Game 29 @ NY Rangers: Pavelec and Entries

Travis Hrubeniuk
December 04 2013 07:06PM

The Jets “should they have won this game?” tour continued Monday night against the Rangers, as they managed to win their third game of the last four, maintaining the slim bit of hope left for Jets fans. Before heading into an almost guaranteed trap game against the Panthers we take one more look at how the Jets performed against the Blue Shirts in the neutral zone, and once again evaluate Ondrej Pavelec’s play.

Zone Entries

5 vs 5

Player

# of successful entries

Shots (From Entries)

Shots/Entry

Controlled Entries

Shots (Controlled Entries)

% With Control

Failed entries

5

Stuart

2

0

0.00

0

0

0%

1

7

Ellerby

2

0

0.00

0

0

0%

0

8

Trouba

1

0

0.00

0

0

0%

0

12

Jokinen

7

3

0.43

4

3

57%

0

14

Peluso

2

1

0.50

0

0

0%

0

15

Halischuk

7

3

0.43

1

1

14%

0

16

Ladd

5

2

0.40

2

2

40%

0

17

Wright

3

1

0.33

1

1

33%

0

18

Little

5

1

0.20

3

0

60%

0

22

Thorburn

6

2

0.33

2

1

33%

0

24

Clitsome

0

0

N/A

0

0

N/A

0

26

Wheeler

10

10

1.00

8

10

80%

2

33

Byfuglien

2

2

1.00

2

2

100%

0

39

Enstrom

1

1

1.00

1

1

100%

0

40

Setoguchi

4

1

0.25

3

1

75%

0

55

Scheifele

3

1

0.33

2

1

67%

2

67

Frolik

7

2

0.29

3

2

43%

0

70

Albert

2

1

0.50

1

1

50%

0

 

JETS

69

31

0.45

33

26

48%

5

 

OPP

73

28

0.38

37

18

51%

4

 

OZF

9

1

0.11

       
 

DZF

19

8

0.42

       

Observations

  • The Jets really took advantage of their opportunities in this game. It’s not something that’s going to work for them on a regular basis (see the Toronto Maple Leafs as of late), but having games and stretches of games like this are going to happen. Just as they were out-possessed yet still managed to out-chance the Rangers (see my scoring chance article), the Jets were out-played in the neutral zone and managed to generate more shots on their entries. That speaks to the unbelievably efficient play following their limited number of controlled entries. Despite controlling the puck on less than 50% of their entries, all but five shots came off of those opportunities.
  • I think this ridiculously one-sided product was a direct result of having Chris Thorburn on the second line. As you would expect, Thorburn played his fourth line style, constantly dumping the puck in and trying to chase it down. The defenseman followed suit, and they were all pretty unsuccessful in doing so. This forced Jokinen and Setoguchi to take a more prominent role in controlling the puck and trying to create something themselves. It managed to work out on a couple occasions, but they tended to take the safe route when they didn’t have clear opportunities.
  • It would be stupid to not mention Blake Wheeler here. He had a hell of a game in the neutral zone, and his decision making was simply excellent. As a whole I think his play has been much improved lately, with this game being his big break. He has been able to provide the Jets with some solid play despite his lack of goal scoring, but the reality of the matter is that he is expected to put the puck in the net. Playing as he did against the Rangers will go a long way towards that happening.
  • I wish Matt Halischuk would carry the puck in more. When he does he’s been a pretty effective player, yet he has a tendency to chip and dump the puck in an attempt to get it deep. Michael Frolik has shown how effective that line can be when they enter with control. Now it’s time for Halischuk to gain the confidence to do the same.
  • The Jets struggled once again off of offensive zone face offs. This has been an issue all year. This is clearly a problem that is somewhat due to their inability to maintain a solid faceoff percentage, but as I’ve said before, it has to be more than that. They need to be able to create pressure and turnovers when they do lose those face offs. They are missing out on way too many opportunities in these types of situations.

Pavelec Performance

Once again Pavelec turned in a pretty solid performance. That’s now four straight games and six of his last eight with a save percentage above .940, so it’s pretty clear that Pav has been on a bit of a hot streak lately. The real question is if he is actually going to be able to maintain it. I have my doubts, mainly because we are still seeing some of those same Pavelec-esque mistakes. You’ll see exactly what I mean below:

Goal

Situation

Why It Went In

Where It Went

1

Turnover

Bad Break (Deflection)

Blocker

2

Sustained Pressure

Out of Position

Open Net

Quick Explanations

Yikes Ellerby. That was….wow. I think he probably expected Mark Stuart to actually put a bit of an effort into skating there, and decided to move the puck to get the easy exit. Those sorts of expectations happen when you play with guys like Adam Pardy I guess. Nonetheless, it was a poor decision and it resulted in a relatively easy tip in goal for the Rangers.

I can somewhat understand why people don’t like the defense play that resulted in this goal. The Jets had been held in their own end for a fair amount of time, and they were unable to clear that puck from the front of the net. BUT. The biggest mistake on this play came from Pavelec. He completely over-committed on the Richards attempt at the side of the net. This forced Trouba to come in and play goaltender, and the puck ends up in the goal. This is a tendency that Ondrej needs to stop. He consistently puts himself out of position when he thinks he might get in trouble, and it usually ends up messing things up.

Things to Watch For

The Jets are in Sunrise for their Thursday night game against the Panthers, as they try to go for their fourth win in five games on the road. Here are some things to watch for heading into the game:

  1. What team will show up? More than any team the Jets have played, the Panthers stick out as one that they just don’t seem to take advantage of. Florida has managed to beat the Jets against substantial odds in the past, and this game provides another opportunity for a similar situation. If they get complacent or at all satisfied at what can already be considered a pretty successful road trip, they will be setting themselves up for potential disappointment.
  2. Will Evander be ready? There has not been an official word on the condition of Evander to this point, or if he will be able to partake in tomorrow’s match up. The Jets got lucky once with the “Thorburn Experiment”, but I remain extremely pessimistic on the topic. I really don’t want this to remain a thing.
  3. Will anybody actually be there? There’s a picture making its rounds on twitter of Florida’s last home game against the Ottawa Senators. It’s bad. The announced attendance at the game was 10,074 (their lowest since 2008), but I seriously doubt that many showed up. Yikes.

Final Thought

The more time goes on, the less sustainable the Florida Panthers seem to be. I have literally done no work on looking into their arena lease information, ownership deals, etc., but they have to be a leading candidate for the “relocation rumor train”. Despite the drastic attempts to sell cheap tickets, they just can’t seem to pull it off. People just are not buying in and with the salary floor constantly moving up, that can only lead to trouble. Moving the Panthers out West would do well to providing balance to the current league layout and would result in the “crossover” wild card spots making a lot more sense. Seattle will remain an appealing option for the league, and if not, Kansas City has a nice new building and a huge potential market/region. Something to watch for, that’s for certain.

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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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