Where have we seen a shorthanded chance like this before?
The Jets ended a 4 game, week long winless streak in their second game against the Devils. Even better, Mark Scheifele scored his second of the season to end a 24 game streak without a goal, and Evander Kane got his 8th after 11 games of frustration. Even the empty net goal to seal the game at 3-1 was Setoguchi’s 6th after 7 games without a marker.
Fans and the team itself are hoping this six-game road swing is the start of a new chapter in the season. An exorcism for three of the Jets’ intended scoring forwards is the perfect way to kick things off.
It wasn’t as positive a game for the Jets as the score suggests and we’re lucky this game only has three periods. The Jets were well on their way to a meltdown, starting with an unnecessary timeout by the coach through a lineup shuffle while leading 2-0.
Michael Frolik was the most visibly effective defensive forward, but he and Halischuk were on the wrong end of the shot clock.
The second line was once again the Jets’ best line. Not only did they score two goals, but were the leaders in shots (9 combined) and even strength shot attempts (8 combined) by a wide margin. They played most of the game in the New Jersey end and were the only Jets forwards to do so.
Pavelec wasn’t challenged often, but the games was played mostly in his end. The Devils fired 26 shots (compared to the Jets 22), and Pav saved 25 of them. Hard to expect more.
Enstrom and Byfuglien had a quiet game, and Buf was a bit hesitant in the defensive end for whatever reason. Still, Noel ensured they were out against the Devils’ top line and they came out in the positives. When you see some of the other numbers, that will be even more impressive.
As well, Byfuglien’s assist gives him 5 goals and 4 assists in his last six games. Not bad, Dustin.
How about young Jacob Trouba? He had a couple nice plays, including bailing out his partner at times. But in broad strokes, it wasn’t a positive performance to my eye. His partner led the team’s defenders in even strength corsi % at 54%. Trouba was 4th at 43%, and right around team average (an average completely, out of control bad thanks to Stuart).
Corsi isn’t everything, but in a sloppy, back-and-forth game against a team like the Devils, which players are getting shot attempts instead of turning it over at the blue line is very meaningful.
By eye, I thought Trouba had loose gaps and played a mostly reactionary game. But he goes on the border between sections. It was his first game back, he played in all three disciplines for a total of 20 minutes, and made some nice plays. He wasn’t the problem.
The turning point of the game was Patrick Elias hitting the crossbar on a shorthanded two-on-one early in the game, and the Jets special teams were miserable for about the 20th time this season.
I covered it with more in-depth numbers earlier today, but the Jets have the worst powerplay goal differential in the league over the last three years. With Claude Noel saying they won’t do anything about the chances they give up, we saw New Jersey discuss, plan, and execute creating chances against the Jets’ powerplay group. Another coaching blunder that we’ve seen since day one that Noel is too stubborn to address. But he just keeps saying it’s a mystery that the team can’t seem to take steps toward success.
Speaking of stubbornness, the worst players in the game were the usual suspects. Wright and Thorburn did next to nothing in their limited ice time. Wright had a classic brain cramp when he took control of the puck beside his own net, then dumped it away from his defencemen, around the back to the opposite corner, and then chased it himself and failed to make a play before the Devils re-took possession.
Mark Stuart re-entered the lineup and immediately cut his partner Ellerby’s corsi numbers in half. The duo were on for 13 shot attempts against and just 4 for, an astounding 24% share of the attempts on net. Stuart also gave up the puck on the Devils’ only goal, and had a play in the first where he shoveled the puck into a Devils player while not even pressured in the corner. It wasn’t just me to think Stuart was awful.
Elias must be licking his chops every time he sees Stuart against him. Stu backs off so much there’s a ton of room when he enters the zone.
— Robert Cleave (@rmcleave) November 26, 2013
Surprisingly, despite DeBoer not matching against the Jets and blendering from very early in the game, the LLW line was dominated. It might be the reason Noel began moving his own lines around, since Andrew Ladd led the trio with a 35% share of shot attempts.
Apart from Blake Wheeler attacking from the outside line on Brodeur with 8 minutes left in the third and blocking a shot with his ribs, the threesome was mostly invisible on the night as well.
It’s two points, however it came about, and we can hope the Jets figure out how to control play with the lead between now and Wednesday’s game against the Islanders.