WEATHER ALERT

Hutchinson’s first start a letdown

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WHILE Jets Nation seems to be monitoring every save and every word about the team's goaltenders early in the season, they will find the team right on the pace of the recent past at three goals against per game, give or take a fraction.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/10/2014 (3033 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

WHILE Jets Nation seems to be monitoring every save and every word about the team’s goaltenders early in the season, they will find the team right on the pace of the recent past at three goals against per game, give or take a fraction.

It’s nine goals against through three games and three of those goals against belongs to Michael Hutchinson, who got the call to play in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Hutchinson’s first start of the season ended badly, just 2:03 into the second period when Tanner Pearson’s shot slipped through him for L.A.’s 3-0 lead.

Hutchinson faced 13 shots in his 22-plus minutes and didn’t get too many confident words from his head coach, Paul Maurice, in a roundabout answer about his decision to send Ondrej Pavelec into the net.

“I thought we were playing with enough compete to come back in the game,” Maurice said. “I didn’t like the two (goals). I liked some of the saves.

“I wanted to make sure if we were going to get one or two to go (in) for us, that we (would have a chance). Certainly, L.A. is not an easy team to (come back against) and I wanted to give us a chance to do it.”

Hutchinson didn’t put up an argument after the game. “The third goal wasn’t the best,” the goalie said. “It was a crucial point of the game. You can’t argue with the coach’s decision on that.”

Tyler Toffoli’s first goal of the game less than seven minutes in started the snowball rolling down the hill, though that one was a case of the Jets being unable to offer their netminder any assistance.

“I battled hard on that one and the next one was a shot rebound. Obviously I’ll have to look back on video and see about that,” Hutchinson said. “The third one, I just thought I had it, but it ended up squeaking behind me. Nine times out of 10 I have that shot. It was just frustrating but at the same time there’s nothing I can do now.”

 

High praise for Lowry

AFTER 11-plus minutes of ice time in his third NHL game Sunday night, Jets rookie left-winger Adam Lowry got some encouraging words from his coach despite the team’s 1-2 start on the road.

“I liked his game tonight,” Maurice said. “We moved him up and (he was) on the body and I think he’ll get more comfortable. It seems, and it was true at the games I saw at the American League level, the more physical the game, the more into it he is, the better he is.

“It’s a starting point. I think there’s more there. But for a first three games in the NHL, three fairly tough buildings to go into to play, I liked his game.”

The coach also went out of his way to point out he was pleased with what he saw from defenceman Paul Postma against the Kings. The coach was not asked directly about Postma.

“I liked Paul Postma’s game,” Maurice said. “Tonight, he was the one guy on the back end that moved the puck pretty effectively.”

 

Blake the brawler

AFTER being engaged in a second scrap in three games, Jets right-winger Blake Wheeler was in no mood to talk about fisticuffs on Sunday night.

He received an instigator penalty for his actions on Sunday but he was quick to defend it, as quick as he was to confront L.A. defenceman Robyn Regehr.

Regehr put a code-breaking knee check on Jets centre Mark Scheifele during Sunday’s second period.

“I don’t want to talk about it. Not really,” Wheeler said. “I just stood up for a teammate. That’s it. That’s really all it was. I felt like it was knee-on-knee. So I think if it was the other way, somebody would do the same thing. So no, I do not think I overreacted.”

Maurice supported Wheeler’s reaction.

“I like his fight and his compete, know what I mean?” the coach said. “That happens fast. So when you talk about fights in hockey, that happened real fast. He didn’t like the hit. Nobody did. And you want that reaction, for me, rather than turning around and screaming at the referee for a call.

“Clearly, we don’t need somebody else to come out and answer for it. It happens then and it’s dealt with then. I like how hard he plays, how hard he competes and it’s a good example for our team.”

 

Killers on the road

THE Jets will bring home a perfect penalty-killing chart. In the three road games against Arizona, San Jose and Los Angeles, the team killed off all 14 disadvantages it faced.

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

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