By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck
By his own admission, Andrew Ladd did not play his best game on Saturday night. Awful was the word he used and it described more than just his own effort.
“I will take full responsibility for my play, I was awful tonight,” said Ladd who took two offensive zone tripping penalties in the game. “For a team struggling, they are probably looking for leaders; I wasn’t very good.
“We’ve got to find a way to get out of this, and like I said, I’ll start personally with my game and being a lot better and go from there.”
The Jets got off to a good start in the game and held the lead heading into the first intermission. But the second period sunk the Jets, who allowed four goals unanswered in just 9:07.
“I think we had a good start and then a few things go the other way and frustration sets in and we let it get the best of us,” said Ladd. “We continued to let it spiral after that.”
Ladd did his best to quantify the mood of the room and the players he leads.
“You feel like you’re in a deep pit and you’re trying to crawl and scratch your way out of it,” he said. “You get a good start and then all of the sudden, bang-bang, there is two pucks in your net. Maybe panic sets in, you don’t want the puck, you are scared to make a mistake and things start to go the other way.”
Players were quick to come to the defence of under-fire goaltender Ondrej Pavelec. The numbers would suggest that Czech Olympian has been a sub-par goalie for the team, and in many of cases that has been true. But, as was the case tonight and nights in the past, the Jets felt they hung their No. 1 out to dry.
“I thought we left Pav out to dry quite a few times,” said Zach Bogosian who added that “nothing good came from Saturday night’s loss.
“He has done so well for us over the past few years, we left him out to dry — that’s very obvious — so it is disappointing.”
Bogosian’s assessment of the game was not much different than his captains.
“We didn’t really compete all that hard tonight, we didn’t really work all that hard, they won their battles.” he said. “When the other team does that, you are bound to lose.”
Noel, who many were calling for his head both during and after the game, felt that Pavelec and his players can and will rebound from the slump.
“Ondrej Pavelec is a really good goalie and he will be a really good goalie again, just as our players will,” he stated.
“I think right now we suffer from (lack of) confidence, that is very clear,” added Noel. “There are something’s we aren’t doing very well right now…we aren’t passing the puck very well — even on the breakout — we don’t want the puck. You look at some of the mistakes that were made, we have never done this, why would we do this now?
“Right now adversity is the enemy and we aren’t dealing with it very well.”