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Loss to Vancouver Means Big Off-Season for Chevy

In a home game against the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night, a game that the Winnipeg Jets pretty much dominated from start to finish, the last thing that made any sense was a 3-2 loss. Now, without a miracle, the only thing that will make sense this summer will be major changes.

Granted, the Jets didn’t lose in regulation on Wednesday and thus earned a single point, but as we have made pretty clear during the past 10 days, a single point is not good enough.

Ondrej Pavelec played pretty well, but the Jets had no finish (Photo by Jeff Miller)

Ondrej Pavelec played pretty well, but the Jets had no finish (Photo by Jeff Miller)

In another example of why stats are for losers, the Jets had all the numbers:

1. Winnipeg outshot Vancouver 34-33 but many of the Canucks shots were from the perimeter and were not particularly difficult for Ondrej Pavelec (or any NHL goalie, for that matter) to handle.

2. The Jets outhit Vancouver 41-25 and won most of the battles in the dirty parts of the rink.

3. Winnipeg had more takeaways (12-8) and were even with Vancouver in giveaways (9-9). The Jets only lost the faceoff battle 52-48, which for the Jets is as good a night as they’ll have.

4. The Jets also had a penalty shot, but Evander Kane missed it. That just screams “Winnipeg Jets!” these days.

This was a game the Jets had to have and despite taking a 2-1 lead into the final 10 minutes of regulation time, simply couldn’t hang on. Former Moose Alexandre Burrows scored his second of the night for slumping Vancouver and that sent the game into overtime. After a blank in OT, the Jets also failed to score in the shootout and Chris Higgins eventually won it for the Canucks.

The game was pretty feisty at the beginning (Photo by Jeff Miller).

The game was pretty feisty at the beginning (Photo by Jeff Miller).

If ever a team was ripe to be kicked, it was Vancouver, but the Canucks sucked it up after giving up seven in the third period to the Islanders earlier this week and stole one on the road. Now the Jets have stress.

Despite goals by Andrew Ladd and Michael Frolik and a solid effort by Pavelec, the local side is now 30-28-9, back into 11th in the West, a point back of 10th-place Vancouver, four behind ninth-place Phoenix and five back of eighth-place Dallas (the Stars now have two games in hand). The Jets are now 11-5-5 under Paul Maurice and 3-3-4 in their last 10. The Jets are 0-2-3 in their last five — that’s three of a possible 10 points.

A playoff berth will take a miracle now. Not only do the Jets need to start winning again, but they also need three teams ahead of them to start losing. Trouble is, one probably will and two might, but it’s unlikely all three will collapse.

The Jets were all over the Canucks Eddie Lack but couldn't score more than two (Photo by Jeff Miller).

The Jets were all over the Canucks Eddie Lack but couldn’t score more than two (Photo by Jeff Miller).

It’s not a lack of effort. It’s certainly not a lack of heart. The Jets might simply be too thin and as a result, the loss of a player like Mark Scheifele — who was having such a wonderful rookie season before he was injured — could hurt more than anyone might have imagined.

This team still appears to lack finish and depth. Without that late-season miracle, Kevin Cheveldayoff will have a lot of work to do in the offseason.

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