By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck
The Winnipeg Jets fell victim to the Calgary Flames 5-4 in the shootout on Monday night at the MTS Centre in a game that will be defined more by officiating, or lack thereof, rather than sloppy display from the Jets as a whole.
Much has already been and will be made of the officiating in the game, one highlighted by a missed call on Dustin Byfuglien in the third period as well as a 10-minute misconduct penalty to Bryan Little at the end of the game, rendering him unable to take part in the shootout.
“I didn’t say anything, it was the first 10 (minute misconduct) that I have ever got where I didn’t say a word,” said Little who was still visibly frustrated. “I just kind of shook my head at him when I was going back to the bench and that was it.
“It was just kind of frustration from the whole night. I didn’t say anything to him and just kind of shook my head at him; disappointed.”
Little saw the game as not one of his team’s best.
“For me, it was kind of a sloppy game by us,” said Little who scored with 5.6 seconds left to salvage a point for the Jets. “We traded a lot of chances with them and kind of got away from our game plan at times. We did do some good things but some of the chances we gave up and the goals we gave up — we gave them point blank chances — we can only ask Monty (Al Montoya) to bail us out some many times.”
Everyone was keeping a tight-lip on the official’s performance Monday night.
“It is tough losing one of our best shooters, the 10-minute misconduct at the end of the game, over something that I didn’t think was much,” said Ladd. “I will just leave it at that.”
Jets’ head coach Claude Noel saw the game as a “strange” one for his club.
“We chased the game, not only from the goal standpoint, but I thought it was pretty wild in a lot of ways,” Noel said. “I thought it was okay, it was one of those games where it reminded me of a third game in four nights. I wasn’t settled all night, I was uneasy all night in that game, there was no point where I was comfortable.”
Anyone wanting to hear Claude Noel take a rip at the officials will be left disappointed.
“I don’t have a comment on it because I can’t,” said Noel. “I don’t want to talk about the officiating or the calls that were made. It is just something that I won’t benefit…it won’t be a benefit to anybody.”
Noel said the Jets day off on Tuesday would be good for his club.
“We have a day off tomorrow, I think it is time to reenergize and recharge,” said Noel. “We know the opponents we have this week, we have to move forward.”
The Jets will “move forward” against the Central Division leaders, the Chicago Blackhawks, on Thursday night back here at the MTS Centre.