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This article was published 7/11/2015 (1742 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
It was sold as another display of undisciplined hockey. But it will be remembered as a major missed opportunity for the Winnipeg Jets as they fell 3-0 to the Philadelphia Flyers in front of a sold-out crowd at the MTS Centre Saturday night.
First and third period power play goals from Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds were the pivotal moments in the game -- the third goal was an empty-netter potted by Matt Read in garbage time -- as the Jets were unable to edge a tired Flyers team at the end of a five-game road trip that started with four straight losses.
Tripping, tripping, boarding, hooking, and interference was how the stat line read as the Jets sent the eighth best road power play on the ice a total of five times. Though some of the calls were certainly questionable, the players in the dressing room after the game weren’t seeing it as an excuse.
"For the most part, they were able to take advantage of our lack of discipline," said forward Drew Stafford. "Say what you want about the types of calls...bottom line is we had to kill off those penalties and we weren’t able to."
Stafford was just one of a number of other players whom opted to bite their tongues about the officiating, but that didn’t mean head coach Paul Maurice was going to afford the refs the same courtesy. In what was a brief post-game press conference that barely eclipsed two minutes, when asked about his team’s lack of discipline, Maurice thought long and hard before giving a rare jab at the officials.
"I don’t find discipline to be an issue for a team that wasn’t running around taking penalties," he said, before taking another brief pause. "Mostly jaywalking penalties."
The loss was the second in as many games for the Jets, who fell to 8-5-2 on the season. The Flyers salvaged the few scraps left on their road trip; the win improving their record to 5-6-3 under new head coach Dave Hakstol. Before joining the Flyers, Hakstol spent the 11 seasons as bench boss for the University of North Dakota men’s hockey team.
HUMAN WALL: The penalties weren’t the only frustrating part for the Jets, who -- when they weren’t killing off a penalty -- were often the ones dictating the play. They were able to limit the Flyers to just 14 shots in the final two periods, but it was their inability to make good on their chances -- they too had five power plays -- that ultimately cost them. Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth stopped all 28 shots to earn his third win -- and, amazingly, his third shutout -- this season. Saturday marked the first time the Jets have been shutout this year.
CAPTAIN TO THE RESCUE: Known best for his scoring abilities, Jets Andrew Ladd made his mark in a different way Saturday by dropping his gloves with Flyers forward R.J. Umberger. Ladd took exception to a high hit on Blake Wheeler, who appeared hurt on the play but turned out OK. The Jets' leading scorer last season landed two good shots before taking Umberger to the ground. It was Ladd’s 16th career fight, according to hockeyfights.com. Fun fact: Ladd has fought at least once, but no more than twice in 10 of his 11 seasons in the NHL.
ON THE MEND: It wasn’t all bad news Saturday as Maurice announced prior to puck drop that he expects fourth-line centre Andrew Copp to start skating again - as early as this Monday. Saturday was the fourth game the Jets rookie has missed while recovering from an upper-body injury. The return of Copp is big for the Jets. With the rookie in the lineup, the Jets feel more comfortable running four lines.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Things don’t get any easier for the Jets as they hit the road again for another four-game trip. And it’s an important one too, as Winnipeg will play all four games against division rivals --Minnesota, Dallas, Nashville and then St. Louis -- in what will be their most important trip of the season to date. A successful trip and the Jets could find themselves with some wiggle room but a failed one could prove costly, especially in an unforgiving Central Division where just seven points separate the Dallas Stars at first and the Blackhawks at sixth. The Jets are 2-1-0 against teams in the Central this year.
After a slew of injuries playing hockey that included breaks to the wrist, arm, and collar bone; a tear of the medial collateral ligament in both knees; as well as a collapsed lung, Jeff figured it was a good idea to take his interest in sports off the ice and in to the classroom.
Live Winnipeg Jets Coverage
@NHLJets: Pavelec out of the net for an extra attacker. 8:38 pm on Nov 7
@NHLJets: Maurice: Petan is "under the weather." Copp will skate Monday. 10:37 am on Nov 7
Updated on Saturday, November 7, 2015 at 5:36 PM CST: Updates with lineups
6:58 PM: period update
7:20 PM: Fixes copy
7:27 PM: Adds new photo
7:50 PM: period update
8:47 PM: Period update
10:36 PM: write-through
10:39 PM: Adds byline, fixes story formatting
11:34 PM: Fixes photo cutline
November 8, 2015 at 12:09 PM: An earlier version said Andrew Ladd fought at least once in each of his 11 seasons in the NHL. He didn't fight in 2008-09, making it 10 of 11 seasons.
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