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Hextall on Hockey: Jets show up late, get job done

Winnipeg Jets players gather around Nikolaj Ehlers (27) after he scored the game winning goal past Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray in overtime NHL action in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

I hate when I sleep in.

I feel like I’m playing from behind all day long and I can’t catch up and achieve all I need to in the day.

Unlike the Winnipeg Jets, who seem to have no issue with showing up late and getting the job done.

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In the 183 minutes and 38 seconds the Jets have played this season, the team hasn’t held a lead for a single second, but has come from behind twice to earn overtime wins for a 2-1 record.

Read more: Hextall on Hockey — Is it already time for Winnipeg Jets to push the panic button?

When a team has an ability to play without a lead, it means they’re comfortable with being uncomfortable.

There’s no “at ease” when you’re chasing a lead. You need to get ahead. You need to step on the gas. You need to play with an edge and not skate in a safety net — take a chance, make a move to catch up.

To do this and find success in it is a skill — physical and mental. That being said, no one wants to play from behind.

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To be a good team, the best team, one must learn to lead and be able to defend that advantage, to dictate the game, the pace, the ability to play on both sides of the puck — offence, defence — to be confident, not comfortable, when ahead on the scoresheet.

The Jets have proven they can play from behind and have the fortitude to move forward and find a way to win.

But in the end, the team that scores first wins 67 per cent of its games.

Which means if the Jets are to have success this season, it’s time to set an alarm, start on time and strike first.

Click to play video 'RAW: Jets coach Paul Maurice interview after OT win over Sens' RAW: Jets coach Paul Maurice interview after OT win over Sens
RAW: Jets coach Paul Maurice interview after OT win over Sens – Jan 19, 2021

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