March 27 2014 12:20AM
Despite the Jets controlling possession of the puck for the majority of the game, the scoring chance count didn’t exactly play out as you would have expected it to.
Despite hold a pretty substantial lead for most of the game in regards to possession, the Jets still finished tied with the Stars in scoring chances at even strength. It’s hard not to see this as a result of the lineup the Jets sent out for this game, which was pretty obviously lacking in skill.
One line that I thought struggled a fair amount throughout the night was Byfuglien – Jokinen – Wheeler. They were too often caught in their own end, they had a lot of trouble moving the puck up the ice, and I think Jokinen’s chance numbers really reflect that. When Maurice moved his lines around a bit it allowed Buff and Wheeler to improve their numbers a bit, but overall it wasn’t a very pretty game for the trio.
By the way, I’m still amazed at the fact that Blake Wheeler came back following his collision at the Stars bench. I don’t think it was dirty or deliberate by any means, but when I saw it I thought he was done for the year. Heck, I was certain we were going to see Klingberg in the Jets lineup against the Sharks. Yet he managed to come back and is apparently okay, so it’ll be interesting to watch for any lingering effects going forward.
The Jets power play was a mere +1 on three opportunities against the Stars. Really nothing new here, it’s just a constant disappointment that seriously needs to be addresses in the offseason. In the meantime I hope to see Eric O’Dell get a shot on the unit, and some experimentation to see who may have some chemistry with whom (cough cough Wheeler and Kane).
Tangradi, Cormier and Peluso may not have put up any big numbers, but the fact that weren’t on the ice for any chances against is an improvement over fourth lines of the past.
I thought Kane looked solid with Little and Frolik. Heck, I’ve thought Kane has looked pretty darn good in most games he’s played away from Olli Jokinen. Evander is going to take a lot of heat this offseason for the drop off in his production, but I have a feeling he is going to have a heck of a bounce back year next season.
You know what’s fun to recall? The fact that Kari Lehtonen used to be an Atlanta Thrasher. I tossed that little tidbit out on twitter during the game, and was reminded of the horrible circumstances that led to him being traded. It’s fun to think about what things would be like if he could have made it work and become a Winnipeg Jet though.