subscription can be cancelled after the first 22 weeks.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/11/2015 (2575 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

ST. LOUIS — Never, that’s when.

If you’re one of the many Winnipeg Jets fans left wondering when the last time a Jets team lost as badly as this one did in Nashville Saturday night, well, your answer is the Jets had never lost by seven goals, like they did to the Predators in a 7-0 defeat.

Yes, this Jets 2.0 team has given up more goals in a single game since the franchise relocated from Atlanta to Winnipeg in 2011, most recently on Feb. 1, 2013 when Winnipeg lost 8-3 to Tampa Bay.

Mark Zaleski / The Associated Press A dejected Alexander Burmistrov leaves the ice after Saturday's humiliating loss to Nashville.

But lose by a converted touchdown? Nope, not until now.

All of which is to say we are now in uncharted territory with a Jets team that is winless in five games and has earned just three points in their last seven games.

And yet the message out of the Jets dressing room Sunday as the team practised in preparation for facing the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center tonight continued to be much the same as it’s been for more than a week now — like that side mirror on your car, this team is closer than they appear.

“We’re not looking in the mirror and panicking — that’s what the fans do,” said Jets defenceman Adam Pardy, who might or might not get into his first game in almost a month here tonight.

“It’s a tough stretch right now, for sure. But we handled adversity many, many times last year — and worse than this.

‘We’re really not far off. And by that, I mean it’s in our heads. And we’ve got the mental toughness in this room to get through this. This is not something to panic about’

— Jets defenceman Adam Pardy

“We’re really not far off. And by that, I mean it’s in our heads. And we’ve got the mental toughness in this room to get through this. This is not something to panic about.”

As Jets head coach Paul Maurice sees it, the biggest single source of his team’s problems is simply a lack of confidence, something that surely could not have been boosted by the thrashing in Nashville.

“We’ve got to get some confidence back and we certainly know that confidence is earned first,” Maurice said after a 45-minute practice session. “It’s not about pumping tires. But when you’ve lost it — and we’re certainly struggling with our confidence right now, you stop doing things as a group of five and the gap comes off and you’re not making plays and you’re not moving the puck.

“And the biggest thing is you’re just not all that quick. So we’ll get some simple parts to our game that we can build some confidence in and then we’ll build from there.”

While that sounds easy enough — distill the game down to its most basic parts and then rebuild on that foundation — it’s a lot simpler to do in an empty building on a Sunday afternoon with no opponent than it will be tonight against a St. Louis Blues team Maurice says is more formidable than even the Predators team that just dismantled the Jets.

Mark Zaleski / The Associated Press Mattias Ekholm (left) and Calle Jarnkrok make sure the Jets’ Alexander Burmistrov doesn’t get hold of the puck.

“We’re talking about Nashville, but with probably more skill up front,” said Maurice. “So this is going to be a tough test for us (today) with where we’re at. So, what we’re going to have to do is get to that game that lets us get a little bit faster. Because if you give this (Blues team) room here, you’re going to be in the same kind of game you played (Saturday night in Nashville).”

The good news, Maurice said, is there will be a lasting reward for this Jets team if and when they finally find the light at the end of this tunnel.

“Finding that confidence when you’re not feeling it, finding a way to fight through that is a great test for the leadership and for our youth. But it’s one of these things you can draw on. You can learn it and learn how to get through it and how to build confidence when you’re not feeling it.

“And then you get to hang on to that for a little while.”

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @PaulWiecek

‘So this is going to be a tough test for us (today) with where we’re at. So, what we’re going to have to do is get to that game that lets us get a little bit faster. Because if you give this (Blues) team room here, you’re going to be in the same kind of game you played (Saturday night in Nashville)’

— Jets coach Paul Maurice

Mark Zaleski / The Associated Press From left, Winnipeg Jets players' Mark Scheifele, Mark Stuart, Jacob Trouba (obscured), Blake Wheeler, Drew Stafford, and Andrew Copp sit in the penalty box during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Nashville Predators, Saturday.
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.

History

Updated on Monday, November 16, 2015 8:23 AM CST: Replaces photo, fixes cutlines

Report Error Submit a Tip

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Winnipeg Jets

LOAD MORE WINNIPEG JETS