Game 41 at Colorado: Montoya Performance and Neutral Zone Play

Travis Hrubeniuk
December 31 2013 12:48AM

In a game that has been referred to as one of the most complete efforts from the Jets this year, there was one aspect of their game that remained similar to almost every other game this year. Their reluctance to carry the puck into the zone.

Zone Entries

5 vs 5

Player

# of successful entries

Shots (From Entries)

Shots/Entry

Controlled Entries

Shots (From Control)

Shots / Controlled

% With Control

5

Stuart

2

1

0.50

0

0

N/A

0%

7

Ellerby

2

2

1.00

0

0

N/A

0%

8

Trouba

2

1

0.50

0

0

N/A

0%

9

Kane

9

8

0.89

5

5

1.00

56%

12

Jokinen

6

4

0.67

3

3

1.00

50%

14

Peluso

0

0

N/A

0

0

N/A

N/A

16

Ladd

4

1

0.25

0

0

N/A

0%

17

Wright

2

0

0.00

0

0

N/A

0%

18

Little

3

0

0.00

2

0

0.00

67%

22

Thorburn

1

2

2.00

0

0

N/A

0%

26

Wheeler

5

4

0.80

4

4

1.00

80%

27

Tangradi

4

2

0.50

3

2

0.67

75%

33

Byfuglien

1

0

0.00

1

0

0.00

100%

39

Enstrom

2

1

0.50

0

0

N/A

0%

40

Setoguchi

5

0

0.00

2

0

0.00

40%

44

Bogosian

4

1

0.25

2

1

0.50

50%

55

Scheifele

4

2

0.50

3

2

0.67

75%

67

Frolik

7

6

0.86

4

5

1.25

57%

 

JETS

63

35

0.56

29

22

0.76

46%

 

OPP

76

33

0.43

43

29

0.67

57%

 

OZF

17

7

0.41

       
 

DZF

13

4

0.31

       

Observations

  • The Avalanche actually did a much better job in the neutral zone than the Jets did throughout the night. They controlled more entries (as most teams do) and had more entries overall, but were unable to create anything at all when they dumped the puck in. I really wish the Jets made a better effort to control the puck more. If for no other reason than to just see what would happen.
  • Remember a couple games ago when Blake Wheeler said they weren’t a good team off of the rush? I think he proved himself wrong against Colorado. Unfortunately, he was the only one on his line that was able to do anything really.
  • Luckily though, Kane, Scheifele and Frolik were there to show everybody else how good a line can be when they carry the play (and the puck) up the ice, rather than fling it into the abyss. They were arguably the Jets best line in every area of the ice on the night.
  • I’m really starting to feel bad for Olli Jokinen. He’s been getting a bit more time lately with an odd shift alongside two capable line mates, but for the most part is stuck with Thorburn on his left. He has been trying to control things more often, but can’t with any consistency until he has more help.

Montoya Performance

Montoya (and Varlamov actually) had an absolutely outstanding game. The Jets did play solid in front of him, but when Colorado has their opportunities he was sure to shut the door. The lone goal against him was an absolute fluke, and he saved the game for Winnipeg with a gigantic save in overtime. He deserves to get a longer look as the starter for the time being.

Goal

Situation

Why It Went In

Where It Went

1

Average Play (Controlled ZE)

Bad Break (Deflection)

Blocker

Quick Explanations

This was about as ridiculous and lucky as a goal can get. Impossible to really blame anyone here.

Things to Watch For

The Jets go up against the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night in a New Years Eve matchup. After a disappointing showing against them a couple weeks ago, the Jets have a chance to put together a rare 3-game win streak against one of, if not the, weakest teams in the league. Here are some things to watch for in tomorrow’s game:

  1. Who will start in goal? No starter has officially been named yet, but I will probably blow a gasket if Montoya doesn’t start. He deserves it. He’s better. It’s his turn to try to run with it.
  2. Will Blake Wheeler keep his streak rolling? Wheeler has been on fire lately, scoring ten goals already this month. With how Ryan Miller has been playing the Jets are going to need him to get a win.
  3. Can the Jets actually get number three? The typical Jet move would be to come out ridiculously flat following a couple of big wins against tougher opponents. It’s a baby step, but actually coming out strong against the Sabres would be a step in the right direction.

Final Thought

The Jets are starting the 50/50 at tomorrow’s game at an unreal $40,000 (some poor fellow didn’t claim their prize last year). That’s jackpot is going to get really big, really fast and someone is going to have one heck of a start to the New Year. If you’re going to the game, I highly recommend getting in on that pot.

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I write things, you read them. Then tend to yell at me for them. It's okay though, I'm from Winnipeg. I can take it. If you actually do like what I write, give me a twitter follow here (@thrubeniuk): https://twitter.com/thrubeniuk
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