By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck
Martin Erat scored for the Washington Capitals in the sixth round of the shootout to give the Winnipeg Jets their sixth loss of the year on Tuesday night at the MTS Centre.
The Jets, who arguably played their most engaged game of the season, were left with a bittersweet taste in their mouths. A loss is never good, although they picked up a point for their efforts, but it is their effort that will give them confidence going forward.
“I think when you are getting offensive opportunities line after line you start feeding off one another,” said Evander Kane who had one assist on the night. “We just didn’t finish but it’s a good sign to get those breaks and get those opportunities. But it was a tough game because we did a lot of good things and to lose in a shootout it’s tough.
“We have to have that mindset that if you continue to play like that and continue to work that way to get our offensive opportunities, we are going to score more than we are not.”
Winnipeg was left to rue missed chances including three two-on-0ne’s in the first period that resulted in a goose egg in the shot department.
“We had lots of chances to score, I thought their goalie played really well,” said Bryan Little who scored twice on the night. “A couple of breakaways and it could have been a different game.”
Blake Wheeler, who played a much better game and got a goal to show for it, figures that the team took more positives than negatives out of the game.
“I think the positives greatly outweigh the negatives tonight and I think that it is a good building block for our team,” Wheeler said. “What we were going wasn’t acceptable. It was a good start but it is not going to be anything if we don’t continue it into the next game, it is going to be a big challenge going to Nashville.”
Wheeler said the team was sick of the all the negativity.
“I think we got sick and tired of it,” said Wheeler. “I think we got sick and tired of hearing what is wrong with us, sick and tired of the meetings, sick and tired of the media, sick and tired of everything. You can only take so much until you finally you either give up or you go out and kind of do what we did tonight.”
The Jets now head on the road for four games starting with a tough test against the Nashville Predators, a team they lost to 3-1 this past Sunday.
“It is definitely a big thing that we are looking at and it is going to be a lot of big games but we are just going to take it game-by-game and get a win each and every game,” said Mark Scheifele.
The Jets play against the Predators on Thursday night.