If the first time is a one-off and the second a coincidence, the Winnipeg Jets are on the verge of a disturbing trend.

For the second straight game, the Jets were outworked and out-desired by a team below them in the standings, this time in Florida, Tuesday.

The 4-1 loss to the injury-riddled, last-place Panthers was every bit as ugly as a 3-0 beat-down by lowly Washington last weekend, causing some of those deep-rooted questions about this team's makeup to pop up again.

Having fallen out of a playoff spot in the loss to the Capitals, you'd think the Jets would come out hard and determined to start this four-game road trip.

Nope.

You'd think they'd jump all over a Panthers team that has as much talent in sick bay as it does on the active roster.

Nope.

And if it was just one of those nights as far as bounces or finish around the net goes, you'd think the Jets would at least crank up their work ethic to match a team playing before a dead-quiet, half-empty rink.

Triple-nope.

Saturday against Washington, it appeared the Jets were satisfied with their mediocre, eighth-place standing, sad as that sounds.

Tuesday, who knows?

Blake Wheeler may have said it best after the horn put the Jets out of their misery.

"It looked like they had more to play for than we did," Wheeler told the TV audience.

It did.

And that's frightening.