I want you to think about all the predictable storylines that could have come from this game.
They all came true. Ondrej Pavelec was iffy. Carey Price was great. PK Subban scored a beast of a one-timer. The Jets had a very poor start to the game. The Montreal Canadiens once again beat the Winnipeg Jets.
In what is becoming a very concerning trend, the Jets came out extremely flat again tonight against The Habs. After getting pinned in their own zone for an extended period of time right off the bat, Brandon Prust was able to take advantage of a slow moving Ondrej Pavelec and put Montreal up 1-0 just over two minutes into the game. Eight minutes and a few rounds of “boo’s” later P.K. fired a one-timer right passed Pavelec, and Carey Price took over from there.
After being held of the shot clock for the first seven minutes of the game the Jets picked things up down 2-0 out-chancing Montreal 11-6 from that point forward. A combination of missed nets, bouncing pucks, and Carey Price preventing any sort of rebound from squeaking out resulted in his first shut out of the season.
They didn’t have too many, but they are worth noting.
Jacob Trouba made one heck of a move in the first period during some 4 on 4 play. He’s got a load of skill. There were a couple times I thought he made questionable decisions, and more than once I found myself wondering why he was making the harder play. Yet, I was impressed again with his poise and overall calmness when he got in trouble and was usually able to get himself out of trouble.
I thought Scheifele had a solid game. His best game as a Jet? I’m not so sure.
Although it was mainly with a two-goal deficit, the Jets did well at getting the puck towards the net. As I mentioned earlier, if not for a couple terrible bouncing pucks this could have been a different game. That does go both ways though, as The Habs were on the wrong side of a bouncing puck a few times as well.
I thought the penalty kill was solid once again tonight. They held Montreal to a single power play chance on 5 attempts, and their power play goal came on an empty net. In my opinion, the Jets have been much more aggressive lately on the kill, and it has brought some positive results. The recent success is the only justifiable reason I can come up with to explain why Frolik isn’t getting much PK time.
Goaltending. It’s games like this that really bother me about Ondrej Pavelec. I’ll break this down more in my Pavelec and entries post, but despite an "okay" game I didn’t like either goal the Pavelec let in. He was slow getting back on Prust’s goal, and I thought he stayed way too deep on Subban’s one-timer. If he is able to cover up a puck and get a whistle on that first goal I could be singing his praises right now, but he just consistently comes up a little bit too short.
Has anyone seen Blake Wheeler? He has been a huge absence for the most part this season, and it’s hard to really remember any moments of his throughout the game. This is where a lack of depth is a huge killer for the Jets. Devin Setoguchi has been less than stellar this season, meaning that Wheeler really doesn’t have anybody around to take away his spot on the top line.
I once again find myself questioning Coach Noel’s decision making. After being so reluctant to change the lines during the Jets 3-game losing streak, he was very quick to mix things up tonight. The problem? The Jets seemed to be matching up rather well when he did it. It’s the timing more than anything that leaves me scratching my head.
Evander Kane has games where he is able to display his aggression and speed, and some games where he just can’t stay out of the penalty box. He took two hooking calls and a holding penalty tonight; all on plays that could have been prevented if he kept moving his feet. I’m not saying I agree with the calls exactly (in fact, I though some of them were rather weak), but he can’t put himself in positions that allow refs to make them.
I’ll finish off here with the same point that has been made again and again this year. The Jets need to figure out how to start games better. They were pinned in their own end for almost two full minutes to start the game, and it resulted in an early 1-0 deficit. The Jets are not a good enough team to always be starting behind the 8-ball. They need to be better.
Montreal is one of those teams that make me happy about moving to the West. Mostly because the Jets are now 1-7 against them since the move, but also because they are a team that just makes me angry. I can’t describe how pleased I am that they won’t be visiting the MTS Centre again this year.