After the Jets lost 4-1 in Calgary on Tuesday — their fifth loss in seven games — Paul Maurice looked like the head coach of a team that just needed to get away for a little while.
Then he met with the assembled media, and confirmed it.
In the third person!
“We’ll deal with what we’re doing coming out of the break, but this team needs some rest,” Maurice said, per the Jets website. “The coach has been in a bad mood for a long time and…. we need some rest, some separation.”
The Jets head into the Christmas break as one of the NHL’s biggest disappointments. After making the playoffs a year ago, they currently sit 24th overall with 32 points, eight back of Nashville for the final wild card in the Western Conference.
Maurice is clearly frustrated.
And that frustration might not be going anywhere.
Coming out of the break, the Jets have a pair of tough home games — against Pittsburgh and Detroit — before heading out on a five-game road swing through Arizona, San Jose, Anaheim, Nashville and Dallas (the Jets are an ugly 6-12-1 away from home this year).
With the trade deadline drawing closer, those storylines will only intensify.
Finally, there’s the issue of the club’s goaltending.
While Ondrej Pavelec has been erratic during his time as the club’s No. 1, his lengthy absence with a knee injury has proven costly. Michael Hutchinson has one win in his last 12 outings while prized prospect Connnor Hellebuyck has struggled recently, posting just an .883 save percentage in his last five games.