The Jets finally took the ice following a 17-day layoff on
Thursday night and took on a Phoenix Coyote team that’s sitting right ahead of
them in the standings.
Judging by the way it looked, you would never know it was
hyped as one of the “biggest games” of the year. It was a game rattled with poor timing, poor
officiating, bad turnovers, and missed opportunities. For 65 minutes this game was nothing more
than a display of how awesome Olympic hockey really is, followed up by a
surprisingly dramatic shootout.
In the end Olli Jokinen, Devin Setoguchi, and even Ondrej
Pavelec showed up when it mattered most, and snagged the Jets the extra point.
The Jets start.
Despite some rust, the Jets were able to get on top of the Coyotes
possession wise. They seemed better
prepared, and could have very likely had a substantial lead heading into the
The reappearance of Jim Slater was huge for the fourth
line. For the first time in what feels
like forever, the fourth line actually out-possessed it’s opponents. Slater played a huge role in that happening. He drove the puck up the ice very well, and
helped his entire grouping of misfit toys play a decent overall game.
Blake Wheeler and company.
For only the fifth time since Paul Maurice became the head coach of this
team, Evander Kane was in the lineup and playing alongside Mark Scheifele and
Blake Wheeler. My, oh my did it look
pretty. As expected, having the threat
of speed on either side of the ice proved to be of huge benefit, as both wingers
were able to beat defensemen to the outside and create chances. It was great to see, and I can’t wait to see
where this line can go.
Ondrej Pavelec. Listen folks. The guy has his issues. I
didn’t like his rebound control throughout the game, and I wasn’t really a huge
fan of either goal he gave up. But hey,
he did manage to keep the puck out of them net for the most part. I would also be ridiculous to ignore the
saves he made throughout the overtime period or the shootout. Pavelec gets a passing grade from me on the
The rust. This entire
game really made me miss Olympic hockey.
I get that the guys are rusty after such a long layoff, but yikes. Guys were slow, passes were sloppy, and as
things went on the turnovers and offside calls just kept piling up. It’s not a game that we will see on ESPN
Classic anytime soon.
The power play really left something to be desired. Their lone goal came on a pretty brutal
turnover, and for the most part they had issues getting into the zone and
setting up. I’m willing to chop this
game up to the rust. Let’s see if things get any better overall now that
Wheeler, Kane and Scheifele are back together.
Yikes. I think it’s safe to say
that the officiating in this game was pretty subpar. The terrible hooking call on Slater, the
missed slashing call against Scheifele that led to the “illegal equipment”
call, the missed hit from behind… it was not good. Apparently everybody got a little rusty
during the break.
Sum It Up
It was ugly. It was rotten. It smelt like cheese. But hey,
it was a win. Take the two points, walk away and get ready for Nashville on