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Posted On Wednesday, 04.22.2015 / 3:08 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - Ducks-Jets series blog

Jets confident they still can win series vs. Ducks

WINNIPEG -- Winnipeg Jets defenseman Tyler Myers had a simple question after the morning skate before Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday at MTS Centre (9:30 p.m. ET; USA, TVA Sports, SN, FS-W).

"Why not us?" Myers said of the Jets, who trail the best-of-7 series 3-0 and face elimination. "Why can't we do it?"

The Jets are winless in six games against the Ducks in the regular season and the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In each of their three losses in the series Winnipeg has surrendered third-period leads; Anaheim has outscored Winnipeg 6-0 in the third period in the series.

"[The Ducks are] good at what they do," Jets center Bryan Little said. "They're a good team at keeping the pressure up the whole game and never giving up. They finished where they [did] in the standings for a reason.

"I think it's a mixture of playing a good hockey team and maybe us getting a little tight at the end of games. When it happens a couple times in a row it adds even more pressure to it when you're fighting for a lead at the end of the game."

Posted On Tuesday, 04.21.2015 / 6:22 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - Ducks-Jets series blog

Ducks' Kesler relishes animosity from Jets fans

WINNIPEG -- The Western Conference First Round series of the Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Anaheim Ducks and Winnipeg Jets has its villain.

Ducks center Ryan Kesler has long been a target of rowdy MTS Centre crowds since his time with the Vancouver Canucks. Playoff hockey has only intensified the dislike for Winnipeg fans.

Starting during warmups in Game 3 on Monday and continuing throughout the game, Kesler and Ducks forward Corey Perry received a steady stream of boos and chants inside the smallest arena in the NHL.

"[It] seems everywhere in Canada we go, they’re saying something bad about him," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said Tuesday. "You’re going to have to ask him about what he did to this poor country. But you know what? Some guys like it. [Perry] feeds off it when you start getting on him. He loves that. I guess Ryan’s the same way."

Posted On Tuesday, 04.21.2015 / 5:01 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - Ducks-Jets series blog

Jets hoping lessons learned can extend season

WINNIPEG -- The regular season and the Stanley Cup Playoffs have been one lesson after another for the Winnipeg Jets.

The Jets will face another learning experience Wednesday when they try to fend off elimination by the Anaheim Ducks in Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round at MTS Centre (9:30 p.m. ET; USA, TVA Sports, SN, FS-W). Anaheim leads the best-of-7 series 3-0 after a 5-4 overtime win in Game 3 on Monday.

Eight Winnipeg players have made their playoff debuts in the series and the margin of error in playoff hockey is slim, as the Jets have learned. Anaheim has won each of the first three games after trailing entering the third period, the first team to do so in NHL history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Posted On Monday, 04.20.2015 / 3:08 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - Ducks-Jets series blog

Jets return home looking to get back in series

WINNIPEG – The stakes for the Winnipeg Jets are very clear when they play Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Anaheim Ducks on Monday at MTS Centre (9 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, NBCSN [JIP], TVA, SN,PRIME).

Anaheim leads the best-of-7 series 2-0, leaving Winnipeg with the task of having to win four of the final five games to advance to the second round. The Ducks went 3-0-0 against the Jets in the regular season.

"I think we're just trying to get some momentum back our way in this series," Jets center Bryan Little said Monday after the morning skate. "Tonight is a huge game. They can either take a pretty good commanding lead or we can make it a new series, and the momentum [will be] in our hands. It's kind of put everything on the line and see what happens tonight."

Posted On Tuesday, 04.14.2015 / 5:52 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - Ducks-Jets series blog

Jets forward Perreault questionable for Game 1

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets may not have forward Mathieu Perreault for Game 1 of their Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Anaheim Ducks that starts Thursday at Honda Center (10:30 p.m.; CNBC, TVA, SN, PRIME).

Perreault, who sustained a lower-body injury April 9, did not practice Tuesday before the Jets departed for Anaheim. He missed the Jets' final regular-season game April 11. An offseason addition from the Ducks via free agency, he had 18 goals and 23 assists in 62 games with Winnipeg, and played several key roles on the second and third lines as well as the power play.

"[Perreault] is getting better," Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "We don't want to turn it into a bigger problem than it is, so he'll get out on the ice. He may play based on how he feels after his skate. I expect him to play sooner rather than later."

Posted On Tuesday, 04.14.2015 / 5:49 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - Ducks-Jets series blog

Maurice's influence created winning structure for Jets

WINNIPEG -- When Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice arrived in Jan. 2014, he inherited a team that was beset by a relocation from Atlanta in 2011, years of losing, player turnover and an assortment of coaches. Maurice went to work to restructure the Jets' on-ice systems play and structure, but he also worked to create a new mindset inside the dressing room.

"I think [Maurice] is the biggest factor looking at where we are today," said right wing Blake Wheeler, who has been with franchise since 2011. "He changed everything, realistically. He just brought what we needed. The way he communicates, the way he coaches, it just was a perfect fit for our group, making us realize what we are, and what we are not. It was a perfect hire."

Once a team prone to playing the way that opponents wanted to play, the Jets have learned to adhere to their structure in any situation and even impose their style on other teams.

Posted On Tuesday, 03.31.2015 / 3:06 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Rangers at Jets

WINNIPEG – For the third game in a row, the Winnipeg Jets will receive a boost to their lineup.

The Jets will have center Bryan Little back on their top line Tuesday against the New York Rangers at MTS Centre. Little missed 11 games because of an upper-body injury. His 24 goals tie him for second among Winnipeg scorers, and his 51 points rank third.

Forward Mathieu Perreault missed 16 games because of a lower-body injury before returning Sunday for the Jets’ 4-3 home loss against the Chicago Blackhawks. Defenseman Dustin Byfuglien returned March 26 and has scored three goals in his first two games since an upper-body injury cost him nine.

“I felt really good this morning,” Little said. “The good thing is I’m going to have a lot of energy tonight. I might be a little rusty with the puck. For me, it’s just going to be [a matter of] trying to keep calm before the game. I imagine that I’m going to be a bit nervous and a bit excited.”

Posted On Sunday, 03.29.2015 / 2:25 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blackhawks at Jets

WINNIPEG – The Chicago Blackhawks will attempt to put distance between themselves and the approaching Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre on Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET; CITY, WGN).

The Blackhawks have lost three of their past four games, allowing the Jets to creep to within four points of them in the Central Division. The Minnesota Wild's 4-1 win Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings placed them past the Blackhawks into third place by one point.

Winnipeg received a boost Sunday when coach Paul Maurice confirmed that forward Mathieu Perreault will return to the lineup. Perreault missed 16 games because of an upper-body injury sustained Feb. 16.

Chicago holds the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference; Winnipeg has won six of its past seven games and holds the second wild card. The Blackhawks have a game in hand on the Jets.

Posted On Thursday, 03.26.2015 / 3:38 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Canadiens at Jets

WINNIPEG -- The Montreal Canadiens can clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs when they visit the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; RDS, SNE, TSN3).

The Canadiens became the first team to reach 100 points Tuesday. They can clinch a playoff spot if they defeat the Jets in regulation or overtime, and the Anaheim Ducks defeat the Boston Bruins in any fashion, or if the Bruins beat the Ducks in a shootout.

Montreal also can qualify with a shootout win against Winnipeg if Anaheim defeats Boston in any fashion. Montreal also would clinch a spot with one point against Winnipeg if Anaheim wins against Boston in regulation.

Posted On Saturday, 03.21.2015 / 1:15 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Capitals at Jets

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets will attempt to avoid tempting the Washington Capitals' power play Saturday at MTS Centre.

The Capitals are tied for first in the NHL on the power play with a 25.2 percent conversion rate, and they scored three times with the extra man against the Jets in a 5-1 win Feb. 19 at Verizon Center.

"It's going to be a great challenge," Jets right wing Michael Frolik said. "We want to take [fewer] penalties against them and play 5-on-5 hockey."

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