Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ted Whyman of the Winnipeg Sun,
If Carey Price or Pekka Rinne were playing goal for the Winnipeg Jets, they would likely be one of the best teams in the National Hockey League.
With above average goaltending they would almost certainly be a playoff team.
With the goaltending they are getting now, they are probably neither.
It's a cold, hard truth about the Jets. Since the all-star break they have received below average to poor goaltending and it's been the most critical factor in their slide from a comfortable position to a precarious place on the playoff bubble.
Tuesday's crushing 5-4 loss in St. Louis was the prime example. Michael Hutchinson gave up four goals on seven shots and Ondrej Pavelec gave up one of the all-time softies for the game-winner with 63 seconds left in the game.
from Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun,
... despite rallying from a 4-1 deficit with three goals in the third period, the Jets left Scottrade Center empty-handed after Ondrej Pavelec was fooled by a long shot by defenceman Barret Jackman from just outside the blue line with 63 seconds left in regulation as the St. Louis Blues skated away with a 5-4 victory on Tuesday night.
Pavelec came on in relief at 11:09 of the second period and was mostly brilliant, turning aside the first 19 shots that he faced.
But it was the seeing-eye wrister from Jackman that is going to be plastered all over the highlights and will likely be the lasting memory.
“It went in. It was nothing more magical than that,” said Jets head coach Paul Maurice, when asked for an explanation of what he saw on the game-winning goal.
In watching the replay, it wasn't even clear if Jackman was trying to dump the puck in or actually take a shot on net.
Pavelec declined all media requests, choosing not to provide a description of the play in question.
Below, watch the game-winning goal and highlights from the game...
via Sportsnet's YouTube channel,
The Winnipeg Jets host the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night, and there is 1 player that is an absolute force on the ice, watch this video to see Dustin Byfuglien do what he does best, knock people down and score some goals.
“So if you’re saying something good about a player, he’s a rock star. And if a guy has a tough night, and you want to deal with the media honestly, you gotta be careful about how hard you go at his play, because the next day, or even that day, it’s a drive-by shooting.
“It’s 40 people in the (player’s) stall figuring out whether they should play him, trade him or execute him. And that’s a challenge for controlling that room.”
Paul Maurice, head coach of the Winnipeg Jets on the environment in Toronto. More from Luke Fox of Sportsnet.
from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,
The Winnipeg Jets are looking for a top-nine forward and the Florida Panthers are searching for depth on defence. It would appear Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff and Panthers boss Dale Tallon should be able to strike a match.
Tallon has veteran winger Sean Bergenheim to offer while the Jets have a pool of extra depth defencemen -- Paul Postma, Jay Harrison and Adam Pardy -- from which to dip.
Bergenheim is in the last year of a contract which pays him $2.75 million and would appear to be a financial fit for the Jets. He’s scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in July.
The Jets have lost winger Mathieu Perreault for the rest of the regular season with a lower-body injury. Bergenheim has eight goals and ten assists in 39 games this season.
The Jets are also reportedly talking to the Toronto Maple Leafs about winger Daniel Winnik and there has been talk of the Jets having interest in Columbus Blue Jackets winger and Brandon native Matt Calvert.
from Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press,
Nashville Predators netminder Pekka Rinne has been all-world, especially of late, in leading his squad to the top of the NHL standings.
Ditto for Carey Price and his monumental impact for the Montreal Canadiens.
Chicago's Patrick Kane is often mentioned as is Ryan Getzlaf in Anaheim and Alex Ovechkin of Washington. Sidney Crosby, John Tavares, Rick Nash, Tyler Seguin, Jake Voracek, Shea Weber... all worthy of consideration.
So while we're playing this little game, let's make the case for another possible candidate as part of the discussion:
Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets.
Look, the criteria for the Hart Trophy is very clear. It is awarded annually to the "player judged most valuable to his team."
To that end, what unfolded Wednesday at the MTS Iceplex in the aftermath of the news Mathieu Perreault would likely be lost for the rest of the regular season underscores again how important the big man is to the Jets and their push to a playoff spot.
Byfuglien was back at forward during practice and may be patrolling the wing when the Jets line up against the Capitals tonight in D.C. As always, he'll play the point on the power play and be back there in four-on-four situations.
The Winnipeg Jets lost a key piece to their roster on Wednesday when the team announced forward Mathieu Perreault will be out of the lineup likely until the post-season.
Perreault was placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury and the club recalled forward Carl Klingberg from the St. John's IceCaps of the American Hockey League.
Perreault was injured less than five minutes into Monday's game against the Edmonton Oilers after taking a hit along the boards by defenceman Jeff Petry. He had to be helped from the ice by teammates and training staff.
To make matters worse, the Jets lost winger Drew Stafford to an upper-body injury on the same night Perreault was injured.
The Jets didn't have an update on Stafford's status.
from Ted Wyman of the Winnipeg Sun,
For all the excitement the Winnipeg Jets generated over the long weekend with shootout wins over the Detroit Red Wings and Edmonton Oilers, there's still some nagging concern about how such results affect their overall playoff chances.
As former Jets coach Claude Noel used to say, the Jets needed a clean two points, particularly in the home game Monday night against last-place Edmonton.
Shootout wins are entertaining and the two points are meaningful, but they are not as meaningful as regulation and overtime wins, of which the Jets have just two in 11 games since the all-star break.
If you check out the ROW category in the standings on NHL.com, the Jets have just 24 and are tied for 10th in the Western Conference. That is not a good stat at this time of the season, especially considering ROW is used as the first tie-breaker if teams are deadlocked for playoff positions at the end of the regular season.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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