Winnipeg Jets 24-23-6, 54 pts
Montreal Canadiens 19-24-9, 47 pts
1:00pm Bell Centre
So last night my rec team The Molson Twins had a very important game against a team much lower in the standings. It was a huge game for us since it would decide our playoff seed. Win and we would finish 3rd, lose and we could drop all the way to 5th. We came out and played a little tentative. We even gave up the first goal but after a while we were able to wear the other team down and use our superior talent to put the game away. Thats the story line the Jets need to follow today. They are a better team than the Habs in all respects. The Jets just need to start believing it. Hockey is a game of confidence and when you have trouble putting the puck in the net your confidence starts to drop. The Jets can score they just need to focus on hitting the net first.
WAKE UP MR. SLEEPY HEAD
The Jets don’t play a lot of early games so this is going to be a little interesting for the players and staff. Pro sports is all about routine. Teams try to do the same thing before every game so that the players get used to it and are comfortable. An early start time throws that schedule out of whack. The Jets will need to figure out a way to accelerate their routine and when the puck drops they need to be ready to go. Hopefully they had an early dinner last night and all got a lot of rest because you know the Habs will be ready to play.
PUCKS DOWN LOW
So the Jets offense relies on getting pucks in deep and then trapping the other team in their own zone. They force the other team to make a play and choke out the passing lanes. When the Jets get control of the puck they want to work it around the perimeter and get the big shot from the point with traffic infront. Well to put it bluntly thats not working. The Jets need to keep the puck low and then look for the open man in the slot or on the back side. If shooting lanes aren’t open then the D man needs to move the puck low and have one of the forwards move laterally to try and create space for the men infront of the net. Its takes a lille more precision but its clear that what they are doing now just isn’t working.
CONTROL THE NEUTRAL ZONE
As part of their offensive scheme the Jets looks for a long shot pass from the D and then try to deflect it around the red line. This gets the puck in deep while negating an icing call. This is good if you have backside pressure coming in to pick up the puck. If the off wing forward isn’t in full flight the D man can just pick up the puck and fire it out of the zone. This is a great way to get around a neutral zone trap but if the other team is ready for it they can keep a D man back and just regain control of the puck quite easily. The Jets have been able to create space when they have been able to carry the puck through the neutral zone and into the other team’s end. The Jets have D men who can carry the puck they need to get them to do that a little more often. When Buff or Enstrom decide to go end to end there isn’t many teams who can stop the mobile D men. By doing this the Jets add another dimension to their game and keep the other team guessing.
Category: Jets News