The Winnipeg Jets have had a few tough nights lately.
It was less than two weeks ago that Winnipeg suffered a 5-3 defeat at the hands of the then-red hot Columbus Blue Jackets only to go out two nights later and get their doors blown off 6-2 by the New York Islanders. The Jets managed to piece together three wins in four games since that dreadful outing against the Islanders, but Wednesday night was one of Winnipeg’s most forgettable nights of the season.
In a meeting with the Canadiens, the Jets found themselves down two goals less than five minutes into the opening frame and behind 3-2 by the time the first intermission rolled around. Then, less than five minutes into the second period, the Jets allowed another pair of goals to fall behind 5-2. It was at that point Maurice, exasperated by the way his team had played to that point, called a timeout and absolutely ripped into his squad.
The intense scolding during the timeout helped for a brief moment — the Jets scored on a power play shortly thereafter — but another pair of Montreal goals in the third period and a 7-4 loss at the hands of the Habs had Maurice more than a little peeved at his team’s performance. And boy, was he up front about that post-game.
Though his demeanor was calm and cool during his meeting with media following the outing, it was clear Maurice was far from pleased with the way his team had performed. Watch as Maurice, who was displeased with the Jets’ play for “the entire night,” lets some choice words out when asked how to shake a bad game and what exactly what went wrong:
"I didn't like the way we were playing. I didn't like the way we played the whole entire night."
Paul Maurice on the 7-4 loss to MTL. pic.twitter.com/3JZh7VdrxQ
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) January 12, 2017
Maurice has every right to be frustrated following a game in which the Jets were blown out on home ice, especially when a few points that slip away here or there could be the difference between Winnipeg finding themselves in the post-season or only a hair short of making it back to the playoffs for the second time since arriving in Manitoba.
As it stands, the Jets are a single point out of the final wild card spot in the Western Conference, but they’ve played three more games than the Los Angeles Kings, who are currently holding down the final playoff spot in the West.
This was supposed to be a potential bounce-back year for the Jets, who finished near the bottom of the league in 2015-16 despite earning a playoff berth in 2014-15. Instead, the team is a game below .500 with less than half the campaign to go and the only team to lose more games by three-plus goals is the Colorado Avalanche.
Maurice’s Jets will have a chance to rebound from the brutal loss to the Canadiens on Friday evening when Winnipeg squares off against the struggling Arizona Coyotes.
Want more in-depth features and expert analysis on the game you love? Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.