January 10, 2012
Jets fall to Bruins
By TED WYMAN, QMI Agency
BOSTON - Claude Noel said Evander Kane wasn’t ready to start the game.
None of the Winnipeg Jets were ready to start the third period.
It took only eight seconds for the Boston Bruins to undo two periods of promising hard work by the Jets, who looked poised to pull off an upset over the defending Stanley Cup champions in their own barn.
The Jets were asleep at the wheel when Nathan Horton scored right off the bat in the third and they never recovered, eventually falling 5-3 after entering the third period with a 3-2 lead.
“When they scored that goal at the start of the third it really set us back and mentally we didn’t respond well,” said Jets forward Eric Fehr, who finally scored his first goal of the season to put the Jets ahead in the second period. “We didn’t increase our intensity and we didn’t play harder and that’s what we need to do against a team that’s so skilled.”
When the Bruins scored three times in the first 6:31 of the third period (Tyler Seguin and Benoit Pouliot had the other goals) it was the continuation of a disturbing trend for the Jets, who also gave up a bundle of goals early in the third in recent losses to Montreal and Pittsburgh.
“It’s happened to us quite a bit this year,” forward Chris Thorburn said.
“We’ve just got to find it within to create the intensity in those areas where we’ve had lapses. It comes with maturity and experience.”
Thorburn actually had a strong game for the Jets, skating well, getting a breakaway and even a penalty shot, which was stopped by Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask.
The Jets veteran was feeling down about not scoring — he still doesn’t have a goal this year after getting nine last season — but it was made worse by the fact that Bruins tough guy Shawn Thornton scored on a penalty shot not long after to make it 2-2 in the second period. It was the first time in the history of either franchise that both teams have been awarded penalty shots in the same game.
“The ref gave us both chances, made it exciting and unfortunately I missed mine and he scored on his,” Thorburn said.
That could have been a turning point in the game, but it wasn’t. Fehr scored shortly after Thornton to restore the Jets’ lead. After two periods they were outshooting the Bruins 24-20.
“We were pretty happy with the way we played the first two periods,” said Ladd, who scored a goal in the first but also took a costly offensive-zone penalty that led to Pouliot’s power play marker in the third.
Ladd admitted the pace set by the Bruins is daunting.
“They play the whole length of the ice so well and to play against them you have to have the pressure on them, you have to get five guys up the ice and five guys back quick and when you don’t that’s when they take over,” Ladd said.
“That first shift just killed us and it took the air out of the team.”
Noel took some of the focus off the team’s 1-3 record on this road trip when he ripped Kane, the Jets leading scorer, for not being ready at the start of the game.
That will no doubt be a storyline the rest of this week as the San Jose Sharks and New Jersey Devils visit MTS Centre. So will the injuries to defenceman Zach Bogosian and forward Tanner Glass.
The truth is the Jets gave up way too many goals (through no fault of Ondrej Pavelec’s Tuesday) on this trip and had too many lapses. That’s the story they should be most concerned about.
“We didn’t respond the way we needed to and that’s really unfortunate,” Fehr said. “This is a game we could have won today.”