Having already shouldered a mammoth workload this season — 1906 shots faced, fifth-most in the NHL — Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec was livid after Monday’s 6-4 loss to Ottawa, a game the Winnipeg Free Press called “an absolute defensive nightmare.”
The guy that’s kept Winnipeg in so many games this season watched as his playoff chances were essentially snuffed out.
But rather than bite his tongue, Pavelec let loose.
“This hockey is not going to take you to the playoffs,” he said after the Jets allowed six even-strength goals. “Even if we make it, if we’re going to play like that everybody’s going to kill us.”
Pavelec seemed especially irate at Ottawa’s fifth goal, scored just 24 seconds after Winnipeg tied the game:
“There’s got to be more responsibility there,” he said. “You tie the game with three minutes left and everybody’s so excited at a time when you need every point and then they score like 10 seconds later.”
This isn’t the first time Pavelec’s seen a defensive breakdown — far from it. The Jets have been nightmarish at times in their own end, a big reason why they rank 24th in goals allowed (2.88 per game) and have surrendered 47 power play goals, fourth-most in the NHL.
Pavelec said things need to change.
“You fight for the playoffs — this isn’t the hockey that’s going to take us to the playoffs,” he explained. “This is the hockey like summer hockey, exhibition games. We had a lot of scoring chances, a lot of shots to the net. Offensively I think we were good.
“But defensively it’s about five guys on the ice… I don’t know what to say. It’s a tough loss, but it’s been like that before.”