Game 56 vs Vancouver: Pavelec Performance & Neutral Zone Play

Travis Hrubeniuk
February 01 2014 05:58PM

If you're happy and you know it pump your fist. 

The Jets played arguably her most complete game under Paul Maurice Friday night against the Canucks. Outside of a few pushes from Vancouver, the Jets mostly controlled the pace of this game, starting from their superior play in the neutral zone.

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

1

1

1.00

0

0

N/A

0%

7

Ellerby

2

0

0.00

1

0

0.00

50%

8

Trouba

8

3

0.38

5

3

0.60

63%

12

Jokinen

4

2

0.50

2

1

0.50

50%

14

Peluso

2

0

0.00

1

0

0.00

50%

16

Ladd

7

5

0.71

6

5

0.83

86%

17

Wright

2

0

0.00

1

0

0.00

50%

18

Little

8

6

0.75

4

2

0.50

50%

22

Thorburn

3

0

0.00

0

0

N/A

0%

26

Wheeler

8

3

0.38

3

1

0.33

38%

27

Tangradi

3

2

0.67

2

2

1.00

67%

33

Byfuglien

3

0

0.00

3

0

0.00

100%

39

Enstrom

2

0

0.00

2

0

0.00

100%

40

Setoguchi

4

2

0.50

2

1

0.50

50%

44

Bogosian

4

1

0.25

2

1

0.50

50%

55

Scheifele

4

3

0.75

3

2

0.67

75%

67

Frolik

6

2

0.33

2

2

1.00

33%

 

JETS

71

30

0.42

39

20

0.51

55%

 

OPP

61

33

0.54

26

17

0.65

43%

 

OZF

11

6

0.55

       
 

DZF

4

1

0.25

       

Observations

  • Once again the Jets controlled over 50% of their entries, and some excellent offensive zone play was the result. They are finally using their overall speed as an advantage, and are relying less on chasing the puck before creating offense. This is a recipe for sustained success.
  • I’ll say it again; I’m excited to see Scheifele and Wheeler with Kane for an extended period. They were a threat almost every time they were in the offensive zone, but they did have some trouble in the neutral zone in this game. This is likely because they were less willing to take risks against the Canucks in comparison to the Preds. They understand Thorburn’s skillset (or lack there of), and aren’t going to risk goals against by forcing things.
  • The Jets overall best line on the night was definitely Setoguchi-Jokinen-Byfuglien. Surprisingly they really weren’t anything special in the neutral zone, heck I’d argue they were the Jets worst line in that matter, but they made it work. Hopefully the clear boost in confidence Setoguchi had following his goal can translate into improved play all over the ice. Having a full three-line threat would go a long way for this team.
  • Ladd, Little and Frolik were again an excellent possession and neutral zone unit. Unfortunately they were on the ice for a couple of the goals against, but overall they were an excellent grouping.
  • The TSN broadcast made a pretty big point of talking about the Jets ability to have defenseman join in the rush. I find it weird that it took Byfuglien moving to forward before it became an actual talking point, but without a doubt the Jet who was the most effect at it was Trouba. I thought Trouba made some poor decisions throughout this game, but he made up for a few them in the offensive zone. He seemed to always be around the puck and provided even more depth for the Jets offensive capabilities.
  • One of the more impressive numbers for the Jets (in comparison to their usual) was the number of shots they were able to generate off of offensive zone faceoffs. They didn’t have very good faceoff numbers on the night, but the Jets were able to effectively attack and force the Canucks into turnovers in their own end. It was a nice change from the usual.

Pavelec Performance

I really didn’t think Pavelec had that great of a game on Friday night. He looked almost ‘shaky’ on a few occasions, and kicked a lot of long rebounds out into the slot. I didn’t think any of the Canucks goals were really atrocious ones to let in, but Pav really didn’t look comfortable at any point in time. Eddie Lack was definitely the better of the two on the night.

Goal

Situation

Why It Went In

Where It Went

1

Jets Penalty Kill

Rebound

Open Net

2

Turnover

Beat Clean (Pavelec)

Glove Hand

3

Sustained Pressure

Beat Clean

Blocker

Quick Explanations

A terrible offensive zone penalty by Chris Thorburn set up the power play that led to this Canuck goal. Pavelec was unable to control the puck after it hit him, and Edler eventually buried it. I do need to mention though that Frolik had an opportunity to tie Edler up or play the puck, but was clearly a fraction of a second too slow to react.

This goal can be faulted a little bit on everyone. There was some sustained pressure, followed by a fumble of the puck by Bryan Little that resulted in a turnover to Ryan Kesler. Kesler got off a backhand, but it was with very little traffic in front and beat Pavelec clean. I thought he should have had it, but the play in front of him wasn’t too great to begin with.

This goal could have been prevented if Ladd would have been able to get the puck out of the zone when he had the chance. Clearly he didn’t though, and Garrison was eventually able to release an absolute bomb because of it. In the case of a normal defensive player, I would put more of the blame on Pavelec. In Garrison’s case, that’s a tough puck to stop.

Things to Watch For

The Jets play Montreal on Sunday afternoon before the Superbowl. The Habs have been struggling a fair bit as of late, and provide the Jets with another opportunity to try to claw themselves closer to a playoff spot before the Olympic break. Here a few things to watch for going into this game:

  1. Who will start in goal? This has become a pretty regular question in Winnipeg. It has been reported that Paul Maurice is not a fan of the long rebounds a goaltender can give up, and Pavelec gave up a lot of them against Vancouver. Will this, combined with his overall play, be enough for him to turn to Montoya? Or will he continue to see what he has in Pavelec?
  2. Who dresses on the fourth line? I didn’t like Eric O’Dell on the fourth line either. In a perfect world, he would be replacing Thorburn on the Scheifele-Wheeler line. Surprisingly the Jets fourth line against Vancouver all had positive Corsi numbers, so I don’t see a big change in that grouping. Just get rid of Thorburn.
  3. Who will be ready to play? This always seems to be the major question in these afternoon games. The team that comes out alive and with energy to start things off, usually ends up being the team that wins. Can the Jets do it? Or will the Habs ride the momentum of the home crowd?

Final Thought

The Jets can’t get frustrated and need to stick with the plan if they can’t get the puck in the net against Montreal. The Habs have been questionable at best in front of Price lately, but the Canadian Olympian has been lights out. They need to press and press hard, and the chances will come. They can’t take unnecessary risks to create offense, or the Habs will make them pay.

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