Should the Winnipeg Jets need something to hang their hats on heading into Wednesday's clash with the Columbus Blue Jackets to kick off a three-game road trip, they simply need to look at their own history.
With their 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday, the Jets are on a three-game losing skid -- their first since they opened the season in that same manner. However, they rebounded from that early-season swoon by winning four straight and going on a 9-1-2 run.
That said, the Jets must perform better than they did in the third period of the Pittsburgh loss. It was a 1-all game going into the final frame, but they were outshot 17-6 in the period and deservedly outscored.
"We have a lot of guys that can create off the rush, but if we can get that offensive zone, get more pucks to the net, a little bit greasier, if we can add that dimension that's going to open up the rush game more," forward Andrew Copp said. "If we can get the first goal and make teams chase us, that's when things open up for us."
It's not like the Jets are completely off their game, but their third-period performance was a disappointing way to conclude a homestand.
"We didn't play well in the third period," coach Paul Maurice said. "I'm not (saying) our entire offensive game is missing. Parts are better than it's ever been, just the puck isn't going in the net."
The Blue Jackets have won three of four games, the latest a 7-4 road win over the Buffalo Sabres on Monday. I was a strong rebound after dropping a 3-2 game to the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday.
"Good teams never lose three in a row, but they try to keep it to not losing two in a row as much as possible," forward Jack Roslovic said. "I think we're doing a good job of that this year."
That said, the Blue Jackets don't believe they're at their best. In two of their past three games, they have surrendered four goals, and they've allowed 23 goals over their past six outings.
"Good teams find a way to win no matter what is going on," coach Brad Larsen said. "Those are tough games to weather the storm, but it takes a good goaltender and good defense. We had both of those (against Buffalo after the first 10 minutes)."
Monday's game might have marked a turning point for a couple of struggling forwards. Roslovic went into the night without a goal but scored twice in a three-point outing to regain some confidence.
Meanwhile, linemate Max Domi, who returned from offseason shoulder surgery in time for the season to kick off, suffered a rib injury that sidelined him four games and then missed a couple of outings due to COVID-19 protocols, scored once and netted two assists.
Together, Roslovic, Domi and Gregory Hofmann combined for eight points.
"I think of that as my job, and to do that is important," said Roslovic, who had a breakout 2020-21 season with 12 goals and 34 points in 48 games. "You're always trying to get better and help the team win, but I see my game as doing a lot of other things besides that."
--Field Level Media