By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck
Normally one would look at two-straight losses, one in which garnered a point, and say “c’est la vie.” But for the Winnipeg Jets, in the hunt for a coveted playoff spot, it looks like a similar story — one akin to the two previous seasons where they conked out when it mattered most.
“I don’t think so,” said Michael Frolik on the subject of regressing as a team. “I think the first period was pretty good, it was a tight game. We scored the first goal and then we just gave up one right away and then there was a turnover in the neutral zone. We need to be sharper; we were kind of struggling in the neutral zone and didn’t put the puck in deep so we could forecheck.
“You’re going to have some bumps in the road and we know that. We just need to learn from it and go for the next one.”
“No, not at all,” added Ondrej Pavelec, whose 38 saves kept the Kings from opening up a much larger lead over the Jets. “That is a good team with a good system, they don’t give you much.”
Pavelec was right on the money. The Jets were held without a shot multiple times — and for long stints — including an almost 20-minute session from the middle of the first period to the middle of the second.
“They had a lot of shots from the power play, that kills you, you can’t do that,” said Pavelec.
Bang on the money again.
Penalties were a sore spot for the Jets on the night. A couple of needless calls, one by captain Andrew Ladd who was called on blatant hit-from-behind and another, a high-sticking call on Blake Wheeler that led to the Kings’ third goal of the night, sealed their fate.
“I thought we did a lot of good things and didn’t give them much,” said Ladd. “We spent a little too much time in the box after that.”
“We got to stay out of the box,” added Jets head coach Paul Maurice after his team took three offensive zone penalties throughout the game. “Bad penalties are bad penalties.”
The Kings are now 19-0-0 when leading after two periods of play and held the Jets to just four shots in the third frame.
“They will take your game and frustrate you to the point where you change what you are trying to do,” said Maurice. “They are dangerous.”