Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Associate coach Jamie Kompon (left) and head coach Paul Maurice of the Winnipeg Jets during a time-out in action against the St. Louis Blues in Game One of the Western Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell MTS Place on April 10, 2019, in Winnipeg.

Jason Halstead/Getty Images

Hockey slowly evolves – but at least most rule changes improve the game.

When the NHL formed back in 1917, they dropped the rover position, meaning more ice surface for 10 skaters rather than 12.

That same year, they let goalies go down to make a save. They allowed for forward passing in 1929. They switched from two halves to three periods in 1910.

Story continues below advertisement

That’s one the Winnipeg Jets might like to have back.

The reason for three periods rather than two halves was obvious – clear the snow – but today’s NHL features so many breaks for ice cleaning by shovel crews that eliminating that third period is at least thinkable, even if it’s never going to happen.

Third periods have been a pain this season for the Jets. When they let a 1-0 lead slip away Wednesday night and watched the St. Louis Blues score twice in the third period to win 2-1 in Game 1 of the opening round of the playoffs, it marked the 10th time in 2018-19 that the Jets let a game slip away.

That, the fact that the Jets dropped 15 points from their remarkable 114 points in 2017-18, and the reality that they stumbled in February and March and barely held on to home advantage to start the playoffs, has made this a nervous town. Fans don’t want to think the unthinkable; players would rather avoid talking about it.

Asked by reporters Thursday morning what happened to his team in the third, Jets captain Blake Wheeler deadpanned: “They scored a goal to tie the game, then they scored another goal to win it late.”

B-b-but what about this pattern of losing leads?

“I think it’s just a strange coincidence, my friend.”

Story continues below advertisement

Similar questions were surely asked in Florida this morning, as the mighty Tampa Bay Lightning – after an NHL-record-tying 62 wins in the regular season – let slip a 3-0 lead in the first period, let slip a 3-1 lead after two periods and saw the Columbus Blue Jackets score three in the third for a 4-3 win.

“Who was the last team to go 16-0 in the playoffs?” Wheeler asked. “Has that ever happened? We didn’t expect to do that.”

“You’re going to lose games,” Winnipeg head coach Paul Maurice added Thursday. “There’s a long list of Stanley Cup champions who get down in the series then have come back. So handling that adversity is a story for every single team.

“I guess we could see a 16-0 [playoff run]. There might have been a prediction of that before [Wednesday] night started,” he said with a sly grin, the reference to the Lightning unspoken but obvious.

In Tampa Bay, they cancelled practice and held meetings. The players there carried much the same message to the gathered media as was delivered in Winnipeg: Don’t change, keep working, keep it simple, chip pucks in, stay with the plan. There needs be no media availability to know these will be the fallback answers.

Maurice said he was generally pleased with his team’s play and regretted that the Jets had lost so many "’A’ chances” – a clear breakaway, a partial breakaway, at least two posts hit.

Story continues below advertisement

The St. Louis Blues won on a late goal that came from stellar work along the boards and back of the Winnipeg net by winger Pat Maroon, who then spotted Tyler Bozak in the slot, fed him a pass and Bozak, once a long-time Toronto Maple Leaf, beat Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck with a quick shot. Both Maroon and Bozak were curiously unattended.

It was a game of quick and powerful momentum shifts. The Jets came out hard and aggressive in the first and held on through the second period. Maurice was insistent that his team was never “sitting on” that one-goal lead. In the third period, however, the aggressiveness shifted to the Blues and it seemed the Jets were caught, especially in their own end.

Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly, who successfully took several key faceoffs as the game wound down, thought that his team stole the game a bit. Teammate Alex Steen, who was born in Winnipeg, said it was more a case of the Blues’ confidence growing as the game moved along. “We got two huge goals there in the third.”

“Those are the times that I live for,” O’Reilly said. “I love being on the ice there at the end and having the high-pressure situations.”

“Tampa tied the NHL record for wins this year and they’re down 0-1,” Wheeler added when he was no longer deadpanning. “There’s so much parity in the league, if you’re going to be devastated by a loss or two losses, you have no business expecting to win the Stanley Cup.”

The Jets plan for Game 2 in Winnipeg on Friday night, said the captain, was simple: “Show up and work the way our team knows how to work. And if, God willing, we aren’t able to win that game or we win that game, we’re going to manage it the exact same way going into St. Louis.”

Story continues below advertisement

“You’re trying to win four games,” Jets defenceman Josh Morrissey added, “and it doesn’t matter if they are at home or on the road.”

“We can be better,” St. Louis head coach Craig Berube promised. “We have to be better. Because they are going to be better. That’s the way you have to look at the next game. They are going to come out harder. They are going to be better. We have to ramp our game up. We have to be better, too. Match it.”

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies