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Chabot: Home crowd may have also affected Jets

by Evan Sporer / NHL.com

For additional insight into the Western Conference First Round series between the Anaheim Ducks and Winnipeg Jets, NHL.com has enlisted the help of Frederic Chabot to break down the action. Chabot will be checking in throughout the series.

Chabot was the goaltending coach for the Edmonton Oilers from 2009 to 2014. He played in the NHL for five seasons, spending time with the Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers and the Los Angeles Kings.

Leading up to Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round series between the Winnipeg Jets and Anaheim Ducks, the anticipation and focus was on playoff hockey returning to Winnipeg for the first time since 1996 and what the crowd and atmosphere would be like at MTS Centre.

The Jets faithful did not disappoint, but Frederic Chabot said the environment they created affected each team differently and might not have played out the way the Jets had hoped.

"When there's so much energy in the rink it's not easy to handle," Chabot said. "It may have gotten to some of the players for Winnipeg. In the defensive zone they were maybe trying too hard, losing coverage, and it was creating problems for their goalie.

"The worst thing that can happen is you start trying to do too much, or you get ahead of the play for a goalie. I guess it helps for the forwards when you forecheck, it gives them energy, but on the defensive side of the game you want to be more in control and reading the play, and waiting and being patient."

Chabot didn't think the crowd noise was affecting communication between goalie Ondrej Pavelec and his defensemen, but that Pavelec faced too many quality opportunities and didn't make the big saves he needed to.

"Well, those guys have been playing together for so long that they know their positional game, and the communication should be there no matter what," Chabot said. "It's more I think a matter of trying too hard last night.

"It's really in the intensity of the game that seems to get to Winnipeg. They were chasing players and chasing the puck. It was creating scoring chances that were really hard for Pavelec to save. At the same time, if you want to win in the playoffs you need some big saves and it didn't happen last night."

Though the combined nine goals scored Monday equaled the combined total from Game 1 and 2, there were still some similarities to the games played at Honda Center. Chiefly, the Ducks have remained even-keel no matter the situation.

"Anaheim has been very patient, it doesn't matter if they're ahead or behind: they play the same way," Chabot said. "Their forecheck has been very efficient and their overall game has been good. It seems like they have three or four lines playing really well."

One area Chabot believes has made a difference for the Ducks is their depth. Forward Rickard Rakell scored the overtime winner in Game 3, and Anaheim's bottom-six has found ways to make positive, offensive contributions.

"Jakob Silfverberg has been great in this series," Chabot said. "He is relentless on the forecheck, he kills penalties and has four points in three games."

Now facing elimination, Chabot said the Jets have nothing to lose when they come out in Game 4 in their best-of-7 series and just needs to focus on what's immediately at hand.

"You go back to basics when that stuff happens," he said. "You have to take it one game at a time; one period at a time.

"You have to make sure you bring your A-game, and you don't worry about the result. You just go and try to win your next shift and the next period, and you go on with that."

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