By Darrin Bauming (@DarrinBauming)
WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Jets brought their 2012 road-woes home with them Thursday night, getting shutout 2-0 by the San Jose Sharks in the only matchup between the two clubs this season.
Watch post-game reaction:
After a dismal 1-3-0 road trip through Montreal, Toronto, Buffalo, and Boston to start 2012, the Jets returned to their normally favourable home ice hoping to reverse their new year’s fortunes. Instead, they dropped their record at MTS Centre to 14-7-1 — albeit, a much better one than the 6-11-4 record they hold while away.
Similar to their third period collapse in Boston (28-11-1) on Tuesday — a game where they were leading a team with the NHL’s most wins by a 3-2 margin after 40 minutes — the Jets fell off the map against the Sharks trailing 1-0, and were nowhere close to mounting a comeback.
“Today was a new day, and we did exactly the same thing — same mistakes,” said goaltender Ondrej Pavelec. “We didn’t deserve to win.”
Winnipeg is now winless in the 16 games in which they’ve trailed after two periods, and have been outscored 10-1 in the final frames of their five games so far this calendar year.
“You’re almost cheating yourself in our d-zone to create offense because now we’re down by two. That doesn’t work,” said Winnipeg head coach Claude Noel in a post-game presser where he couldn’t provide many answers to his team’s poor performance.
“For me it’s going to be more about dealing with the morale of the team. The team isn’t going to be feeling very good right now.”
An evident conclusion by the coach, as Winnipeg went from a red-hot franchise-record-breaking December where they went 10-3-1, to a pathetic January so far.
“Our game isn’t where it was when we were rolling along there,” said veteran forward Jim Slater. “All the games coming (up) are going to be a test for us.”
Once as high as sixth in the Eastern Conference, the Jets are now in tenth, one point behind division rival Washington who currently hold the bottom playoff spot.
The Jets face the sixth place New Jersey Devils (24-17-2) at home on Saturday afternoon before heading out for a pair on the road in Ottawa and New Jersey on January 16 and 17.
ChrisD.ca video/Darrin Bauming