Skip to main content


Jets' Bowness on 3-1 deficit: 'The problems are self-inflicted'


Winnipeg Jets head coach Rick Bowness pointed the finger solely at his own team after falling behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.

The Jets suffered a 5-1 loss against the Avalanche in Game 4 as Colorado pulled away with three second-period goals, including two on the power play.

“The problems are self-inflicted,” Bowness said. “Wanna take penalties? Wanna play a three-quarter ice game? You're playing right into their hands. Our issues are self-inflicted. You saw us play the right way for 10 minutes in the second half of the first period. You take four penalties; you turn the puck over. That's exactly how they want to play. The issues are self-inflicted.

“First thing is you have to stay out of the penalty box, and then the penalty kill has to do their job. Second thing is we have to stop turning the puck over. Again, those things are self-inflicted. You want adjustments? Stay out of the box. Manage the puck better and go from there.”

The Jets now face a Game 5 on home ice with their season on the line. Winnipeg took Game 1 of the series 7-6, but has been unable recreate that same level of offence since, while the Avalanche have scored in bunches.

Bowness replaced goaltender Connor Hellebuyck with the Jets down 4-1 entering the third period Sunday, but insisted that turning to Laurent Brossoit was not an indictment of his starter. 

“[To] give him a break. Give him a break,” Bowness said of the decision. “There’s just too much time [he is] having to make save after save. Just giving him a break.

"It’s not on him whatsoever. It’s on the players in front of him.”

Hellebuyck has allowed 19 goals through four games in the first-round series, posting a .870 save percentage and a 5.22 goals-against average. Those numbers are well off his regular-season stats, when the 30-year-old went 37-19-4 with a .921 save percentage and a 2.39 GAA.

The Jets were 3-0 against the Avalanche in the regular season, but have struggled to contain their high-powered attack in the playoffs. Forward Mark Scheifele called on the Jets to find adjustments in order to keep their season alive.

“There's clear differences in their game compared to the regular season. They're playing fast. Their [defencemen] are moving pucks. They're moving to areas quicker than we are,” Scheifele said. “It seems like it's almost like endless, over and over and over, and we're not able to get that puck stopped. We've got to find ways to change that.

“Obviously they're a fantastic team. They've shown that shift in and shift out. They battle hard. They make it hard to get to their net, and we've got to change our game a little bit.”