The Fake News: Winnipeg's New PK a Success

Rhys Finnick
October 19 2013 01:56PM

Winnipeg wearing their new third jerseys next week 

Evander Kane earned another gold star next to his name in Claude Noel's playbook. The Jets' star winger took five penalties in two games this week against the Canadiens and Blues, showing a commitment to his team's new penalty kill strategy. Coach Claude Noel ruffled feathers last week unveiling a plan to bolster the Jets' PK by taking as many penalties as possible.

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Early Returns: Defence

Kevin McCartney
October 19 2013 03:04AM

"Seriously, Mark?"

Up and down, up and down. The Jets have completed just a tenth of their schedule, sitting 4-4-0, and I'm already exhausted.

On Thursday we looked at how Claude Noel is deploying his forwards and the success they're having with their assignments. Today we turn to the defence group. 

We only have so many ways to evaluate coaches, and one of them is how they use their players. We'll look at another player usage chart, and the hope is to see both the success of indivduals and pairings as well as the success of Claude Noel in putting his players in a position to succeed and responding to their performance on the ice. 

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Jets Post-Game 8: Have to be Lucky to be Good

Kevin McCartney
October 18 2013 09:57PM

From start to finish, this game was about confusion, desperation, and luck.

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JGD 8: Singin' The Blues

Kevin McCartney
October 18 2013 02:51PM

The St Louis Blues are in town, and the anxiety about meeting a Central Division opponent couldn't be higher. Ryan Blight over at Arctic Ice is (very reasonably) calling for major changes to a franchise that has been re-building since expansion. Two lucky wins to kick off the year aren't fooling anyone, and Claude Noel's seat is being heated by the torches of Winnipeg's expanding mob. It's not like ex-Atlanta coach Bob Hartley could have gotten more wins out of this club. I mean, look at Calgary! Wait, Calgary is doing better than us? Oh, the shame.

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Systems Analysis: Jets Forecheck A Central Division Oddity

Kevin McCartney
October 18 2013 04:22AM

This is a systems post we've been working up to from the start of the season. The Jets have a complex problem this season, and the knives are out. As we look at the Jets forecheck, we're going to see the root of a lot of the things people don't like about this squad. Lack of control of the neutral zone, open space in the Jets' end, odd-man rushes against, and even offence coming from areas outside that prized real estate in the slot. 

The point of these posts is not to show fault with a particular system choice. It's hard to talk about systems in Winnipeg right now without incidentally raising the question of whether Noel should be fired. I wanted to wait for this post until we'd seen a game in which this forecheck was successful, becuase when it is successful, it creates a lot of second and third opportunities and forces defencemen to make difficult plays. We finally saw that against New Jersey. 

Still, the Jets use a forecheck that is unqiue in their high-powered division, and as with all systems choices, it has both positive and negative conseqences. We'll look first at what the Jets are doing, and then compare them to the reigning Cup Champions and new Division rival Chicago Blackhawks. 

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