By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck
There is a saying that goes like this: you can’t win ’em all. The phrase rang true tonight for the Winnipeg Jets, even if they fought hard for a different result.
It’s not a game you would look at and say the Jets weren’t in it. Remove a second period lapse and the team takes two points off their division rivals. The compete level was there, the Jets fought a good battle, but the end result was a defeat.
“For the most part, I think guys were going pretty hard, pretty good but we couldn’t muster up enough offence to at least get it into overtime.” said Chris Thorburn, who scored his first goal of the season and first in 51 games for the Jets.
There are rarely individual moments in a loss that players want to reflect on, and thus, Thorburn’s first period goal wasn’t up for much discussion post-game.
“It felt good, but at the same time the team lost,” said Thorburn. “I like to contribute in the team’s success and tonight wasn’t that case.”
It was a different sort of dressing room after the game. The loss was the first at home since Maurice took charge and even with the team’s big wins against Anaheim and Chicago, you could tell the team hasn’t lost hope after a tough loss to a perceived lesser team.
“It was obviously a tough game playing against a team we are in a fight with right now,” said Mark Scheifele, who had a goal and an assist on the night. “But we did battle hard for each other and we just need to look forward to Vancouver and get a win there.
“Obviously, we have to look at what we did wrong and what we did right and obviously work on it over the next two days in practice and get a win on Friday.”
Maurice talked of the game being a hard, grinding affair – a battle all the way through.
“Listen, that group…you could see it in their faces coming to the bench – they gave absolutely everything they had,” Maurice stated. “There was nothing easy. You can talk about some sharpness and some puck movement, but we spent a lot here, as they should of, over the last week and they gave absolutely everything they had.”
Maurice said mistakes, such as the slashing call on Devin Setoguchi that led to the game-winning goal, are met with discipline.
“The team gets one opportunity to learn from the mistakes and then you expect a response, an understanding of responsibility, and a respect for his teammates to do whatever they can to get it back.”
Scott’s Scribbles: Evander Kane will be out until after the Olympic break dude to a infection in his hand…Jim Slater skated this morning after Paul Maurice “threw him a bone.” Slater is still on the I.R. and won’t be taken off until he works out with the team…Blake Wheeler scored his 22nd goal of the season, a new career-high for the American Olympian.