Game 51 @ Anaheim: Pavelec Performance and Neutral Zone Play

Travis Hrubeniuk
January 22 2014 09:03PM

Any of you that know me personally, listen to our podcast, or read these pieces regularly, will understand the magnitude of my next sentence. Ondrej Pavelec and puck luck were the main reasons why the Jets won this game.

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

0

0

N/A

0

0

N/A

N/A

5

Stuart

2

1

0.50

1

1

1.00

50%

7

Ellerby

1

0

0.00

0

0

N/A

0%

8

Trouba

4

4

1.00

2

1

0.50

50%

9

Kane

5

1

0.20

2

1

0.50

40%

12

Jokinen

4

3

0.75

3

3

1.00

75%

14

Peluso

2

0

0.00

1

0

0.00

50%

16

Ladd

3

4

1.33

3

4

1.33

100%

18

Little

3

2

0.67

2

2

1.00

67%

22

Thorburn

1

1

1.00

0

0

N/A

0%

26

Wheeler

5

3

0.60

2

1

0.50

40%

33

Byfuglien

2

1

0.50

0

0

N/A

0%

39

Enstrom

2

2

1.00

1

1

1.00

50%

40

Setoguchi

3

0

0.00

1

0

0.00

33%

44

Bogosian

3

0

0.00

0

0

N/A

0%

55

Scheifele

2

3

1.50

2

3

1.50

100%

58

O’Dell

0

0

N/A

0

0

N/A

N/A

67

Frolik

7

4

0.57

2

3

1.50

29%

 

JETS

49

29

0.59

22

20

0.91

45%

 

OPP

61

39

0.64

37

26

0.70

61%

 

OZF

9

4

0.44

       
 

DZF

25

7

0.28

       

Observations

  • The Anaheim Ducks controlled sixty one percent of their entries. SIXTY ONE. That is what I call neutral zone dominance. Not only that, but they managed to create .70 shots per entry, which is way above average. The Ducks had one hell of a game. If not for their inability to hit the net in the first period, and Pavelec’s overall solid play, this could have gotten really ugly, really fast.
  • Even more impressive for the Ducks was their forcing of the Jets to take twenty-five defensive zone faceoffs. They went well over 50% in the faceoff circle, indicating that they really controlled a lot of the tempo from those draws. They dominated this game.
  • To the Jets credit, they were actually quite effective when they carried the puck in. They are still yet to crack the 50% entry mark under Paul Maurice, but they have at least been consistently within that 45-49% level. As their confidence grows, I expect that number to go up.
  • The Ladd-Little-Frolik line definitely led the way for the Jets in their neutral zone play. I have been waiting for that line to get it together and start meshing, and they managed to do so against their hardest opponent since coming together as a group. This can only mean good things for the Jets.
  • I think the appeal of having Buff as a forward is starting to wear off. He is yet to really have a good game in the neutral zone, and was almost invisible out their against Anaheim. Not to mention how often the Jets defensemen found themselves hemmed into their own zone. They need him back there. It’s almost time for this experiment to end.

Pavelec Performance

As I mentioned earlier, I think Pavelec deserves a ridiculous amount of credit for this win. This game was decided by the goaltending, and Pav was the better guy on the night. The Ducks did miss the net on a lot of key chances, but Pavelec made a handful of key saves, and was generally solid throughout the night. Unfortunately for him though, Pav is going to Pav. Both goals he did let in were very stoppable/preventable with better play. Regardless, congrats on a solid night Ondrej.

Goal

Situation

Why It Went In

Where It Went

1

Jets Penalty Kill

Beat Clean (Pavelec)

Glove Hand

2

Average Play (Controlled ZE)

Out of Position

Open Net

Quick Explanations

Pavelec almost had this one. Heck, he did have this one. He had a clean look at a shot from distance, and it just went through him. He has to squeeze that puck.

Pavelec makes this same mistake far too often. He completely over-commits to a guy in a terrible spot (usually near the bottom of the circle), and leave himself vulnerable to kicking a rebound into the slot. There isn’t much the guy in front can do on that play without taking a penalty. I’m not sure if it’s lack of awareness, or just an inability to learn from past mistakes, but for some reason this just isn’t getting through to Pav.

Things to Watch For

The Jets finish off their first California trip with a game in San Jose on Thursday night. A lovely trip for the weather, but deadly for the opponents. After this robbery in Anaheim that Jets have a chance to actually sweep Cali with a win against the Sharks. Here are a few things to watch for going into that game:

  1. How will the team perform? The Jets actually had a pretty good game the last time they played the Sharks, as they controlled the game and ultimately won in a shootout. A similar performance would be more than welcome following their showing in Anaheim.
  2. How will the bottom line look? I think it’s fair to say that Paul Maurice has quickly learnt how poor the Jets fourth line is. A terrible neutral zone turnover by that grouping led to Anaheim’s second goal of the game, and none of them played more that four and a half minutes against the Ducks. I actually do feel bad for Eric O’Dell, who has played well during this recent call up. I really hope Maurice doesn’t go to James Wright for answers, but look for Tangradi to saunter his way back into the lineup.
  3. How long can Pavelec keep this going? We’ve seen this old song and dance before from Ondrej. He goes on a stint of excellent play (not that I thought his games against Calgary and Edmonton were anything special), but drastically drops off shortly after. There is a reason he has call-up like numbers after all. Can this be his turning point? I doubt it. But let’s enjoy it while it’s here.

Final Thought

I’m going to be out of town as of early Friday morning, so I won’t get time to record data for the games against the Sharks, Leafs and Blackhawks until at least Monday. If I get the chance I will get them posted, but don’t expect any of them to be on time. Sorry folks!

271d6798e55ab2ad953f9584515497b2
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
Comments are closed for this article.