October 02 2013 11:31PM
The Jets beat an old rival last night in their first ever season-opening win. In that light, it's poor form to focus on the negative. Believe it or not, that isn't my intention in the post below.
Instead, I mean to start an investigation into the vexing James Wright. In some circles, it can be hard to say his very name without sounding like you're piling on the Jets' newest whipping boy. Still, some media analysts and, in point of fact, the team's highly remunerated head coach, seem to believe in James Wright as a 7th man. In September, a talk radio analyst said he could move around the lineup and even into the top 6. In a clumsy, but ultimately winning effort last night, James Wright was given 24 shifts and the third most even strength ice time among forwards (behind only Kane and Scheifele). Meanwhile, he had the worst corsi % among forwards at a stunning 26.3% - meaning the ice was tilted against the Jets such that 3 out of every 4 shot attempts taken with him on the ice were against the Jets.
Below I've taken apart one of Wright's shifts - his last in the second period. Eventually, I'd like to see what it is that Claude Noel does. For now, I'll start with what I see.
October 01 2013 11:51PM
It was a game of individual efforts tonight, and no individual efforts were more obvious or more lacking than that of the goaltenders. The first goal of the game - a soft backhand by a waiver-wire 4th liner - was the beginning of a seemingly endless series of missed reads, under-glove holes, lost pucks, and lost angles.
Scheifele's heavy wrister from the off-wing found a tiny hole when Dubnyk lost his angle. A very poor gapping play by Nick Schultz gave Bryan Little the room to fumble the puck, get it back, and then put one through a too-deep Oilers netminder. Scoring in the first ended on a tipped powerplay goal and it started to feel like whoever could close the door first would win.
Shocking every person to have watched Ondrej Pavelec to that point in the game, the Jets' 'big-game goalie' had 3 big saves - enough to hold off the pressing Oiler stars.
October 01 2013 02:29PM
It's year three for the Jets 2.0, but somehow visiting Edmonton makes it feel like day one for me. A rivalry renewed by moving West. Day one. Game one. Jets - Oilers on the CBC. Remember this feeling for the next time someone asks what it means to be Canadian.
October 01 2013 12:27PM
Last week at work I found an old paperback discarded in the break-room. It was the Signet 1995-96 Hockey Almanac. Suddenly I was opening up a time capsule.
October 01 2013 10:55AM
The Nation Network is proud to officially announce an agreement to purchase DailyFaceoff.com, a leading fantasy hockey resource. Network traffic is expected to double to 30 million visitors and 75 million page views annually in the next 12 months as result.