Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/11/2014 (2630 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
RALEIGH, N.C. — In former lives, the Winnipeg Jets often found a way to mess up even the good work they were doing.
So there’s a tale in Thursday night’s decision at PNC Arena to take the road to a 3-1 victory instead.
In a 1-0 lead early in the second period of a game they were controlling, Elias Lindholm of the Carolina Hurricanes brought a puck from behind and toward the net during a power play. As Lindholm rushed his play, the puck squirted into the crease and went off the skate of Jets defenceman Mark Stuart and into the net, squaring the score.
"It was just an unfortunate bounce," said Jets goalie Michael Hutchinson, who started so that Ondrej Pavelec could have a night off. "It hits Stu’s skate and goes in but you just have to laugh it off and realize that those things are going to happen.
"I had faith that the way the game was going that we were going to score another goal or two. We were getting tons of chances and shots. Even though they tied it up, I felt confident we were going to be able to score a goal.
After that I just had to buckle down and make saves."
He did all of that, and at times easily, posting his second win of the 2014-15 season with 22 saves, and just seven in the third period.
"We played great defensively, I thought," said Hutchinson, now 2-1 on the season. "The guys did a great job of letting me see pucks. When the rebounds were there we did a good job of clearing pucks."
Hutchinson hadn’t played since a Nov. 2 win in Chicago, 1-0.
"You just have to make your practices your games and we’ve had a lot of good practices and I’ve worked with Flats (goalie coach Wade Flaherty) a lot in those 11 days," Hutchinson said. "It’s just one of those things where you have to do everything you can to stay sharp and build off your last game."
And there’s a growing confidence, Hutchinson said, from himself and his teammates about him spelling off Pavelec.
"It’s been good," he said. "My first start was a little bit rough but after that I felt good in practices. I just tried to battled as hard as I can in practice to try to keep my confidence up. Practices are usually tougher than games — you see a lot more scoring chances. I feel good in practice so I guess in the game you feel that confidence.
"I think they’re getting a little more comfortable with me in net, which is a nice thing. Fortunately my last two starts we’ve had really good starts to the game. In Chicago we scored early and we were able to get an early one tonight.
"That always makes the game that much easier when you can get a lead early on."
Most importantly, he’s scoring points with the man who dictates his playing time, Jets coach Paul Maurice.
"Really strong and in control," the coach said about his goalie on Thursday. "He just looked positionally very strong. You get that feeling from the bench when a guy’s playing or not, you always do. I think early especially, we did a nice job of letting him see it so he gets into a comfort.
"Then after that, none of the rebounds really got away from him and we did a nice job clearing anything he didn’t get. Really solid and composed."