Itís never a good sign when you lose to a team that is considered among the worst in the league.
The Winnipeg Jets were on the road, playing for the second night in a row and for the third time in four nights, but thereís no excuse for the fact that they canít score with any regularity and canít hold leads.
The Jets scored first for the fourth time in six games, but are 1-2-1 when that happens. They lost 4-1 to the Senators Thursday night, leaving them with a disappointing 1-4-1 record on the season.
The Jets are simply not generating enough offence to win games.
Bryan Little, Evander Kane and Blake Wheeler were all expected to challenge for 20 goals, if not 30, this season, but have combined for a big goose egg so far. Captain Andrew Ladd has just one goal.
This team desperately needs some production from its top-six forwards.
This is a huge week for the Jets and it started well with a win over Pittsburgh and a hard-fought shootout loss in Toronto.
Thursday was a bit of a step back, as the special teams faltered once again, bad turnovers played a key role and the Jetsí only goal came off the stick of defenceman Dustin Byfuglien.
A win Saturday at home against Carolina would salvage the week, but the Jets are digging a hole thatís going to be very tough to climb out of when they go on the road for a seven-game trip next week.
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Aggressive call by Claude Noel, pulling the goaltender for an extra attacker during a power play with five minutes left in the game and sticking with the strategy until Milan Michalek finally scored into the empty net with about a minute left. The extra attacker sure didnít help much though, as the Jets are having all kinds of trouble finishing off good scoring chances ... Craig Anderson has been the worst goalie in the NHL to this point in the season, but he sure didnít look bad against the Jets, making some big saves when it counted to preserve the win for Ottawa ... Johnny Oduya with another terrible turnover across the middle gave Daniel Alfredsson a great chance and he made no mistake to make it 3-1 for Ottawa ... Considering how bad the Jets have been on faceoffs this season, it was not good news when their best faceoff man, Jim Slater, was scratched with the flu. Ten minutes into the game, the Jets still had not won a single faceoff and they were dominated for much of the night.
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For the second straight night the Jets took consecutive penalties while protecting a lead and eventually Ottawa got the goal to tie it up in the second period. Jets coach Noel preaches discipline but his team has taken far too many inopportune penalties already this season. And it doesnít help that theyíve given up power play goals in every game and most of them have been very damaging ... Not surprisingly, Byfuglienís best games as a Winnipeg Jet have come when heís paired with Toby Enstrom on defence. Byfuglien and Enstrom ate up huge minutes in Wednesdayís game at Toronto and were strong again Thursday night. Enstrom scored against the Leafs and Byfuglien got into the act Thursday with a blast from the point for his first of the season. The number one reason for pairing Enstrom with Byfuglien: Heís a great skater and can cover for his roving partner when Byfuglien takes off on one of his regular offensive foray. When Byfuglien and Enstrom are on the ice, itís a five-man cycle for the Jets ... Itís looking like people are going to have to re-adjust their expectations for Alex Burmistrov. Heís a much better player than people expected him to be and is scoring at nearly a point-per-game rate. Burmistrov, who turns 20 today, had just six goals and 20 points last season in Atlanta but already has a goal and four assists in six games this season ... The Jets have been outscored 8-1 in third periods so far this season.
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Just like they did with Phil Kessel on Wednesday, the Jets allowed one of Ottawaís most dangerous players, Jason Spezza, to sneak into the slot unmarked to score a goal to make it 2-1. Thatís a player you canít lose track of in an even-strength situation ... Hard not to pull for former Jets winger Paul MacLean, who is off to a tough start in Ottawa so far, but has paid his dues for a long time. Could be a long season in his first as head coach, but hopefully MacLean gets a chance to build something with the Senators ... Evander Kane is playing with more intensity, is showing a lot of grit in the corners and behind the net, but he really needs to get a goal so he can get going offensively. It doesnít look like goals are going to come easy for Kane this year ... Itís impressive how many Winnipeg fans have been at each of the Jets road games so far. The love for this reborn team is widespread, it would appear. Unfortunately, the Jets are 0-3-1 away from MTS Centre ... Noelís decision to put Ondrej Pavelec back in the net for the second straight night shows how important this game against the Senators was. Every game against an Eastern Conference opponent is huge and the Jets coach knows it well.