Game 42 vs Buffalo: Scoring Chances and Observations

Travis Hrubeniuk
January 02 2014 10:00AM

Chart via Extraskater.com

The Jets managed to close out an interesting 2013 with a win against the woeful Buffalo Sabers. A team that is about as threatening offensively as a 6-month old kitten allowed the Jets to play a somewhat questionable game and still come away with a pretty dominating performance.

Scoring Chances

-

Even Strength

PP/SH

Chance +/-

Player

For

Vs.

For

Vs.

-

Stuart

8

4

0

1

3

Ellerby

3

0

0

0

3

Trouba

5

0

5

1

9

Kane

9

2

6

2

11

Jokinen

5

1

0

0

4

Peluso

3

1

0

0

2

Ladd

3

0

0

1

2

Wright

0

1

0

2

-3

Little

3

0

0

1

2

Thorburn

4

1

0

0

3

Wheeler

4

0

6

0

10

Tangradi

1

1

0

0

0

Byfuglien

6

1

1

1

5

Enstrom

6

0

1

1

6

Setoguchi

4

1

5

0

8

Bogosian

9

3

0

2

4

Scheifele

9

2

6

0

13

Frolik

8

2

0

0

6

-

Even Strength

PP/SH

Chance +/-

Player

For

Vs.

For

Vs.

-

Pysyk

0

7

0

2

-9

McBain

4

9

1

0

-4

Weber

0

1

0

4

-5

Ott

1

4

0

1

-4

Ehrhoff

0

10

2

2

-10

Omark

0

1

3

0

2

Stafford

1

1

3

1

2

Leino

0

1

0

0

-1

Moulson

0

7

3

0

-4

D’Agostini

3

9

0

0

-6

Girgensons

0

7

0

1

-8

Scott

3

8

0

0

-5

Ellis

3

8

0

4

-9

Sulzer

4

7

0

0

-3

Myers

0

2

0

4

-6

Ennis

0

6

3

0

-3

Flynn

0

2

0

5

-7

Foligno

1

2

0

0

-1

Team

1st (ES)

2nd (ES)

3rd (ES)

Total (ES)

Winnipeg

7 (5)

3 (3)

14 (10)

24 (18)

Buffalo

4 (2)

3 (2)

0 (0)

7 (4)

Observations

Despite splitting the puck possession close to 50-50 throughout the game, the Sabres simply could not gather much in terms of scoring chances in this game. The chances are very heavy in the Jets favour, but I don’t think this defines how the game went very well. There were a lot of shots from the perimeter, bobbled pucks, and sharp angle attempts, but nothing from A-grade positions. The Jets on the other hand, were basically awarded the slot whenever they decided they wanted to get there and were able to rack up the chances as a result. If not for some solid goaltending from Jhonas Enroth, this game could have been much worse.

Olli Jokinen once again played a pretty solid game. I thought Devin Setoguchi did as well. In fact, I’d almost go as far as saying they were one of the Jets most dangerous duos throughout the night. They were able to set up Chris Thorburn countless numbers of times in excellent situations, only to have him lose control of the puck, screw up the pass, or on the rare occasion fire it right into Enroth’s chest. If the Jets want to use those two as trade bait at the deadline, they have to get them a line mate that can capitalize on the opportunities they can provide. Otherwise their stock will continue to drop.

Yes this game was against the Buffalo Sabres, but it’s hard to ignore how solid Kane, Scheifele and Frolik looked (once again) on the night. Kane and Scheif led the team at +7 while at even strength, and both were spectacular on the power play. It’s a strong line with some huge upside that the Jets have to love moving forward.

Jacob Trouba and Tobias Enstrom have had their questionable moments together, but they had a very strong game against the Sabres. Similar to what he has been able to do for Byfuglien, Enstrom’s poise and defense-first mentality allows him to cover up for the mistakes that Trouba will undoubtedly make as he develops. At times this means Trouba will get a little bit carried away (note the spin-o-rama followed by a neutral zone turnover) but as he continues to grow and zero-in on his abilities he will *hopefully* only get better.

I don’t find it shocking at all that the guy on the ice for the most chances against at even strength was Mark Stuart. Almost every time the Sabres were able to sustain offensive zone pressure, he was on the ice. Zach Bogosian has been slightly questionable throughout this year, so I don’t think maintaining those two as a paring is going to work long term. I’m insanely biased in this, but I seriously do not think Mark Stuart should be on the ice while Adam Pardy sits in the press box.

I thought the Jets power play was a strong factor for them once again in this game. They didn’t score, but that unit was huge in creating momentum and scoring chances for the team. In the third period alone, it was the key factor is turning the team from a “defend first and hold onto this lead” to a group that wanted to finish strong and not get completed dominated.

Final Thought

This was a game that the Jets were expected to win, and have an opportunity for their second four-game winning streak tonight in Ottawa. I’m still not sold that they can dig themselves out of the hole they currently sit in playoff wise, but if they can open 2014 off with a couple big wins, they can at least start talking about the possibility of it with a little bit of help.

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