Game #38 at Islanders: Deadline eve

New York Islanders (17-16-3) Vs.
Your Winnipeg Jets (18-17-2)
Last Meeting:
January 27th, Jets 5 – Islanders 4 (OT)
TV: TSN Jets
Puck Drop: 6:00 (CT) 


It’s a tough day for Jets fans. By now we all know the situation – still atop the Southeat division, but only four points up on Carolina and a surging Washington, both of whom have games in hand. The Jets deficiencies have been on display this past week, with a lack of scoring, an ineffective powerplay, depth issues, system breakdowns, and poor goaltending all seeming to take turns in costing the team five of its last seven games – starting with the back-to-back head-shakers against Washington that let them back into the race. Most years, the Islanders would be a respite from playing teams with NHL players, but added talent on the blue line, Evgeni Nabokov (a poor goalie this year, but .040 pts better than their backup), a little luck, and the John Tavares show have vaulted the team into a tie for 8th in the East. Lucky for us, they’re still awful at home.

Away from Long Island, our opponents are a remarkable 11-5-1, with the best powerplay and 7th best penalty kill in the league. They’ve scored 51 goals for, had 48 scored against, and only Mark Streit seems to struggle. In front of their own fans, however, the team is apparently poorly utilized by Capuano as they sink to 6-10-2 and the top line is a combined -36 thanks to 65 goals against in just 19 games. Their special teams also fall off a cliff. 

By the Numbers




5×5 GF/60

2.4 (T-12th)

2.2 (T-19th)

5×5 GA/60

3.0 (29th)

2.7 (22nd)

Goals by Period

24 – 38 – 36

22 – 36 – 29

Goals Against by Period

25 – 35 – 50

36 – 28 – 44

Fenwick (5×5 Close)

50.4% (14th)

50.1% (16th)







18.8% (19th)

25% (1st)

14.6% (24th)

12.3% (22nd)


76.4% (27th)

83.9% (7th)

82.4% (16th)

77.8% (20th)

Top Scorer

Matt Moulson

19GP 5-13-18

John Tavares

17GP 11-8-19

Andrew Ladd

17GP: 8-8-16

Andrew Ladd

20GP 6-10-16

Coach’s Coaching



It’s frustrating to say and will seem like a simple answer to complex problem, but the Jets just have to make plays at some point. They can’t give up a goal in the first minute. They can’t have four powerplays in a period and not score. They have to win puck battles. They have to get the puck on net and follow it in. They have to enter the zone with control, and exit their own zone consistently. Basic, basic stuff. MAKE PLAYS!

Break the game down

When things are piling up, it’s time to win smaller games inside the game. Win the first 10 minutes. Make a hit. Get a shot on goal. Win a faceoff. Win a board battle. The Jets need to play within themselves and not try to win a whole hockey game with every shift. That can be hard to do when it’s all falling apart on trade deadline eve. They just need to win the small moments of the game and trust it will come together by the final buzzer.


Pretend they’re not at home

I have no idea how a team can be so different on the road and at home. Moreover, how a team can have a great first line on the road – where the other coach determines matchups – and an awful first line at home. Capuano needs to figure out what he’s doing wrong, and the team needs to play like it’s a road game.

Keep the puck out

Tavares, Moulson, and Boyes are scoring like mad. The rest of the team is not. Grabner and Okposo each have 15 points, and Frans Nielsen is fourth in scoring with just 20 in 36 games. This team lacks scoring depth. But their main problem is that they are giving games away in the final 20 minutes, evienced by a league worst 50 goals against in that frame. The Islanders need to figure out how to reduce their goals against – especially at home! – if they want to keep winning.