August 17, 2019

Winnipeg
18° C, A few clouds

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Opinion

Redemption, one save at a time

Pavelec on pace to serve up crow to a few doubters

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 4/11/2014 (1746 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

It's not that the Winnipeg Jets are winning right now that is most important but how they are doing it.

And at the heart of how they are doing it is everybody's favourite punching bag, Ondrej Pavelec.

The underlying trend behind this team's current success is their ever-shrinking goals-against average. After last night's 3-1 win over the Nashville Predators, the Jets have allowed 26 goals in 13 games for a 2.00 goals-against average that ranks seventh in the NHL.

Sustainable success in the NHL is almost always underpinned by strong team defence. Keeping the puck out of the net comes first for winning teams.

Get the full story:

Already have an account? Log in here »

Keep reading free:

Already have an account? Log in here »

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 4/11/2014 (1746 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

It's not that the Winnipeg Jets are winning right now that is most important but how they are doing it.

And at the heart of how they are doing it is everybody's favourite punching bag, Ondrej Pavelec.

Ondrej Pavelec has improved his save percentage to .924 after stopping 23 of 24 shots Tuesday, including this shot redirected by the Predators' Colin Wilson.

JOHN WOODS / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Ondrej Pavelec has improved his save percentage to .924 after stopping 23 of 24 shots Tuesday, including this shot redirected by the Predators' Colin Wilson.

The underlying trend behind this team's current success is their ever-shrinking goals-against average. After last night's 3-1 win over the Nashville Predators, the Jets have allowed 26 goals in 13 games for a 2.00 goals-against average that ranks seventh in the NHL.

Sustainable success in the NHL is almost always underpinned by strong team defence. Keeping the puck out of the net comes first for winning teams.

The Jets have been unable or unwilling to grasp this concept for long stretches of play in the three previous seasons they've played in Winnipeg. Paul Maurice declared it his priority No. 1 heading into the off-season and so far his message is being heard.

Maurice wanted his team's goals against to improve. It has and the direct correlation has been wins. The Jets have allowed just seven goals in their last seven games and won six of them while collecting points in each one.

They've shot up the standings from last in the Central Division to third and now own a 7-5-1 mark.

Another key statistic for the Jets right now is Pavelec's save percentage, which bumped up to .924 after he stopped 23 of 24 shots Tuesday against the Predators.

The mathematicians state Pavelec can't sustain his current level of play and will eventually regress to a save percentage much closer to the career .906 number he carried into this season.

This theory is based on a formula that says Pavelec's history will predict his future. What isn't accounted for is the possibility of improvement, that a player might actually make changes to his game and get better.

There appear to be upticks to Pavelec's game right now. He's not out of position as often as he has been in the past. He's tracking the puck better and as a result seeing more shots from a solid base and not having to flop around to try to make highlight-reel saves.

Pavelec has been square to the shooter more often than we've seen in the past.

Can this hold up? That's the question of the season for the Winnipeg Jets.

Maurice said Tuesday morning prior to the game with Preds the defensive play in front of Pavelec was helping contribute to his success. The Jets were limiting the opposition's prime scoring opportunities and keeping Pavelec out of improbable-save situations.

From this perspective, though, it's Pavelec's work that has been the largest contributing factor to Winnipeg's improved goals against. Pavelec has been Winnipeg's most consistent player this season. He gave up a bad goal to Nashville's Filip Forsberg on Tuesday but there have been less than a handful of those this season.

Lots of folks wanted Pavelec run out of town this past summer and they may yet be proven correct. But right now, he's the solution and not the problem for the Jets.

The 27-year-old made some fundamental changes this off-season, including a heightened fitness regime that has allowed him to be more physically and mentally focused during games. He's not sagging in games and he's become a much more intense practice player.

Pavelec's detractors say the Jets will never be a playoff team with him as their starter. They've been right so far.

But if Pavelec sustains these kinds of numbers, he and the Jets will prove a lot of people wrong.

Including me.

 

gary.lawless@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @garylawless

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us