March 18 2014 07:21PM
Fenwick Chart via Extraskater.com
Despite being completely out-possessed throughout the entire game, the scoring chance count was actually relatively close. Was this a result of solid defense from the Jets, or strategy by the Blues?
Despite only having a single player with a 5 vs 5 Corsi-For percentage above 45% (Andrew Ladd), the Jets actually managed to keep the scoring chances pretty darn close. As much as I would love to tell you this was all due to some great defensive play from the Jets that was simply not the case. Don’t get me wrong. I thought the Jets play did contribute to it a bit, but the Blues were just too skilled at cycling the puck and controlling the tempo to not realize that this is just the way they play. They wear teams down and pounce on their generated openings for goals. In doing so they completely prevented the Jets from sustaining any true pressure of their own, thus forcing them to take advantage of the few chances they can muster.
It therefore comes as no surprise that the only Jets line that plays in a similar fashion on a regular basis was the line that was able to create the most offense. This style of play is the norm for the Jets Ladd-Little-Frolik line. That’s why I don’t want them split up again, and why I think the Jets struggled so significantly when they were.
The pairing of Bogosian and Enstrom have had their fair share of troubles lately. Actually, let me rephrase that. Zach Bogosian has had his fair share of troubles lately, and it’s had a negative effect on Toby Enstrom. Props to Mark Stuart and Jacob Trouba who have seen increased minutes lately because of it (and have done alright in that time). But when Mark Stuart is being used against top opponents, you know you have some depth problems.
As impressive as the Jets penalty kill has been this year, it’s being trumped by the ineptitude of the power play. I’m extremely confused as to why Kane and Jokinen get put back together in power play situations, and I think it’s pretty obvious that the point-shot or bust mentality rarely works. Hopefully a full offseason with a new coach will help improve it, because it has nowhere to go but up.
One of the main selling points of realignment were the rivalries that were going to come of it. I think after this game it’s fair to say that the Blues-Jets rivalry is well under way to becoming something serious. The teams don’t seem to like one another very much, and the fans have clearly gotten sick of each other as well. It’s about time that something like this built, it’s just too bad it’s against such a good team.