WINNIPEG – Jonathan Toews knows you don’t always have to win pretty this late in the season.
All that counts is getting the win.
Toews deflected in Niklas Hjalmarsson’s long shot with 31 seconds left in regulation as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 on Sunday.
“We’re going to have to win games in dramatic fashion sometimes, especially this time of year,” said Toews, who scored his 25th goal of the campaign. “They’re not going to be pretty and winning games by two or three goals, so we’re going to have to find ways to squeak them out.”
WINNIPEG — Ah, the life of a Winnipeg Jets goaltender. One week, they’re calling for your head. The next, you’re stopping everything in reach against one of the league’s most explosive offences and being praised by 15,016 deafening fans at the MTS Centre.
Ondrej Pavelec isn’t the only reason the Winnipeg Jets beat the Washington Capitals 3-0 Saturday night, but he played a very big role. Pavelec made 27 saves for his 13th career shutout, many of them in stunning fashion. He’s now matched a career high with his fourth straight win.
“It felt good… I didn’t have to make too many saves, I think we played well defensively,” said Pavelec. “Hockey’s 60 minutes, no matter what, and I’m happy I was able to stop loose pucks because you never know what’ll happen afterwards.”
WINNIPEG — Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice referred to the St. Louis Blues as the best team in the league following morning skate, and his scrappy club rose to the occasion Thursday night as the two division rivals battled into overtime and eventually the shootout with a raucous capacity MTS Centre crowd ignited following a 2-1 Jets victory.
Ondrej Pavelec, the embattled veteran Jets goaltender, played the role of redeemer stopping 32 shots through 65 minutes in addition to halting the dangerous duo of Alexander Steen and Vladimir Tarasenko in the shootout to seal the win.
“(Pavelec) made us look good when we couldn’t look good,” said Maurice of his goaltender, who made a third-straight start after going nearly four months without consecutive nods in the Jets starting lineup.
WINNIPEG — Entering Tuesday as the two clubs directly below the Western Conference playoff line with 13 games to play in the regular season, saying the meeting between the San Jose Sharks and Winnipeg Jets would be important might be a bit of an understatement.
Fortunate for the 15,016 Jets faithful at MTS Centre, the home club came out with their engines in full burn, taking a 3-0 stranglehold in the opening 13:01 on their way to a decisive 5-2 victory.
The win puts the 35-23-12 Jets back into playoff position, leapfrogging the idle Los Angeles Kings and into the second Western Conference Wild Card spot with 82 points.
Winnipeg sports fans are in store for a second professional hockey team in the city.
True North Sports and Entertainment has announced the relocation of its Winnipeg Jets’ AHL affiliate to Winnipeg next season. The St. John’s, NL franchise — known as the IceCaps — will play at MTS Centre.
To fill the gap left by the IceCaps, the Montreal Canadiens will move their affiliate team — the Hamilton Bulldogs — to St. John’s.
WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Jets received a double dose of bad news Friday that could make it harder for them to hold on to a playoff spot.
Head coach Paul Maurice said following practice that versatile defenceman Dustin Byfuglien and top-line centre Bryan Little are out with injuries. Little could miss a couple of games while Byfuglien will be sidelined two-to-four weeks.
But Maurice noted it’s a chance for other players to yet again pick up the slack.