JGD 57: ANYTHING ELSE GOING ON TODAY, SPORTS-WISE?

Rhys Finnick
February 02 2014 07:51AM

 

                                                     Poor Patches.

Suuuuuuuuperboooooooooowllllll.

Now that we've got that out of the way, onto the Jets game.

The Jets incredible roll since Paul Maurice's hiring keeps moving along, laughing in the face of critics who say the team is bound to regress sometime soon.

This argument against the Jets is getting harder and harder to justify, as the team has picked up wins over everybody from the bottom-feeding Flames and Oilers, to the middling Canucks, Coyotes, and Leafs, to the juggernaut Ducks and Blackhawks. Depth issues still remain, but Maurice has somehow managed to keep his defence productive while the team's arguably best defenceman, Dustin Byfuglien, spends time at forward with Jokinen and Setoguchi on the third line.

Montreal comes into this contest with some mighty struggles of their own, going 4-5-1 over their past ten games, and with many media pundits calling for the head of the supposedly offensively-stifling Michel Therrien.

The Jets, most importantly, do not have to overthink what's been happening lately. Sure, some of the games have been exciting for all the wrong reasons (poor defensive play/a goalie standing on their head), but Maurice has been able to effect a kind of change throughout line, making their previous depth problems seem like something that could be solved through scouting and coaching.

The Canadiens aren't division or even conference rivals, but the Jets can't really afford to lose any more games if they can help it. Considering how tight of a race it will be to grab those last two Wild Card spots in the West, Winnipeg needs to treat every game like a game seven from here on in.

LINES

JETS FORWARDS

  • Ladd - Little - Frolik
  • Thorburn - Scheifele - Wheeler
  • Setoguchi - Jokinen - Byfgulien
  • Tangradi - Wright - Peluso

Maurice will keep rolling the same top nine until they give him a reason not to.

Setoguchi played very well against the Canucks, scoring two goals including the game winner after looking lost on his off-wing for the past few weeks.

Eric Tangradi finally got out of the pressbox in Eric O'Dell's place, but the young winger was barely noticeable all game - though that may be due to the fact that he's been sitting during games for what seems like months and months.

JETS DEFENCE

  • Bogosian - Enstrom
  • Stuart - Trouba
  • Pardy - Ellerby
  • Pavelec
  • Montoya

Pavelec will likely see the start here again, as an interesting graphic that came up on the TSN Jets-'Nucks broadcast showed that Paul Maurice usually likes to ride his No. 1 goaltenders as long as he can. Pavelec is not having a great year, but the Jets are winning, so you can imagine how hard and somewhat nonsensical it would be put in the back-up when the wins are piling up.

CANADIENS FORWARDS

  • Pacioretty - Desharnais - Gallagher
  • Moen - Plekanec - Gionta
  • Bourque - Eller - Thomas
  • Prust - Briere - Parros

This is as a confused of a line-up as you'll see right now.

Therrien has been the brunt of a lot of rage lately over his team's performances, with many claiming that while Therrien had slightly improved upon their regular season performance initially, his style has become too constricting for a team still trying to figure out it's identity.

CANADIENS DEFENCE

  • Gorges - Subban
  • Markov - Emelin
  • Beaulieu - Murray
  • Price
  • Budaj

This is a very good top four corps for the Habs, but they've struggled quite a bit as of late. Therrien's tactics seem to be geared towards getting the puck into safe places rather than risking open-ice passes, but such a mentality slows the game down quite a bit and makes it predictable even though his skilled rosters are capable of such plays.

SUMMARY

The Jets should be able to prey upon another struggling team at the Bell Centre this morning. The Jets are doing a great job of not over-thinking things, and they would do well to continue the trend in Montreal.

 

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Rhys is an aspiring stand-up comedian and put up 29 points in 18 beer league games last year. He enjoys hockey, twitter (@Rhysus_Christ), and pretending like someone else wrote his bio for me.
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#1 X
February 02 2014, 08:27AM
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"Setoguchi played very well against the Canucks, scoring two goals including the game winner after looking lost on his off-wing for the past few weeks."

Of note: The better of his two goals was, if I recall correctly, a shot as he was streaking down, wait for it, his correct wing. This seems like something to ponder.

Tangradi was not that noticeable but the one time I noticed him it was for doing something good. The 4th gave as good as it got against Van, I am hoping Tangradi gets a long look here.

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#2 The Keystone Garter
February 03 2014, 10:09AM
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I didn't watch the Superbowl after the reffing of the Sea-SF game. I saw the good playoff games: winter in GB and the SF-Sea game. The NHL is structured to be boring entertainment during a tie in the third period or even second period. In the regualr season. But NFL is structured as such all the time. The contracts are only annual or week-to-week, the cost of no lockouts. Because defences and offenses don't play eachother, the correct strategy is to injure QBs and WRs (they should have guaranteed multi-yr contracts). And the correct strategy as Peyton or a WR is to not risk injury. The SF lineman who recovered the fumble while injured did the bravest thing a player can do. And this wasn't rewarded. And the kicker that got contacted didn't draw a penalty. There was no reason for Kaepernick to risk a Vick-like injury but he did anyway, and the refs called the game against him. When players are clearly jacked up enough to end careers, without being exposed to hits aginst themselves, the NFL should call a tight game against such a secondary, to allow players to be considered role-models. In the CFL, there isn't an incentive to KO players as you are making maybe 20% more than in the non-sport workforce. The main problem is that with 22 players, camera angles become important. In hockey, you get head shots if you are a bad role model. Or you have to fight. It is a fairer system. I don't think the 80% guaranteed contract is fair, but certainly 50%. Smashmouth football works in the CFL because there are more players, more field, more sets and motion, and receivers can go offside. Where is inferior is the blatent homefield ref-fing. In was a chore to get the Olympics schedules. Tsn redirects to a CBC website that isn't programmed very well. You always get too many canada games and not enough other good games. The SF game was rigged and fans missed out on a good superbowl. At least they don't show their 2nd worst franchise like CBC broadcasts. It would be like a Bomber game every week. I'll go on record calling a Ticat Cup. The Grey Cup wasn't entertaining because Durent was just so much better than the other QB. The NFL has the same problem the NHL did when Lemieux retired: not caling pass interference (NBA doesn't call trvelling or offensive charging). I got a fix for the NBA: two assists are necessary for a 3pt play. When the NFL guarantees contracts to players that take hits, those players will take hits. Right now, Peyton is smart to not try.

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