Jets power play woes continue against Rangers

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The Jets continue their efforts to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs in just their second year back in Winnipeg.

The way they’ve playing of late, that may just have to wait until next year. The Jets have lost three consecutive games but still hold the third seed in the Eastern Conference standings courtesy of the fact they lead the Southeast Division by four points over the Carolina Hurricanes.

On Monday, with a chance to put some distance between them and the Hurricanes, the Jets lost 4-2 to the New York Rangers in a result highlighted by a pivotal short-handed goal given up to Ryan Callahan in the second period.

The Callahan short-handed marker turned a 2-1 Jets’ lead into a tie hockey game, and the Rangers took over from there.

Meanwhile, Winnipeg’s struggles on the power play continue. The Jets are 26th in the NHL on the power play, which is operating at 13.4 per cent. But not only are the Jets not capitalizing on their power play chances, they gave up a goal with the man advantage, which only adds to this late-season swoon.

“You can’t continue down the power-play road because it’s going to end up catching up to us,” Jets head coach Claude Noel told the Winnipeg Free Press.

“We’ve known that all year. You can’t come down to the crunch time and expect that you get five or six power plays and you don’t capitalize on any of them. It’s going to come back and hurt you.”

After PTO, Upshall signs one-year deal with Blues

Florida Panthers v Ottawa Senators
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Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.

On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.

But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.

The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.

Panthers’ Crouse is going back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One
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Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.

Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.

Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.

“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”