After the 9-8 win in Philadelphia Thursday, the Winnipeg Jets' players all agreed they had to be better defensively, and felt they would be in the very next game. Coaches hoped the nine goals for would help some players get more confident with the offensive side of the game.
Saturday night in Tampa may have been the Jets best game of the season. They created enough to win, defended well enough to win, got outstanding goaltending from Ondrej Pavelec, but in the end the result they wanted was not there. Vinny Lecavalier's power play goal late in the 2nd was the only goal as the Jets are now 1-1 on their road trip.
Playing the Lightning can be frustrating. They play a patient 1-3-1 system and gaining the zone is not easy. "We discussed how to be effective but in the future our puck retrieval will have to be better. If you don't retrieve the dump in, you end up chasing," was Coach Claude Noel's post game assessment. "The guys gave it their but you have to find a way to grind one through."
Dwayne Roloson was very good especially in the third when the Jets outshot the Lightning 11-3. Final shots were 28-27 Jets.
In a post game interview with Brian Munz on TSN 1290 Pavelec felt the team played well, especially in the third. "Crazy game. You give up 8 and win, then give up 1 and lose."
"We just couldn't get established in their zone," added Blake Wheeler in his post game interview on TSN 1290. "Most of our chances came off the rush. We paid a lot more attention in our own end. Moving the puck d to d gave our guys some time and space. But they are a frustrating team to play against."
Wheeler and Brian Little continue to search for their first goal of the season. Each had only two shots on goal, but did a lot of good things in the game. Little took 31 face-offs winning 16. Even with 4.6 seconds left he won a faceoff and the Jets created two more chances as time ran out.
Alexander Burmistrov had his point streak snapped at 6.
Monday the trip continues against the Florida Panthers (TSN Jets, TSN 1290). Panthers scored two in the final 3 minutes in Buffalo Saturday for a come from behind 3-2 win.