April 01 2014 12:28AM
Wow wow wow. That was…wow. Did you know that hockey games have 60 minutes of regulation play?
The Jets played a near perfect 40 minutes of hockey to start this game. Twitter was a buzz with people talking about the potential moving forward, where things could go…oh there was so much optimism. Then, the Jets happened. The Ducks pushed back, and before you could say, “score effects” it was a one-goal game. We all know what happened from there.
Listen. Score effects are a reoccurring trend faced on a regular basis by almost every team in the NHL. You build a pretty comfortable lead, and for whatever reason teams tend to back off a bit and coast into the finish. This usually results in a lot of time being spent in your own zone, and usually a goal or two to make things close. Only Team Canada at this year's Olympics, and on occasion the San Jose Sharks have really been able to prevent this from happening with any consistancy. (More people in Winnipeg would understand this if the Jets actually held multi-goal leads on a regular basis) Generally, decent goaltending results in nothing coming of it on most occasions. Bummer the Jets don’t have that, because below average (bad) goaltending usually leads to blown four goal leads in the third period.
That’s not to say there are no other Jets at fault. Paul Postma was playing on a top pairing with Toby Enstrom throughout this game, and I think it’s fair to say he was way in over his head. I get that people think this Trouba-Stuart pairing is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but the numbers say otherwise. I want to see Trouba with Enstrom a little bit more. Playoffs are way out of the question, so why not try to experiment and see what works? The two of them have put up decent numbers in the past (in a small sample size), so I want more.
It's pretty pathetic that a bad period from the Ladd - Little - Frolik unit resulted in a complete slip of the switch possession wise. It speaks quite drastically to the lack of depth throughout this lineup. You simply cannot be a 1 or 2 line team and expect to see any sustained success in the NHL. A ROOKIE getting hurt should not have such a horrid ripply effect throughout the lineup. You shouldn't be trading away second round draft picks for a player that is an upcoming UFA yet still gets scratched on a regular basis down the final stretch of a season. The Jets have some serious depth and personnel issues that need to be addressed this season. If they aren't, Chevy needs to go.
On the flip side, I actually liked Zach Redmond throughout this game. He and Pardy may have seen limited, protected minutes but they did take advantage of it. Redmond is another guy the Jets need to make decisions on in this short stint, so I hope he continues to see the ice.
Blake Wheeler is one hell of a hockey player. That’s easy to say now as basically every hockey personality in this city is saying it, so I’m just hoping people remember it when he eventually goes through a mini-slump again. His skill set goes much beyond simply scoring goals. He carries the puck quite effectively on a regular basis, sets up plays, and honestly would be a perfect guy to play with Evander Kane. I’m really hoping that the Jets play to start Kane, Wheeler and Scheifele on the top line next year. Those three should be untouchables this offseason.
Speaking of Evander Kane. Not his best performance alongside Eric O’Dell and Matt Halischuk. They started strong, but despite having some of the most favourable zone starts on the team the line was out-possessed and victimized by the Ducks in the third.
At the end of the day, the Jets should have been able to hold onto this game. Blame can be handed out to everyone involved for this collapse, but the possession statistics were split nearly 50-50 at 5 on 5. If not, they were still slightly in the Jets favour. This was a terrible result, and honestly doesn’t deserve ridiculous over-reaction, but there were things identified that need to be changed drastically. The most important of which is the man between the pipes.
Jets 2.0 vs Jets 1.0 in Phoenix tomorrow night provides a quick “forget it” and bounce back chance following this epic collapse. On April Fools Day nonetheless. A win in regulation and the ‘Yotes will push the Jets right up against the wall of elimination. In all honesty though, at this point I think a lot of Jets fans are just waiting for this season to be over.