Game 48 vs Phoenix: Pavelec Performance and Neutral Zone Play

Travis Hrubeniuk
January 15 2014 09:16AM

One area that we knew wouldn’t see much change in game one with Paul Maurice was the play and decision-making made by players in the neutral zone. With just one practice before the game, Maurice really wasn’t able to administer any real changes to how he wants things done, and the results from the game clearly reflect that.

Zone Entries

5 vs 5

Player

# of successful entries

Shots (From Entries)

Shots/Entry

Controlled Entries

Shots (From Control)

Shots/ Controlled

% With Control

2

Pardy

4

1

0.25

1

1

1.00

25%

5

Stuart

0

0

N/A

0

0

N/A

N/A

7

Ellerby

0

0

N/A

0

0

N/A

N/A

8

Trouba

3

0

0.00

2

0

0.00

67%

12

Jokinen

3

3

1.00

0

0

N/A

0%

14

Peluso

5

2

0.40

1

1

1.00

20%

16

Ladd

6

5

0.83

2

4

2.00

33%

17

Wright

2

0

0.00

0

0

N/A

0%

18

Little

0

0

N/A

0

0

N/A

N/A

22

Thorburn

2

0

0.00

0

0

N/A

0%

26

Wheeler

7

3

0.43

4

2

0.50

57%

33

Byfuglien

5

1

0.20

2

1

0.50

40%

39

Enstrom

0

0

N/A

0

0

N/A

N/A

40

Setoguchi

4

2

0.50

3

2

0.67

75%

44

Bogosian

5

3

0.60

2

2

1.00

40%

55

Scheifele

4

5

1.25

2

3

1.50

50%

58

O’Dell

1

0

0.00

0

0

N/A

0%

67

Frolik

4

2

0.50

2

1

0.50

50%

 

JETS

55

27

0.49

21

17

0.81

38%

 

OPP

54

22

0.41

21

14

0.67

39%

 

OZF

11

3

0.27

       
 

DZF

9

1

0.11

       

Observations

  • The percentage of controlled entries by the Jets on Monday was truly abysmal. As they usually do, they were able to take advantage of the smaller number of controlled opportunities, but left much to be desired by dumping the puck in far to often. Luckily, the Coyotes weren’t doing much better, and weren’t able to take advantage of their chances. Consider it a victory, but a small one at best.
  • Unlike what we saw when Chris Thorburn was alongside Olli Jokinen and Devin Setoguchi, Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler seemingly refused to lower themselves into a dump and chase model despite the lack of skill on the left side. They continued to carry the play down the ice and attempt to create opportunities off of the rush, and were able to be quite successful while doing so. I really want to see Evander Kane on a line with those two. It could be something quite spectacular.
  • You can tell Byfuglien wants to use his size out there. He frequently dumped the puck deep in an attempt to chase it down and create a turnover with his physicality, but that simply is not a method that works consistently anymore. He’s looked pretty good as a forward for the most part, but he has to adjust to the style of play that creates chances.
  • I liked how Zach Bogosian was willing to jump into the play a little more against the Coyotes. I hope he is willing to provide a little bit more of that moving forward. He’s had his struggles this year, so I think right now is his opportunity to show he deserves the money that was paid out to him. Otherwise, he easily becomes a moveable piece.

Pavelec Performance

Pavelec by no means had to be spectacular on Monday night. The Jets played an excellent game in front of him, but Pav did hold his own pretty well and made a couple decent saves. It was a good first impression for him in front of coach Maurice, which of course makes me very nervous.

Goal

Situation

Why It Went In

Where It Went

1

Sustained Pressure

Out of Position

Open Net

Quick Explanation

Kind of a weird goal all around. A couple bad bounces, but Pavelec also got himself a little bit out of position in the scramble. Hard to blame it all on him, but he has his fair share of the fault.

Things to Watch For

The Jets go into Calgary on Thursday night, looking to once again string a couple of wins together. This will be Paul Maurice’s first game following some practice time, so there will be a lot to watch for:

  1. How will the lines look? We saw a bit of tinkering going on against the ‘Yotes, but is there more in store? What about the defensive group? The starting goaltender? A lot can change with a new set of eyes. Now that Maurice is getting to know the guys, we will get a glimpse into what he thinks could work.
  2. How will the play change? Will the constant dump and chase disappear? I surely hope so. New coach, new systems, new direction. He’s had time to teach and implement what he wants to see. I’m looking forward to the results.
  3. How is Evander Kane? It sounds like there is something really wrong with Kane’s hand. He remains day-to-day for now, but we have seen these things expand to very long time periods before.

Final Thought

I’m quite looking forward to seeing how the Jets neutral zone play will change under a new coach. The season is going to be split very close to 50/50 between the two, so I think we are going to see a lot from it. Is it a preference of the players, or was the dump and chase mentality from the coach?

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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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#2 X
January 15 2014, 09:48AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

Pavelec flopped like a fish on that goal but frankly he was going to get scored on in that sequence at some point, the PK was just too bad on that play. I don't know that calling him out of position is really fair, it was a scramble and he was scrambling, he made two pretty good saves before it squirted out on him.

I think Buff is bit more of a controlled-entry guy from the D because he can wind up from his own end and pick a path through the ice based on what he sees developing in front of him. I imagine that when someone passes him the puck in the neutral zone he just does not have that same sort of strategic angle on the play. Playing him at forward is dumb and with 3 weak opponents in a row here (one down, two to go) it is likely that we will see good results and sadly, this ill-fated experiment will continue.

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