November 21, 2011
Jets need to stay out of box
By Ted Wyman, QMI Agency
WINNIPEG - Discipline continues to be a big problem for the Winnipeg Jets 20 games into the season.
The Jets took a boatload of penalties Saturday in a 6-4 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, including three minors in the third period against forward Evander Kane.
The Jets managed to hold the Flyers off despite Kane’s repeated trips to the box for neutral zone or offensive zone infractions, but everyone involved with the team knows that kind of luck will eventually run out.
“Discipline has been the cry of the season so far,” Jets coach Claude Noel said Monday. “It’s 20 games in and we were going OK for a while but we’ve got to do way better. It’s a big disappointment for me.”
Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who has been the team’s best penalty killer, wasn’t afraid to call his teammates out for putting the team in bad situations.
“We know if we play our hockey, our style, stick with the plan and play 5-on-5, we can beat everybody,” Pavelec said. “Our problem is we take so many penalties. We need to play a little bit smarter. We took three penalties in the third period in their zone against Philly. We were fortunate but next time it could hurt you and we could lose the game.
“We have to keep moving our feet and skate with the guys. It’s easy to say change it, but it’s tough to do.”
CONFIDENCE MEN: The Jets looked like a confident bunch during an up-tempo practice at the IcePlex Monday.
Noel was pleased with the effort, as the Jets get set to embark on a three-game road trip, which starts Wednesday in Washington and concludes with games in Raleigh, N.C., Friday and Boston Saturday.
Jets leading scorer Kyle Wellwood said the confidence level went up considerably after the team won its third straight game Saturday.
“I think it’s pretty high,” Wellwood said. “Guys are happy with the way they played. I think they were pretty honest wins with the energy we had and the skill level we had, it seemed like we were actually good enough to win the game, it wasn’t just good defensive play or luck. That’s a good sign.”
GETTING CLOSER: Injured defenceman Ron Hainsey practised Monday and will go on the road trip but couldn’t say if he will get in the lineup for any of the three games.
Hainsey, who has been out for more than a month with an upper body injury, says it has been difficult to watch the season unfold from the press box.
“It’s frustrating when the team doesn’t play well and it’s frustrating when they do play well,” Hainsey said. “It’s been six years since I’ve missed more than a game here or there so I’m sick of it and I’ve had enough of it.”
FEHR PLAY: Forward Eric Fehr played just under six minutes in his season debut Saturday after a long recovery from off-season shoulder surgery.
“It feels pretty good,” Fehr said Monday. “The shoulder responded well and it feels like it’s getting back to normal.
“Hopefully I can get a little consistency going. Last game it was tough to really get into it with a couple of shifts here and there. It was tough to get with the flow, but hopefully within a couple of games I’ll be able to get the feel for the game and get a little more involved.”
ICE CHIPS: Forwards Jim Slater, Nik Antropov and Andrew Ladd all missed Monday’s practice. Noel said they were banged up and fighting the flu and all are considered day-to-day ... Noel said backup goalie Chris Mason will start one of the games on the road trip, likely one of the back-to-back games Friday and Saturday.