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This article was published 15/1/2015 (2475 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Who doesn't like a good party?
You'll get no argument there from Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd, but remembering the good time had by all at the MTS Centre on Tuesday night in an 8-2 victory over the Florida Panthers will serve no purpose going forward.
In particular, Ladd, said, it will be even more important to forget, given what's next on the menu -- games in Dallas tonight (7:30 p.m., TSN 3, TSN 1290) and in Chicago on Friday.
'We don't need to start thinking we're a pretty team out here and get away from our game next game'‐ Jets captain Andrew Ladd
"I don't know if it's really even momentum," Ladd said about Tuesday's runaway victory. "We're able to spread out some ice time and not have to rely on a lot of guys for heavy minutes. That helps out a lot. But it's also kind of like a blowout loss in the sense that you need to get over it quick and focus on the next game. We don't need to start thinking we're a pretty team out here and get away from our game next game.
"We'll try to forget about it and obviously feel good about it and come to the rink tomorrow and get back to work. We have two big divisional games coming up that we have to be ready for."
Tuesday's lopsided win afforded Jets coach Paul Maurice the luxury of a relaxed deployment of key players.
The team's top line, Ladd, Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler, didn't reach 17 minutes. At 15 minutes 58 seconds, it was Ladd's second-lowest of a season when his ice time has often surpassed 20 minutes.
On the other end of the depth chart, the fourth line hit a high-water mark (Jim Slater at 13:31, Chris Thorburn at 11:08 and Anthony Peluso at 11:11), keeping in mind Thorburn has had other assignments periodically.
Given that the first game at home after a taxing road trip is often ripe for disappointment, the Jets surely exceeded expectations with Tuesday's blowout that followed a three-game trip to the west.
"It's usually a tough game coming home off a longer trip," Ladd said. "It's one of our good traits this year, being ready for stuff like this and being ready off the hop. It's a credit to how we've been preparing mentally and it's just a good job by everybody in the room."
Lost in all the celebrating on Tuesday -- in particular Mathieu Perreault's four-goal night and another three-pointer by Dustin Byfuglien -- was Ladd's give-and-go assist on Byfuglien's second goal in the middle period.
It extended the captain's points streak to seven games (4-5-9) and equalled his career best.
Byfuglien's emergence in the last five weeks as an elite NHL defenceman has surprised some, given his track record, but Ladd hinted timing may have enhanced the effect the Jets are now enjoying.
That Byfuglien began the season as a forward as the Jets got focused on their new defence-first mantra, then were able to implement it successfully for a number of weeks before the injury emergency required Byfuglien's position switch has likely helped.
"I think everyone always knew it was there," Ladd said. "It's more a mentality thing, first and foremost. That's on everybody. I think we're successful when we have a checking mentality and he's the same way. If we check, usually it leads to turnovers and he's the extra guy jumping up on the rush and helping out the forwards."
JETCETERA: Maurice's 500th coaching victory Tuesday made him the second-youngest NHL coach (47) to reach the mark, behind only Scott Bowman (45)... The Jets' coach is the 20th man, seventh still active, to get to 500 wins. The late Pat Burns, at 501, is next in line ahead of him... Likely the next coach to get there will be former Manitoba Moose coach Alain Vigneault of the N.Y. Rangers, who stands at 491... According to Elias Sports Bureau, Perreault leads the NHL in goals since Nov. 18 with 15.