Carolina 3-2-2 8pts
Winnipeg 1-4-1 3pts
6pm MTS Centre
Just when you think things are going well, the Jets lay an egg in Ottawa and get trounced by a team that we should be trouncing. I’m not going to pull punches here. The Jets were really bad last game. Our D has some serious issues. There is no way NHL caliber defensemen should be giving up the puck like that. Johnny Oduya was rumored as not wanting to be in Winnipeg. Well, the young D man is making a pretty good case for not being in the NHL. His play needs to improve. Plain and simple.
Andrew Ladd may not get a chance to snap out of his slump since he might miss the game after taking a puck to the face against Ottawa. The one bright spot has been the play of Alexander Burmistrov, who has started to play to his potential after a rough rookie season.
So far this season the Jets have been horrible in the faceoff circle especially in their own end. Brian Little is supposed to be our go to guy on the dot but he has been beaten consistently every game so far this season. If your best faceoff guy is struggling, then you are going to be in trouble. It all begins with winning the draw. When you get the puck off the faceoff you control and dictate the play. The Jets have been chasing the puck way too much and need to control it more. They lack the shut down D so they need have have more possession. And, it all begins with the draw.
Through the first four games the Jets Penalty Kill looked pretty good. Then we went to Toronto and the wheels fell off the bus. Maybe it was the pollution in the air in Southern Ontario, but for some reason the penalty kill unit took a step backward on the Jets mini road trip.
It’s pretty simple. They aren’t clearing the pucks when they get a chance. Claude Noel seems to like a fairly aggressive Penalty Kill, which is fine when you have the defensive talent to pull it off. Sadly, at this time, the Jets do not. The theme for this season is “simplify” and that exactly what the Jets need to do. Let the other team have the perimeter and focus on keeping the puck out of the middle of the ice. They need to play a diamond which rotates to give different looks and provides some pressure. This isn’t rocket surgery, it’s just basic Hockey.
MIX THINGS UP
When things go bad you have two schools of thought. First you can stick with what you are doing, knowing that your original plan was the best and things will eventually work out. Or, you can radically start mixing things up with the hope that you find the right combo. Usually the second option comes up when you are desperate and nothing else has worked. I think it’s time for some thinking outside the box. At this point, the Jets are in trouble they need to find that spark to get things going in the right direction.
Let’s start with moving Buff up to forward. We need a spark and he’s just the guy to give it to us. Besides it seems he wants to play up anyways so lets just bite the bullet and do it. Antropov and Burmistrov are the only two players who have showed any chemistry, so other than them lets change up the lines a bit. Keep the Russians together, but lets see what we can do.
Move Kane around until you find a line that will get him going. I say the Jets sit Oduya and call up Paul Postma. Show Oduya that there are consequences for bad play. Finally coach Claude Noel needs to have a talk with Mark Scheifele. The coach needs to throw down the gauntlet and give the kid the straight goods. You have 3 games to get a crap load of points or you are going back to juniors.
Go Jets Go!
Category: Jets News