Discussing a new breakout formation to use against left-wing pinkos.
This weekly column looks to discuss a certain number of relevant Jets topics on a certain day of the week. That certain number? Five. That day of the week? Friday. Also, hole. This is the Friday Five-Hole.
One week after I claimed they need to be a completely different team to win, the Jets won all three games this past week, posting their longest winning streak of the season thus far (three). The Jets outscored their opponents 11-6, shutting out the division rival Predators, besting the slumping Sharks in a shootout, and likewise to the likewise slumping Red Wings.
And sure, in the scoring column, this was a great week for the Jets, who are now a mere two wins away from a .500 record. However, Jets fans should remember this streaky week – it’s not likely to repeat itself too often this season.
Despite the 3-0-0 record, the Jets were outshot 118-99 and went 0-8 on the powerplay (which has now scored 1 goal in it’s last 47 attempts). Ondrej Pavelec posted a .952 save percentage – up just a little bit from his .902 season average. Two games were decided by shootout, and by shootout I mean Andrew Ladd, who scored in both and improved to a league-leading 5-for-5 in the coin toss.
With these three wins, the Jets now have nine on the year. Two have been shutouts, four have been in shootouts, and they were outshot in the other three. Yes, a win is a win is a win, but these are not sustainable ways to win hockey games. It was exciting to watch Pavelec hold down the fort against Nashville and Detriot, and the comeback against San Jose even more so, but the Jets rely on luck to win points steadily – and that’s the exact word I’d use to describe this three-game streak.
(sorry, I meant)
LITTLE BY LITTLE
Former Barrie Colt and current Jet Bryan Little is on pace to score more than 40 goals this season for the first time in his career. Little has yet to match the 31 goals he scored in 2008-09 for the Thrashers during his first full year in the NHL. The Edmonton native is known more for his playmaking ability, usually piling up more assists than goals. Little has only scored more than 20 goals twice in his previous six seasons.
Part of Little’s success this year is we’ve seen his shooting percentage inflate to 26.2% from his 12.1% career average. We all remember this Five-Hole Of The Week candidate against Nashville this past Friday:
It’s unlikely Little will make it to 40 goals. That is a daunting number for any player in today’s NHL, especially for a guy who hasn’t really shown a goal-scoring flair save for one season five years ago. That being said, Little does look to be playing some of the best hockey of his career and, due to his line’s hot start, it is likely Little will top his career best in goals (31) and points (51).
That would be good, because the Jets really, really need him to.
FREE AGENT FILL IN
Want to play a fun game?
First, print and cut out this list of not-so-great players on the Jets roster:
Current Jets: Scheifele, Halischuk, Frolik, Wright, Thorburn, Tangradi, Clitsome, Pardy, Ellerby, Peluso, Stuart, Pavelec, Montoya.
Finished? Great! Okay, now, print and cut out this selected list of remaning UFA’s:
Notable UFA’s: V. Prospal, K. Wellwood (not retired yet!), K. Daugavins, P. Mueller, M. Reasoner, C. Armstrong, S. Sullivan, G. Latendresse, S. Gagne, T. Connolly, K. Huskins, I. White, C. Mason, J. Theodore.
All done? All right! Now, take your mix of players and mix them in with the already pretty good Jets players and create your own line-up!
Ladd Little Wheeler
Kane Jokinen (kind of) Setoguchi (same)
Does your line-up at all resemble the one GM Kevin Cheveldayoff puts out on the ice every single game?
Thanks for playing!*
*salary cap not included
OP FOR THE OT
The Winnipeg Sun saw fit to run an article this past week about how much Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec would like to see an extended overtime in the place of the shootout. Despite the Jets’ early success in the shootout this season (they are now 4-1), Pavelec still isn’t a big fan of the it. Neither am I, but for very different reasons.
I don’t like the shootout out because it’s format takes a rare element of the game – a breakaway – and strips it of it’s intrigue. There isn’t any back pressure, the shooter has all the time in the world to plan a move, and because there’s a minumum of three shooters per side, no one player has the game-breaking effect they could have in a penalty shot.
Pavelec doesn’t like the shootout because before this season, he went 8-15 with a .592% save percentage. He’s been better this season, but not much.
So yeah, we both don’t like the shootout.
FIVE HOLE OF THE WEEK
Tangradi gets his first of the year here, tipping a Byfuglien point shot through Carter Hutton’s wickets for the Jets’ third goal of the period . The best part of the clip is Byfuglien mistakenly throwing the proverbial monkey off his back, thinking the goal was his. Byfuglien would finally get his first a couple days later against San Jose.