New York Islanders 10-14-6 26pts
Winnipeg Jets 15-13-4 34pts
7:30pm MTS Centre
If you looked trap game up in the dictionary there would be a picture of nothing since how could you have a picture of that. Yet this game is most assuredly one and if they ever take pictures of one this will be it. The Jets face the Islanders after an emotional win over the Ducks Saturday night. Thursday and Friday they have the Habs and the Pens coming in before the Christmas break so you can see what the problem is. Coach Noel needs to make sure that he has his guys ready and up for this game. Every point they can get is important and it is imperative that the Jets get as many as possible during this home stand. I’m not saying this game is a gimmie but its pretty close. The Jets have a tendency to not play well against lesser opponents so they need to just step it up and take care of business.
Little is out and Annti is in so that means that Coach Noel has to mix up the lines. He’s moved Annti to play with Slater and Glass and Thorburn has been relegated to the fourth line. The issue will be can these new pairings have the same success as the old ones? Hockey is a game that relies on chemistry. You can have the greatest player in the world but if his teammates are not in sync with him then all that talent is wasted. Thats why practice and repetition is so important. The more guys play with each other the more likely they will be able to read the play and make something happen. Hopefully these new combos have had enough time to get used to each other and the Jets offense doesn’t have to skip a beat.
PROTECT THE NET
D needs to clear out the opponent from infront of the net at all times. They have to give the goalie as musch room as possible. Player in the NHL are so big and strong that it is a hard task to accomplish at times. The good news is the refs are pretty lenient with D infront of the goal. As long as you aren’t getting the stick up then its pretty much fair game. With big strong D like Buff and Bogo there should never be an instance when a Jets goalie is screened. The one issue though is that with Noel’s defensive scheme the center drops down low to pick up the extra guy infront of the net. If there isn’t anyone down low the center is just left floating there and could screen the goal. The Jets need to communicate with each other and let them know when they are blocking the goalie.
As it stands right now the Jets are one point out of 8th place and 2 out of 7th. The playoffs are in reach and the boys need to focus on that with laserlike attention. Last year it looked like the Thrasher’s were going to make the playoffs and then after Christmas they had the mother of all collapses. The Thrashers are dead so the Jets need to make sure they do not repeat that performance. A lot of it had to do with depth. Despite the media love fest with Ramsay he did a horrible job with the Thrashers last season. He wore his team out and when it came time to seal the deal they were too tired and didn’t have enough depth to compete. Noel needs to have learned that lesson if the fans of winnipeg are to relive the white out. From this point on the Jets need to have one goal, one purpose and thats to make the playoffs. No one thinks the Jets can do. It starts tonight as the Jets play a team that they should be able to win against.
Category: Jets News