The Winnipeg Jets placed an increased focus on defence during training camp, having finished last season allowing the fourth-most goals in the NHL. That’s why the outcome of their season opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Bell MTS Place on Wednesday was so jarring.
“Just embarrassing,” said Jets winger Patrik Laine following the 7-2 drubbing. “It wasn’t the way we wanted to start the season, but now it’s done.”
Despite outshooting Toronto 17-11 in the first period, Winnipeg finished the frame trailing 3-0. The Leafs added another goal in the second and three more in the third, before the Jets finally made it on the scoresheet with late tallies from Mark Scheifele and Mathieu Perreault.
“We were just not defending well,” said Laine, who earned an assist on Scheifele’s marker. “If the opponent scores seven goals, there’s something we did wrong with our defence.
“It’s obviously frustrating because we were practising defence so much and the first regular season game the opponent scores seven goals,” he added. “That’s not the ideal start.”