The Winnipeg Jets are really wasting a friendly schedule to start the season. Their latest loss came yesterday, 3-1 to the visiting Predators, dropping their record to 4-5-0 after nine games, seven of which have been at the MTS Centre.
Only Tuesday’s home game against Washington remains before the Jets head out on a four-game trip to Nashville, Dallas, Colorado and St. Louis.
For head coach Claude Noel, the frustration is evident.
“Right now I can’t find the right 12 to play together,” he said today. “Who’s my 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th line? I don’t have enough players to sit everybody.”
Struggling forward Devin Setoguchi has been the most notable healthy scratch so far; the 26-year-old sat out Friday’s game versus the Blues. Many Jets fans would like to see Blake Wheeler sit next.
Whatever the lineup versus the Caps, the Jets need to start the game better than they’ve been doing. In the first and second periods combined, Winnipeg has been outscored 20 to 10. In three of their four victories, they’ve been forced to overcome a deficit.
It’s that sort of inconsistent play — be it period to period or game to game — that was a problem last season. Now it’s a problem again in 2013-14.
“We have said so many times that if we want to win we have to play the whole 60 minutes,” goalie Ondrej Pavelec said. “It’s been the same story all season long.”
Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.
Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.
The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.
A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.
With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.
Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.
Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.
When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.
“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”
It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.
While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.