February 17, 2012
Jets Snapshots: Sick of talking about it
By KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency
They were probably sick of talking about it.
We were sick of asking about it.
And you were probably sick of hearing about it.
The good news is there will be no more questions about why the Jets can't win the second half of back-to-back games after their 4-2 triumph over the Boston Bruins. They won 24 hours after winning in Minnesota, and they also moved to within two points of a playoff position.
Bryan Little, who scored twice, joked afterwards that the question about back-to-backs won't stop; it will only be altered.
"Now it'll be, 'So, you're 1-9 in back-to-back games "¦," Little cracked with a smile.
Hey, after his and the rest of the top line's performance on Friday night, Little had every reason to be in a good mood.
The Jets had plenty of energy in the first few minutes of the contest, but they slowed down as it progressed. Luckily for them, they held the Bruins off the scoresheet despite getting out-shot 13-4 "¦ Ondrej Pavelec doesn't usually go for ill-timed strolls, but he almost gave up the first goal of the game when he went behind the net and the puck ended up on Shawn Thornton's stick. It looked like the shot went between Pavelec and the net "¦ The two Claudes -- Noel and Julien -- were having quite a bit of fun in the early going matching lines. There was quite a bit of shuffling going on. It would be interesting to sit down and ask these coaches what goes into their thought process when it comes to that "¦ One player who was not lacking energy in the early going: Bryan Little. He almost got the hosts on the board in the first couple of minutes "¦ Blake Wheeler had a couple of opportunities to finish checks in the first period, but he passed. The second one would have been on Zdeno Chara, so we'll let him off the hook with that one "¦ The outfits of the night belonged to the dudes in section 328. One was dressed as Queen Elizabeth, and the rest of his crew were the bodyguards. Section 328 is the general area where the picture of the Queen was in the old arena.
LUCIC CAN MOVE
Randy Jones learned how quick Milan Lucic can be when he tried to deliver a hip check in the opening period. Jones didn't come close to hitting Lucic "¦ Did anyone see any bees or mosquitoes in MTS Centre last night? Just curious, because I'm wondering what Tuukka Rask was waving at on Alex Burmistrov's goal that opened the scoring early in the second period "¦ Speaking of Burmistrov, if he could only play all the time the way he did in the second period. On the first shift after his goal, he tracked down Shawn Thornton and delivered a solid body check "¦ It usually happens this way, doesn't it? Tim Stapleton had a chance to put the Jets up 2-0 with a glorious scoring opportunity, but Rask made a glorious save. A few seconds later, with the help of a Nik Antropov turnover at centre ice, the puck went in the Jets net "¦ More than halfway through the game there were no penalties. That's one way for the Jets to stop giving up power-play goals "¦ Then again, after the Jets killed off their first penalty of the night, Wheeler scored to give the Jets a 2-1 lead. The momentum from the PK carried over.
THIRD PERIOD SURPRISE
The Jets took that 2-1 lead into the third period, but the Bruins tied it up after Dustin Byfuglien's stick broke at the Boston blue-line. Byfuglien got a new stick immediately and got right back in the play, but Tanner Glass, for some reason, left David Krejci all alone in front of the net, and it was 2-2 "¦ It was Jim Slater night on the scoreboard screen. First it was a feature on his work-experience trip to a local welding shop, and then it was a Q and A. Slater wears No. 19 because Steve Yzerman was his favourite player. Slater appears to be one of those 'good guys' people talk about "¦ Once again, the Jets took the momentum of a strong penalty kill to the other end of the rink, as Little buried a Wheeler rebound to put them back on top. So the formula is simple for the Jets: Take more penalties "¦ The joint really got jumping when Wheeler found Little with a glorious pass a few minutes later and the centre made no mistake on the insurance tally. It had been a while since the downtown barn had that kind of energy "¦ Go figure: The top line played like the top line, and the Jets had a 4-2 lead on the defending Stanley Cup champs "¦ Pavelec brought everyone to their feet once again when he absolutely robbed Patrice Bergeron, who was all alone in front of the Winnipeg net. Pavelec admitted afterwards he was a bit lucky, but it was still a beauty "¦ Poor Chris Kelly. He got knocked on his rear end twice by Wheeler, and Kelly was the one who ended up with a charging penalty. His face must have been red "¦ The Jets scored a grand total of seven goals in going 0-9 during the second half of back-to-backs. On Friday night they had four.