October 27 2013 09:35PM
The Jets played a much better road game than many would have expected. On paper, their back-up net minder played on the second game of a road back-to-back against the league's second place team - a team with a +18 goal differential in just 10 games coming into tonight. In that light, a 3-2 loss is a near win in an up-hill battle.
Scrambly play by Semyon Varlamov, and a few wild-bounce chances for the Jets gave the viewer a sense that the game was close. We wanted it to be close, and there's a fair argument that the Jets were a few bounces from a "W." But with calm reflection, it was another classic Jets outing - out shot, out possessed, and out played. They needed profound luck to get a sniff.
There was some genuine good in this game.
Ladd is getting some guff for not playing quite as dominantly as we're used to. But in a game where most of the Jets were absolutely dominated, the Little and Ladd pairing was superb again, leading the team in even strength corsi % and combining for 11 of the Jets' 25 total shots. Ladd had 6 himself, and was on the ice for 18 shot attempts for and just 12 against. Those numbers will start to sound other-wordly as we move into The Bad.
Little came away with a goal and an assist. Wheeler matched that output, and we saw that LLW line put back together are various points in the game.
Al Montoya also had a spectacular game, anticipating the back-door play well, and tracking the puck as the Avs swung the play back and forth through the Jets' pourous defense. He made 33 saves on the night, and a few of them were of the highlight reel variety.
Devin Setoguchi had a number of chances, and while we all wanted some production from those chances, it was nice to see him creating. He looked dangerous, and showed patience with the puck. Again, he was only given 14 minutes on a night where Roy controlled Noel on the matchups too often. On a night where too many Jets were being dominated, Setoguchi was on the ice for 16 shot attempts for, and 15 against.
Evander Kane is very fast.
I guess we can also thank bounces. Little got a bounce on the first goal, and it felt like the game might go the Jets' way after a number of Colorado chances evaporated on Montoya saves and bad puck luck.
The Jets made the game so frustrating for the Avalanche that Patrick Roy was genuinely displeased in the 1st period.
Really, Hockey Gods? Do you know who I am?
Ack. Let's start with the powerplay. Zero for five on the night, the Jets managed 4 shots in 10 minutes with the man advantage. The Avs looked a little like the Jets in games past, generating 2-on-1 chances while short handed. The Avs had two short handed shots, and scored the winner on the shift following their final penalty kill.
It's too much. In his opening press conference, Claude Noel announced that Pascal Vincent would be taken off the PK group so he could "focus" on the powerplay, and Noel himself would apparently support his work there. A league-worst group last year has actually lost ground so far this season, converting at just 10% through 13 games.
At even strength, the shots were 34-21 for the Avalanche.
Evander Kane had a rare stinker. Whatever you think of advanced stats, Kane was on for 26 shot attempts against and only 9 for at even strength. That's abysmal, and was team worst.
Sadly, it wasn't team worst by much. Enstrom also had his worst game of the season, and partner Zach Bogosian was right ther with him. They played most of their night against the Avs' top line of Duchene/O'Reilly/Downie and came out with sub-30% corsi rates. Bogosian was on for 32 shot attempts against at 5 on 5. 32. In 17:50 of ice time.
Scheifele played 6 shifts in each period, perhaps due to Noel's sensitivity as his linemates were blendered and Noel didn't seem happy. That said, he shouldn't have been happy. 33% in the faceoff circle, -1, and a -13 shot attempt differential in just over 13 minutes of even strength ice time. Not impressive.
He struggled in camp because he was trying to do too much, and now he's drowning while doing very little. I think this kid might need a better sports psychologist than Dr. Gary.
Olli Jokinen and Michael Frolik continued to struggle. Some visible plays, but poor total results. Frolik played most of his time against PA Parenteau and Nate MacKinnon - secondary scorers on a very good team. He went -1 on the night, and -10 in the shot attempt differential department. He was on the ice for 10 even strength shots against - not shot attempts (he saw 22 against), but actual shots on goal. Jokinen was on for just 1 shot on goal for (and 10 against).
This team is still searching for depth scoring.
Grant Clitsome could be seen with his feet still, leaning out uselessly after giving up the puck that led to the Duchene goal. For a guy without a major skill upside, a little effort would be nice.
It was bad right from the start.
.....chances are already 7-0 Colorado and we haven't had a commercial break. #NHLJets— Travis Hrubeniuk (@thrubeniuk) October 28, 2013