Game 57 @ Montreal: Montoya Performance & Neutral Zone Play

Travis Hrubeniuk
February 03 2014 10:13PM

Positioning. 

The Jets won a scrappy game in Montreal Sunday afternoon, playing a road game a way that you want it to be played: by controlling the puck more often and strong 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

1

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

4

3

0.75

4

3

0.75

100%

12

Jokinen

5

1

0.20

4

1

0.25

80%

14

Peluso

2

1

0.50

1

1

1.00

50%

16

Ladd

8

3

0.38

2

0

0.00

25%

17

Wright

3

1

0.33

2

1

0.50

67%

18

Little

4

1

0.25

3

0

0.00

75%

22

Thorburn

4

1

0.25

4

1

0.25

100%

26

Wheeler

1

0

0.00

1

0

0.00

100%

27

Tangradi

4

0

0.00

2

0

0.00

50%

33

Byfuglien

7

11

1.57

4

7

1.75

57%

39

Enstrom

1

0

0.00

0

0

N/A

0%

40

Setoguchi

4

0

0.00

2

0

0.00

50%

44

Bogosian

2

1

0.50

0

0

N/A

0%

55

Scheifele

6

1

0.17

5

1

0.20

83%

67

Frolik

3

4

1.33

1

3

3.00

33%

 

JETS

61

30

0.49

36

18

0.50

59%

 

OPP

60

26

0.43

32

16

0.50

53%

 

OZF

14

4

0.29

       
 

DZF

9

2

0.22

       

Observations

  • The Jets, once again, controlled more than 50% of their entries against Montreal. I think it’s getting clearer and clearer every day that this is a message from Paul Maurice. We rarely, if ever, saw this happen under Noel and it’s been a regular occurrence over the last few games. I like it. A lot.
  • Dustin Byfuglien had his best game in the neutral zone as a forward against the Habs. He carried 57% of his entries, and was effective when he did so. He was the workhorse on his line and it paid off. He was one of the best possession players on the team.
  • Scheifele, Wheeler and Thorburn had another pretty quiet game. Again the grouping was pretty ineffective through the neutral zone, and it’s hard to not point to Thorburn as to why. Wheeler and Scheifele are both players that strive off the rush, and Thorburn just can’t keep up with that style of play. I really wouldn’t hate it if Eric O’Dell were put back on this line when he gets back.
  • Jacob Trouba was able to effectively join the rush and create opportunities in this matchup. Trouba has shown no fear in the last couple games to jump up with the rush when he has seen an opening, and he’s been very dangerous in doing so. I’ve noticed a couple more mistakes in his game lately as well, but he has the ability to make people forget about them with his offensive prowess.

Montoya Performance

Another game played, another wonderful performance by Al Montoya. It seems to me that everyone is just waiting to see a drop off in Montoya’s play at some point this year, but he has simply refused to let it happen. The Jets played pretty well for the most part in this game, but their mistakes were big ones and often resulted in quality chances for Montreal. On almost every occasion though, Monty was there to bail them out. That’s the kind of goaltending the Jets need on a regular basis if they want to be successful. It shouldn’t matter how much either is getting paid. If you are providing what the teams needs, you should be starting games and right now they guy doing that is Al Montoya.

Goal

Situation

Why It Went In

Where It Went

1

Average Play (Controlled ZE)

Beat Clean

Glove Hand

Quick Explanation

After handling a plethora of shots and chances in a short period of time, a good rush by Montreal and a heck of a shot from Brian Gionta ultimately led to this goal. It was a quick release and perfect placement on a shot from the slot that beat Montoya. Hard to really fault him on it.

Things to Watch For

The Jets head into Carolina for a game against the Hurricanes Tuesday night, in Paul Maurice’s return to his old home. Here are a few things to watch for in that match up:

  1. How much money will Maurice put on the table for this win? Thanks to a big mouth in the room, we heard about Ron Wilson doing this when the Leafs visited the Sharks for the first time a few years back. There was actually a decent amount of push back and talk about a fine/trouble for the Leafs due to cap circumvention. It happens all over the place, so hopefully the Jets keep their mouths shut over how much he puts down for the win. Either way, expect a very motivated Jets lineup.
  2. Who will start in net? As I said before the Montreal game, this is going to be a regular question for most of the year now. Montoya has played well enough to deserve the start. Will he act actually get it? I’m honestly not sure.
  3. Can they get within two? With some help and a win against the Canes, the Jets could actually move to within two points of a playoff spot tomorrow night. As crazy as that sounds, it could realistically happen. I am still convinced that the Jets need to keep thinking long term and move their UFA’s, but the fan base may become less accepting of a selling team as the playoffs start looking more realistic. It’s a big decision making time for Chevy.

Final Thought

As I’m sure many of us saw yesterday in the Superbowl, defense wins championships. The Jets defense isn’t exactly championship caliber right now. This group can score, and in these last couple games have been playing to their potential under Paul Maurice. They’ve had some help with high shooting percentages, but that won’t sustain itself for long. They need to improve defensively. The trade deadline may be a time to do that.

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