Note: It is quite amazing what a few weeks can do. Jets fans now expect Winnipeg to win every single game but last night they were unable to sustain a two goal lead in game two of a back-to-back. A lapse of ten minutes to end the 2nd period saw the Canucks score three on their way to a big 5-2 win.
Note II: The team has the day off today which likely comes at a perfect time for them to recoup some energy in advance of a tough three games. Starting Thursday they play the next three against ‘Original 6’ teams Montreal, Chicago, New York and then conclude the four game home stand against the Canucks on Saturday April 4th.
Note III: Tune into NHL Mid-Week tonight on TSN 1290 Winnipeg from 6-8 pm as the guys look back at last night’s loss, preview tomorrow’s game against Montreal and take a look around the NHL.
Games of significance last night: Wild won (SO). Kings won.
Games of significance tonight: Flames (vs. Stars).
Afternoon Jets news:
Winnipeg Sun: Jets need Byuglien, Little now. Someone asked us about Byfuglien’s status and I looked back at the timeline. Coach Maurice announced the injury on the 6th, Buff was back on 16th practicing in regular jersey but by 18th we were told he had plateaued (not regressed). If he plays tomorrow it would be about three weeks after the original announcement of 2-4 weeks. Regardless of the above the Jets absolutely need Byfuglien and Little back as soon as possible.
ESPN: Potential first-round mismatches. (Registration Required). The article is behind a paywall but discusses the idea that the Jets could be a tough challenge if they face the Ducks.
TSN 1290 Winnipeg: The Big Show. Dennis Beyak says the disappointing third was not due to a lack of effort but a dearth of talent that the Jets couldn’t complete the comeback, although help may be on its way sooner than later.
Winnipeg Free Press: Jets fall 5-2 to Canucks. Tim breaks down the game and looks at how a small lapse can cause big problems. Also discusses: 1) Two games, two days, too bad. 2) Wheeler caged. 3) Hutch returns. and 4) One of these days.
Winnipeg Sun: Jets squander lead, lose ground in playoff race. Based on the first 30 minutes of last night’s game many Jets fans likely already had two points in the standings bank (which would have only ensured they maintained the pace set by Minnesota and L.A. earlier in the day). However a hockey game is 60 minutes (or more) and you cannot take any time off in the NHL.
Winnipeg Sun: Jets goalie Pavelec finds missing swagger. Not a moment too soon if the Jets want to reach the post-season. He is going to need plenty of confidence as I suspect coach Maurice is going to ride him the rest of the way. Paul also touches on: 1) Wheeler’s missing teeth 2) Buffalo duo 3) Myers long stick and 4) UFA line taking some time to sort it all out.
Vancouver Sun: Canucks ground Jets, 5-2, to win fifth in six games. For Jets fans lamenting the points the team left behind in B.C. it should be noted that the Canucks haven’t exactly been playing poorly themselves of late (7-2-1 in last ten).
The Province: Canucks show their mettle against NHL’s heavy teams. Vancouver has clearly developed a system for handling the bigger, heavier teams in the West.
Globe and Mail: With five teams still in contention, playoff odds are in Canada’s favour. Lots of pressure on teams that weren’t expected to be in the post-season dance now that they are so close to the end. Which teams will continue to play past April 15th and which may falter during the conclusion of the regular season?
Sportsnet: Team defence has Jets in the NHL-playoffs race. Everyone buying into coach Maurice’s system has seen major changes in the results.
Canucks 5 Jets 2 post-game audio:
Coach Maurice – On the effort put forth by his team. Did they do anything better as the night progressed? Thought on Hutchinson. Was Lack the difference maker? Thought on Wheeler’s effort with the full cage. Thought on Frolik generating chances. Does he see any chance for Little/Byfuglien for Thursday? Update on Thorburn. Is the absence of Little/Byfuglien felt tonight? His thought on the defence in the last half of the 2nd period.
Michael Hutchinson – His assessment of the game. On the first goal against. On the Vrbata goal. How did it feel to get back into the net?
Mark Scheifele – On the effort put forth by the Jets. On the great scoring chance he had towards end of the game. Any fatigue in the 3rd period? Did he notice any difference in Wheeler’s play? Easy to put it behind them with all the positives of previous five games?
Audio courtesy of TSN 1290 Winnipeg.