Jets don't want repeat of nail-biter
Ken Wiebe, QMI Agency
|Winnipeg Jets' defenseman Mark Stuart (bottom) and goalie Ondrej Pavelec (R) battle the Philadelphia Flyers' winger Scott Hartnell (18) for the puck during the second period of their NHL ice hockey game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 27, 2011. (REUTERS/Tim Shaffer)
If you’re expecting to see 17 goals scored at MTS Centre on Saturday afternoon, odds are you’re going to be disappointed.
Neither the Winnipeg Jets or Philadelphia Flyers are interested in replaying the 9-8 nailbiter as the two teams get together on Saturday for the first time since the Jets earned a topsy-turvy victory in Philly on Oct. 27.
That entertaining, mistake-filled tilt featured monumental momentum swings and saw the Jets blow a pair of four-goal leads before coming back to win with a late rally.
“It’s probably our only game of the year where we’re going to have 17 goals in a game and I’m sure (Saturday) is going to be a little tighter,” said Jets winger Evander Kane, who leads the Jets with eight goals and shares the team lead with 13 points.
“The last time we played there were about 40 goals scored, so first and foremost we want to take care of our own end,” added Jets winger Blake Wheeler. “We’re being tough to play against and we’re not shooting ourselves in the foot. We’re trying to make teams work for everything they get against us right now.
“We had a little bit of a tough stretch there and did some soul-searching. We found a style that makes us successful.”
Jets head coach Claude Noel was so flabbergasted by that game he didn’t bother going over the videotape or showing it to his team.
“I never played one second of it back,” said Noel. “I don’t even think I talked about, maybe for a minute the next day. That was the last of it and I haven’t talked about it since then.”
Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette isn’t expecting a repeat performance either.
“You never know what’s going to happen out there but those games don’t come along too often,” said Laviolette. “Certainly, we’d like to correct half of that if possible. We’d like to correct the nine (against). The eight (goals for) was OK.”
One big difference from Oct. 27 is the Flyers will have defenceman Chris Pronger back in the lineup.
“He’s our captain and he does a little bit of everything — offence, defence, a physical side,” said Flyers forward Danny Briere, who had five points against the Jets on Oct. 27. “Just his presence in the lineup sometimes changes a lot of things and the opponents are a lot more reluctant to attack and take pucks to the net when he’s on the ice.”
The Jets have gained a great deal of confidence this past week after posting consecutive victories over Southeast Division opponents.
“It’s all about work ethic and sticking to the game plan,” said Jets forward Nik Antropov. “It’s nice to see that we’re capable of doing this. It’s great and we’re going to continue working on it and being better at it.”
JET FUEL: Jets defencemen Ron Hainsey (upper-body) and Brett Festerling (upper-body) skated again on Friday but were ruled out for Saturday’s game ... The Flyers will be without winger Jaromir Jagr, who injured his groin in Thursday’s win over Phoenix.