Pavelec does his best to shun spotlight after third straight win
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This article was published 20/03/2015 (2818 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
HE heard his name chanted — not cursed — from all corners of the MTS Centre and has had his teammates stepping up to sing his praises over the last week or so.
But if we’ve learned anything about Ondrej Pavelec during his four years tending goal for the Winnipeg Jets, it’s this: the man certainly knows how to step out the spotlight should it ever shine on his mug.
And so it was late Thursday night in the Jets dressing room after a spectacular performance in which he stopped 32 of 33 shots from the St. Louis Blues to extend the team’s win streak to three games. It was the first time the Czech vet started three straight since November and he was steady again in the win.
“It’s two points,” said Pavelec with a shrug. “We were down in the third period… we just kept pushing. We hit the post three times, finally tied the game and won it in the shootout. It’s a big win for us.”
Big? This one was colossal for the Jets in their push to a playoff berth. And the fact Pavelec has been in the net for the latest run is dripping in storylines. After all, he had lost the No. 1 chores to Michael Hutchinson and has since snatched them back, it would seem.
Over the last three games he has a .955 save percentage, having stopped 85 of 89 shots on goal, and the three-game win streak marks a season high.
Asked later what the win does for the team, Pavelec repeated a common refrain.
“It’s two points, that’s pretty much it,” he said. “If you look at the standings, it’s really tight. We battle with L.A. and those really good teams. It just means two points.”
STAFFORD STARS: The Jets got more solid work from Drew Stafford, who tied the game late in the third period and also scored in the shootout.
His contributions have been every bit as big as Tyler Myers since coming over in the blockbuster trade with Buffalo.
In fact, he’s been so good, he seems to have found a permanent home — as permanent as line combos are in hockey — working on the left side of Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler.
“It’s easy when you have the group that we do,” said Stafford. “It’s extremely competitive in here. We push each other in here and you want to be around other successful people and driven people. I was lucky to know quite a few guys already and that’s helped the transition and I’m very fortunate to play with two great players.
“That makes the game pretty easy.”
NUMBERS GAME: The win was Winnipeg’s first when trailing after two periods this season. The Jets had been 0-19-4 before when the opposition had a lead after two periods… Blake Wheeler had a five-game points streak (5G, 4A) snapped in the win.
firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @WFPEdTait
Updated on Friday, March 20, 2015 7:45 AM CDT: Clarifies wording re: Pavelec
Updated on Friday, March 20, 2015 9:00 AM CDT: Adds video