New York Rangers 2-2-2 6pts
Winnipeg Jets 2-4-1 5pts
7:30pm MTS Centre
Tonight’s game is a tale of two Saturday nights. First you have the Rangers who went into Edmonton and played uninspired in a shut out loss. Then you the the Jets who played with a passion that had been lacking all season. Down two goals early to the Canes Coach Claude Noel pulls Ondrej Pavelec and that seemed to get the team going. The Jets had an offensive explosion and seemed to feed off of the crowd in probably their most complete game of the season. Tonight they will need to harness the energy again as they face a team that will be coming in trying to prove that Saturday night was an aberration and not the norm.
PLAY WELL FROM THE FRONT
The Jets have had a problem with getting out ahead early and then blowing it later in the game. It happened with Chicago and Toronto. When a team is on the ropes you need to employ that killer instinct and finish them off. The problem is the Jets still haven’t settled into an offensive groove and are still having trouble maintaining pressure especially in the offensive zone. When you have a lead you need things tend to open up. The other team takes chances and that in turn gives you an opportunity to capitalize on mistakes.
Last night I was playing in my adult league. We were up 2-1 with less than two minutes left. Their D was pressing and I was able to get a breakaway because of a mistake. Due to crappy ice and my lack of skill I had trouble hanging onto the puck and the goalie was able to poke check the puck away. They then marched down and tied the game up and ultimately got the game winner with 3 seconds left. All because I was unable to capitalize on their mistakes. If the Jets get a chance to put someone away they need to do it.
DOMINATE DOWN LOW
One of my favorite surprises of this young season has been the play of Nik Antropov. The big russian has been absolutely dominating along the boards down low. He is playing with an intensity that has been absent for a long time. The guy is huge and there are not many D men in the league who can match his strength or reach. The Jets need to find at least 2 other guys who can bring that physical game. The Jets have an abundance of big strong forwards they just need the players to step up and use their size. Andrew Ladd can be punishing when he wants to. Now that he has scored maybe he will get back to his game rather than try to press for a goal. The same can be said about Evander Kane who should send tremors of fear into the souls of defensemen. Make the opposing team think about getting hit a split second before they go in for the puck and eventually they will make a mistake and cough up the puck.
FIND THE SPARK WITHIN THE TEAM
The Jets only got going against the Canes once Claude Noel pulled his goaltender. The Jets coach was seen reaming out players on the bench and displayed a level of emotion that he hadn’t all season. This is fine and it seemed to work but you can’t relay on the coach to pull a rabbit out of his hat every single game. Yes its the coaches job to motivate his team but the team needs to also find that motivation inside themselves. Pulling the goalie and screaming at guys will work every now and then but can’t be used as your stand by tool. Used too often and the team gets used to it and it will have no effect. Just ask Mike Keenan teams about how well that works. When the Jets face adversity they need to look to their leaders to pull the team out and give them the kick they need tog get going. The coach going nuclear should be the last resort.
Go Jets Go!
Category: Jets News