Jets not ready to panic despite six straight losses
The Winnipeg Jets have been a consistent hockey team for most the shortened 2020-21 season. Unless a collapse of epic proportion is on tap, the Jets are going to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
But now, with six games left on the docket, the Jets are stuck in mud, losers of six straight games.
Two plus weeks separate the Jets from the playoffs, more than enough time to figure things out and steer the ship back in the right direction.
But coming out of a trade deadline where the Jets' only addition was Jordie Benn, and the lack of inspiring hockey of late, how much confidence do you have in the Jets?
Feel free to panic if you want, the Jets aren’t, however.
"We’ve got a good team here and we’re going through a real struggle,” said head coach Paul Maurice. “You can panic at your own time, but we won’t here.”
It appeared as if things were finally going the Jets way Friday night in Montreal as they jumped out to leads of 2-0 and 3-1.
But that’s when the wheels feel off and the Canadiens went on to score four unanswered goals, extending the Jets losing streak to six.
“You get to 3-1 and you’re feeling good about your game. Normally there’s enough positive feeling on the bench that when bad things go on you, you’ll be able to hold on,” said Maurice. “Even coming out into the third you’re not dejected by it. That’s a tougher one for sure.”
After Trevor Lewis extend the Jets lead back to two with his second of the game, the Jets confidence lacking, ultimately leading to the loss.
“When you get into a tough situation like this there’s not a whole lot of things that are easy for you. I think we touched three of the four (Canadiens goals)—on our stick or off our stick and onto theirs,” said Maurice.
“You’ve got to put yourself into that mental place that good things can happen and not fear the worst when you get out onto the ice and be afraid to make the play that makes the mistake. For the most part, the effort, the fight in there, they’re trying to do the right thing, it’s just not rolling for you. You’ve got to keep that faith in what you’re doing and how hard you’re working.”
Regardless of what happened on the ice, losses are losses and the failed opportunity at two points stings. But for some, one where you had two leads of two may sting a little more than one that say, you never held a lead at all.
“I think all losses suck. I don’t know if it stings any worse, but we had the lead—I think we should have won that game. We’ll learn from it, watch some video, get back to work and go from there,” said Lewis.
“It’s adversity, we can only get better from this. We’ve got to keep digging, keep playing and find a way through this.”
The Jets allowed two power play goals on three tries Friday, another blemish on a difficult run of late. With Adam Lowry returning to practice and being cleared for contact, the valuable penalty killer could return for Monday’s contest in Ottawa.
A boost the Jets very much need.
“We’re having a little tougher time on our PK, that’s for sure. That’s been tough and it’s been good for us (during the season),” said Maurice.
“I think we’re going to get a real good PK’er back for the next game, hopefully that will sure that area up for us a little bit. We’ll be able to move some pieces around and get to something that I think we’ll have some success with.”
The Jets know there’s no easy answer on how to snap out of their funk and get back into the win column. They hope however, they figure things out sooner rather than later.
“We don’t know that, otherwise we would have won the game. I think it’s a real test of our team, our group and our character,” said Blake Wheeler.
With their troubles of late and loss Friday, they sit four points ahead of the Montreal Canadiens for third in the division.
“Certainly one of the tougher stretches we’ve had in a long time,” said Wheeler.