Tampa Bay Lightning 8-6-2 18pts
Winnipeg Jets 5-9-3 13pts
7:30pm MTS Centre
Before we get into the preview for tonights game I have a few things I need to get off my chest.
These are dark days, dark days indeed. The Jets fell to the worst team in the NHL and somehow made them look like the 85 Oilers. Its like this team takes one step forward twenty three steps back. 92% of the problems with this team are mental. They make stupid unforced errors which costs them the game. This team can score goals when they play the way they are suppose to. The D has the skills to shut down almost any team when the play like they are suppose to. The problem is they are not playing up to the level they should. It comes down to one of two things.
1) They don’t have the skills to play at this level and the team needs to be rebuilt.
2) The coaches can’t get the performances they need out their players.
To be honest I think its a bit of both. Winnipeg got the Thrashers not the Washington Capitals. This team had been so poorly managed that the cupboard is pretty bare. They have a ton of top five picks in the lineup yet they just can’t live up to expectations. This falls on the scouts who picked the players and the management who rushed their development. Craig Ramsay did a pretty good job at ruining Zach Bogosian and to that extent Big Buff as well (Buff should have stayed as a forward). Yes you should build through the draft but you also need some vets to teach the kids how to win.
Now they have new management and they have started to make a few good moves for the future. Moving Scheifele down will pay dividends down the road. Yet I think we have a coaching problem Noel can’t get his team to understand this simplest concepts. Either he is not teaching them or they are not understanding him. At some point something has to give. I think Noel gets at least 2 years but I don’t think the same can be said about some players on the roster.
Anyway rant over lets get onto the game preview.
IT’S A TRAP
The Bolts play a 1-3-1 defensive system otherwise known as the neutral zone trap. Done correctly it can lead you to championships, just as the New Jersey Devils. Last week Tampa played Philly and the Flyers decided that they didn’t want to contend with the trap so they just held back and passed the puck between the two defensemen. It was an extremely boring yet highly effective way to beat the trap. Tampa wouldn’t forecheck and Philly just waited until they saw a hole to get the puck through. I’m not suggesting the Jets do this but they need to find a way to beat the system. The easiest way is with speed and quick short passes. Force Tampa to get out of their lanes and that will create space.
GET YOU HEAD INTO THE GAME
The Jets know they haven’t been playing well. Their coaches are telling them, the media is telling the and probably so is their families. As hard as it sounds they just have to turn that all off. Negativity breeds negativity , it feeds off of itself and can infect the entire dressing room. The Jets coaching staff needs to set realistic goals. Each period is its own game. Just try and win each period, each shift even if you get behind. They need to make the game smaller. When you do that you get small successes which in turn builds confidence and leads to more success.
A MISTAKE FREE GAME BY ALL THE D
One game Buff is the heel, the next its Oduya, then Bogosian and on and on and on. The Jets need all their D men to play good at the same time. One bad game by one guy usually sinks this team. The last few games these losses can be placed clearly on the shoulders of one D man. Now usually if you have a problem with one guy you make a change and then problem solved. The issue the Jets are running into is that each game its a different player who poops the proverbial bed. I’m really not sure what the solution to this is but everyone needs to pick up their game and keep it there.
Category: Jets News