Jets' Pavelec goes right back in
Ken Wiebe, QMI Agency
|Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec looks behind him as Max Talbot scores the Flyers fourth goal Thursday night.
BRANDON, Fla. — One day after what many felt was the wildest game they’d ever been a part of, Ondrej Pavelec wasn’t about to mince words.
When asked for his perspective on the Winnipeg Jets downright bizarre 9-8 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday, Pavelec hit the nail right on the head.
“If you score nine goals, you better win. It would be really bad if you do that and lose,” Pavelec said Friday. “The two points were huge for us, but if you’re going to keep playing that way, I don’t think we have a chance. We’ve got to be better and we know that.”
Pavelec gave up seven of the eight goals Thursday and he was pulled 2:23 into the third period, but had to return before the seven-minute mark after Chris Mason came down with a groin injury.
“I tried to battle but they got some lucky bounces too,” Pavelec said. “I didn’t expect that I was going to be pulled at 6-6. It was tough. (Mason) got hurt, the guys battled and scored the goals. They did a great job. It was a tough game for goalies.”
Pavelec will be back between the pipes on Saturday at 6:05 p.m. at St. Pete Times Forum (CBC, TSN 1290) as the Jets face the high-flying Tampa Bay Lightning and Jets head coach Claude Noel believes his starter will find his way.
“We’ve seen his A-game, we probably haven’t seen it as much as we’d like,” Noel said. “There are some areas we’re trying to control, rebound control is one of them. These are all things you have to manage at the beginning of the year. He’s a hard-working kid, he’s trying to do well and he wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s going to be a good goalie for us and we know that.”
Despite the back-and-forth nature and serious momentum swings in Thursday’s win, Noel said it wasn’t all bad.
“There were a lot of things that went wild on us,” Noel said. “It was hard to manage for me because I was sitting there trying to not get frustrated and trying to figure out what is happening. It’s 5-1 but I learned a long time ago that it’s never over until it’s over.
“But we would sooner just end on that positive and go from there. We’ll leave the negative baggage behind, let’s put it that way. Sometimes you have to move past the game, take what you can out of it and that’s the best thing. Don’t over-analyze it.”
Jets players seemed to be taking a similar approach.
“We snuck one out,” Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien said. “You just have to forget about it and just come back to work.”
Lightning head coach Guy Boucher endured a similar game against the Flyers last season (an 8-7 win) and said there were still lessons to be learned from being involved in a high-scoring, high stress affair.
“It’s back-and-forth. You kind of practise your mental toughness in the game and your players learn not to quit,” Boucher said. “You don’t want to look at the video too much because you’re going to go nuts. But to have one of those once a year is OK.”