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Checkmate: Jets Fall To Blues 2-1

By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck

Chess match. Andrew Ladd said it. Claude Noel echoed it. The term was used by both men to describe the game played between the Winnipeg Jets and the St. Louis Blues, a game the Jets lost 2-1 to their Central Division rivals.

“They don’t give up much, they come back hard as a group of five so they make you chip it and go get it,” said Ladd. “I thought we did a good job of trying to make them do the same thing. It ends up being kind of being a chess match.”

Andrew Ladd in NHL action against the St. Louis Blues at the MTS Centre, Dec. 10, 2013. SHAWN COATES PHOTO

Andrew Ladd in NHL action against the St. Louis Blues at the MTS Centre, Dec. 10, 2013. SHAWN COATES PHOTO

Ladd said his team could take some positives out of the game but the loss hurts right now.

“For the most part, I thought we did a good job being patient, sticking to our game plan,” he said. “It stings right now but I thought we played a patient game and did some really good things against a tough team.

“I think you do that with every game, you try to take the positive things that you did and move onto the next one.”

Noel, whether it was pre-planned or not, referred to the popular tabletop game as well in his post-game comments.

“The game was a game that was a chess match played game, really,” said Noel. “Both teams were being patient and playing kind of the same way, knowing that one goal or two goals could win it.

“We played a pretty good game other than the fact that we didn’t finish the game the right way.”

Claude Noel. SHAWN COATES PHOTO

Claude Noel. SHAWN COATES PHOTO

The Jets did play a solid game against a top team in the Western Conference. They added a power play marker thanks to Bryan Little and played sound defensively, allowing just two shots from the Blues in the first period.

“(We) didn’t play all that terrible of a game,” said Trouba. “We had a couple of bad bounces but sometimes that is how it goes.”

Jacob Trouba. SHAWN COATES PHOTO

Jacob Trouba. SHAWN COATES PHOTO

Trouba played beyond his years again on Tuesday night. Noel referred to Trouba’s uncommon consistency at such a young age and it was evident tonight on the ice. Trouba was creative and physical, things you need to do against a team like St. Louis.

“Every team brings something a little different,” he said. “They are a big, physical team and we can’t really get pushed around out there and I don’t think we did at all. We played right with them, I thought we played a pretty good game and we didn’t get the outcome we wanted.”

Scott’s Scribbles: Bryan Little snapped an eight-game goalless drought with a power play marker at the three minute mark of the third period…With the goal, Little became the first forward to score a power play goal since October 29th when Blake Wheeler potted one home against this same Blues’ team.

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