By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck
Losses tend to lead to dreary dressing rooms. But in the case of the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night, the mood was rather light despite dropping a 3-2 decision to the New York Islanders in overtime.
Positives are a funny narrative in sports. Usually the term rears its head after defeats and when players are scrambling for something good to say about their shortcomings. For the Jets, who picked up a valuable point after being outplayed most of the game, the positive was a point gained and another game where they battled back in the face of adversity — even if they wound up on the wrong side of the score sheet.
“We want to stay positive here, we want to move forward and take that point,” said Olli Jokinen who picked up an assist on Andrew Ladd’s game-tying goal. “There are no easy games. They were trying, we were trying; they just ended up scoring one more goal. Each team had chances but that is the way it goes sometimes.
“We take the point, it could be a huge point.”
Andrew Ladd notched his 16th and 17th goals of the season in the loss. He said his team started off slow but picked up the pace as the game wore on.
“For our group, I thought we were a little tight, in the first period especially,” said Ladd, who is now third in scoring on the Jets with 45 points. “By the time we got a little looser and playing we were down 2-1 but I thought we did a good job battling back to get into overtime and at that point it can go either way.”
Credit to the New York Islanders who were without Thomas Vanek, Jonathan Tavares and Andy MacDonald, the latter who was traded earlier in the day to the Philadelphia Flyers. On top of that, they started Anders Nilsson, their third-string goalie who put together an exceptional 36-save performance in only his second win in nine starts this season.
“They were making plays out there,” said Mark Stuart who added that the team wouldn’t dwell on the loss. “You can’t dwell on games to long because we are going, going, going this month.
“That was huge for us to grab that point.”
Meanwhile, the status of 21-year-old Mark Scheifele, who went down in the second period with an apparent right leg injury, will not be known until Wednesday morning when he gets evaluated. His status for Thursday’s game is up in the air at this point. Chris Thorburn also picked up a knock in the game and played just one shift after a first period fight with Matt Martin.
“I’m not going to speculate on what we think in terms of the length of this,” said Maurice. “We’ll know everything we need to know by the morning — I think by the time we meet tomorrow.”