JetsNation Recap – Laine Good. Others Not So Much.

We all saw this coming right?

The Jets were going for that elusive third win in a row against an Oilers team that was due to break out..

Of course those are superfluous reasons why the Jets lost 6-3 to the Oilers on Thursday night, there were plenty of legit reasons and if you had to sum it up into one complete statement, it would be that the Jets – except for Patrik Laine – were awful in all aspects of the game.


After each Jets loss, I tend to ask myself “where did things go wrong” and tonight the answer I keep thinking of is that the Jets gave the Oilers far too much respect – not to mention room on the ice – to do their thing. Going into the game the team had talked about wanting to be physical with the Oilers and they were anything but during the actual game. They didn’t need to go play a neanderthal game out there, but they needed to dish out a lot more than the 11 hits they were given credit for (honestly I thought it was less than that)

Special teams is a huge issue right now for this club. The penalty kill was downright putrid and almost seemed like there was zero structure to it tonight. it almost feels like the strategy on the PK is “allow a shot, hope for a save, try and skate out of the zone with the rebound.” As for the power play, if you take away Laine’s two goals (and yes I will do that for the sake of my commentary here, but more on his goals in a moment) the man advantage looks the same as it ever has. Very little player movement and just passing the puck around the perimeter hoping for an outside shot.

The Jets actually had 1-0 and 2-1 leads in this game in the first period – a first period they were badly outshot in – but it even with those leads it felt like the Oilers were the better team tonight. Again a lot of it due to the fact that the Jets allowed the Oilers to skate freely.

Why is Chris Thorburn still being dressed? He only got nine shifts total, only played five minutes… I’m not much of a Burmistrov fan and Kyle Connor really needs a stint in the AHL, but either of those players would have been a better option than Thorburn… And yet – and maybe because the game was well over at this point – there he is taking a shift  on the fourth line with less than two minutes to go in the game.. again! *headdesk*

No way to sugar coat this: Hellebuyck was bad tonight. Granted he was a bit under siege – especially in those first two periods – but there was no “big save” from him when the Jets broke down defensively in front of him (which they did a fair amount). The toe save going from his right to left on McDavid in the first period was his nicest, but beyond that there wasn’t much to cheer about. You can’t pin this loss on him completely, but there were at least three goals that were in the “shoulda had” camp including the Oilers 4th goal which was a yet another “impossible” goal that just sneaks through and it felt like a soul crusher of a goal.

Now let’s talk Laine. He was great. Maybe more to the point his SHOT is great. The rest of his game is coming along well enough but that shot is one of the best in the league already… Which is why it’s so gosh darn frustrating to see how Paul Maurice uses him on the power play. It’s bad enough he gets put on the 2nd PP unit, but as we saw with his first goal, sometimes that works out. Put him with guys like Enstrom who can feather a pass with the best of them and guys like Lowry and Perreault in front to cause a little havoc and it can work.

But then during a power play in the second period, Laine was not only not on the 1st PP unit, he didn’t go on the ice until the last 10 seconds of that power play chance and STILL had the best and only good scoring chance with another rocket blast. In the 3rd period, Paul Maurice at least had the sanity to put him up in a 5 on 3 situation which he promptly scored on…

I feel like Maurice is over-thinking things when it comes to his top players, especially with Laine. Stop tinkering constantly with the lines, let players develop some chemestry together and start playing your better players more often.


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