Winnipeg Jets Poor Special Teams Play Leads to Loss to Panthers

Anthony CapocciContributor IJanuary 31, 2013

SUNRISE, FL - JANUARY 31: Tobias Enstrom #39 of the Winnipeg Jets assists goaltender Ondrej Pavelec #31 defend the net against Jonathan Huberdeau #11 of the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on January 31, 2013 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

The Winnipeg Jets took the ice in Florida Thursday night to take on a Panthers team that dropped five straight. The Jets were coming off a tough loss to Montreal on Tuesday night.

It's safe to say the Jets picked up right where they left off in Montreal.

In the first period, the Jets spent much of the time in their own end. Virtually all of the first two periods were spent in the Jets zone. The Jets got down on the scoreboard early in the second period, but found their way back into the game on a couple of occasions.

The game was tied 1-1 going into the third period. The Jets got a goal from Olli Jokinen to take their first lead of the game, but the Panthers struck back quickly. The Jets got a goal from Toby Enstrom to take the lead yet again, but it went all downhill from there.

The Panthers scored four straight goals, two of which came on the power play, and won the game by the final score of 6-3. Jets netminder Ondrej Pavelec could only do so much in this game.

Some of the same problems that hurt the Jets against the Canadiens resurfaced again here tonight. The most obvious of the problems was the penalty kill. The struggles on the penalty kill took away any chance the Jets had at winning this game.

The Jets put the Panthers on the power play at crucial times late in the game with their lack of discipline, and the Panthers converted on three of their six power plays, including a 5-on-3 and a four-minute double minor.

It's not just the penalty kill, it's the power play as well.

Special teams in general has been woeful at times. And now, fans are wondering if the same road woes of last season will remain intact this season.

Coach Claude Noel will have to make a few assessments going forward, and it starts with special teams.

The Jets have dropped two straight games and now have a record of 3-3-1. Tonight's game was the first of back-to-back games, both on the road. The Jets will be in Tampa Bay Friday night to take on the Lightning.