February 20, 2012
Jets Pavelec sets career high for wins
By Kirk Penton, QMI Agency
Ondrej Pavelec’s season was already good. Now it’s technically the best it’s ever been.
The 24-year-old Czech Republic native set a single-season career high on Sunday night with his 22nd victory, stopping 31 shots in the 5-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche.
Pavelec won 21 games last season in Atlanta in 58 appearances. This year he needed just 50 games in Winnipeg to set a career high.
“Pavs has been real good,” head coach Claude Noel said. “He was huge in that second period, and he made some big saves. I don’t get real nervous watching him in the net. He certainly gives me a real sense of calm and composure and confidence. He looks like he’s under control. It looks like the puck’s going half speed.
“He’s in a real good place right now, and I’m happy he’s there.”
BIG WHEEL: Blake Wheeler set two career highs on Sunday night when he registered four points, all assists, in the win over the Avs. That also gave him a career-high 46 points on the season.
“He’s been playing some of the best hockey I’ve seen him play,” centre Bryan Little said on Sunday morning. “Once he gets going it’s hard to stop him, he’s so big and he uses his speed well. Both my goals the other night were easy because of him. He’s seeing the ice really well right now.”
BUSTING OUT: The Jets have scored more than two goals in three straight games. That’s the first time they’ve accomplished that feat since late November.
“It’s nice. Just the confidence that you get from scoring those goals, it gets everyone shooting the puck and it gets guys going to the net to get that good feeling. So it’s going to be something that we’re going to need going forward, especially with our power play,” captain Andrew Ladd said.
TIME TO STEP UP: Noel inserted Eric Fehr into the lineup on Sunday, wanting to see the Winkler product prove he deserves to stay in the lineup.
“I’d like him to show me that he wants to have success, it’s that simple,” Noel said. “Help me help you. I’ll play him 20 minutes if he can help me. All I want from him is just to perform. Better, harder, be productive. Ask yourself at the end of the day: What impact did I have on the game? It’s a pretty simple question.
“Everybody plays differently, but everybody has a chance to have an impact on the game, in your own way. Well, show it to me, because I’m waiting.”
Fehr had 11 minutes and 20 seconds of ice time. He had one shot and one hit.
IN THE HANGAR: Left winger Andrew Ladd ended a 13-game goal drought with a power-play tally in the third period … Defenceman Zach Bogosian (upper body) didn’t dress for the third straight game, but Noel hopes to have him back on Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers … The Jets scored twice on the power play, snapping a five-game skid.