Game #22 at Panthers: Please?

Kevin McCartney
March 05 2013 12:40PM

Florida Panthers (6-11-5) vs.

Your Winnipeg Jets (10-10-1)

Last Meeting: Feburary 5, Jets 3 - Panthers 2 (OT)

PREVIEW

So on Saturday, Washington entered our matchup last in the east. Today, that’s Florida! Man, I don’t want to be a King maker. Or, like, a serf maker, I guess. Turning plebs into prols, maybe? Okay, forget feudalism – let’s go with wrestling. We can’t let ‘em off the mat, boys!

The Jets come into the match up today just two points back of Philly for 8th with two games in hand. There’s a fair argument that the NHL shouldn’t give out two points for beating Florida, but here we are.

Florida is such a sad sack team this year. Remember last year when the guy that messed up mailing some letters to his free agents gave term and big dollars to a whole roster of free agents and started talking Stanley Cups? Well, Huberdeau is their best player by a mile, and Drew Shore is the ONLY player on their entire active roster who is not a minus player. Say what you will about plus/minus (and it does mean very little), but that’s just outrageous.

I keep reading about Soupy Campbell’s amazing point streak of 6 points in his last 4 games for Florida. Watch out! Look a little closer and he had 3 points against Vokoun in a 6-4 win over Pittsburgh 4 games ago, 2 points against Buffalo (a loss), and then 1 point in his last 2 games against Carolina (also loses and not exactly to the ‘70’s Canadiens). Still good, but let’s be real.

Man this feels good. Yeah, we got shut out by Washington despite 35 shots on, but you Panthers are bums! Cathardic. So let’s keep going.

Injured today for Florida? Versteeg, Jovo-Cop, Kulikov, Weaver, Upshall, Theodore, and now Weiss! I feel badly for the individual players, but I also feel bad that I have to watch Jared Smithson and a version of Alexei Kovalev who looks like he’s wearing roller skates out there.

Florida has the most goals against of any team in the league at 81! That’s almost 3.7 a game! EVERY GAME! Anyone else think the ‘Red Rising’ and ‘We See Red’ campaign with the flashing goal light seems like an Arrested Development joke now? They just make it too easy.

Okay, okay. But seriously. We should have beaten Washington and if the Jets want to make noise, these are must win games. I bully the Panthers because of my own insecurities about the Jets. Deep truths today.

BY THE NUMBERS

 

Panthers

Jets

5x5 GF/60

2.1 (T-22nd)

2.3 (T-19th)

5x5 GA/60

3.2 (T-28th)

2.6 (T-19th)

 

Home

Away

Home

Away

PP%

24% (8th)

13.3% (24th)

12.1% (26th)

16.2% (13th)

PK%

75% (29th)

75% (22nd)

76% (28th)

70.7% (27th)

Top Scorer

Campbell

12 GP, 5-6-11

Huberdeau

10 GP, 3-3-6

Ladd

12 GP, 7-4-11

Kane

11GP, 6-5-11

Tale of the Game: 

Fenwick %

47.5% (23rd)

50.4% (15th)

 COACH'S COACHING

 

Jets

OMG PLEEEEES SKOR: Maybe you didn’t know, but Claude Noel frequently texts his players the game plan, and he texts like a 14 year old. Regardless, his players have to decipher this nonsense message and fast.

Use their short bench against them:  Sure, they’re not the 2009 Flames and will actually have a full roster on the bench, but Dineen is effectively working short staffed. Three of his top 6 defenceman are out, Campbell and Kuba are getting buried at evens are now Kuba has to carry Tyson Strachan around like it’s Weekend at Bernie’s. Their forward depth is better, but includes a lot of guys I use as filler on my AHL teams in NHL 13. That means using offensive zone faceoffs to put out a scoring unit, mixing in scorers on the 3rd and 4th lines frequently to prevent Dineen from putting out his dregs as a breather for his better players, and forechecking aggressively to cause turnovers from their inexperienced or ineffective defence and keeping them hemmed in.

Panthers

Force the Jets to take penalties:  The Florida PP is strong at home, and it lets them put out their best players for big minutes without exhausting them. The Jets PK is awful and it might be Florida’s best chance to score as well. That means feet moving, appearing disciplined, and trading for Greg Campbell, like, now.

Pray: The power of prayer is unproven, but I’ve never seen an analytics article on the blogosphere DISprove it either. This is a common save% prayer:  “Please Hockey Gods, may the puck stick to our goalie, may the posts be square, and may their sticks whither like serpents in their vile hands. And please send Christopher Lloyd to work out goalie’s gloves. Ahem”

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Kevin is the Managing Editor of Jets Nation. His work has been featured on Bleacher Report, The Sporting News, and around the Nations Network. An enthusiastic over-analyst, his background and interests are diverse, but you might notice he's obsessed with hockey. Track him down on twitter @kevinmccart or @nhljetsnation
Avatar
#1 Brett Martin
March 05 2013, 10:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I'm actually glad I wasn't able to watch this game.

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