Jets lose to the Los Angeles Kings by a 5-2 score. Nothing was good after the first period and even that first period was a whole bunch of MEH. Special teams was brutal, goaltending was bad.
None of this probably surprises you and if it does, where have you been all season?
Very few of you likely stayed up to watch the entire length of this game, and honestly who can blame you? This was a mean-nothing game for the Jets and while the Kings are still holding on for dear life in their own playoff race, they’ve done so with very average play at the best of times.
You might have watched the first period, saw the Jets play rather decently – nothing to be overly excited about but the first period would be what some in the business call “a good road period” and got out to a 2-1 lead. They got on top of the Kings early, skated fairly well and forced LA into taking a couple of bad penalties. The Perreault goal was a nice result of some good board play, a simple shot on goal from Strait and Perreault getting in the middle of things.
They did have nearly a two minute 5 on 3 power play that looked about as bad as one could get and was only bailed out by a rather fortunate Patrik Laine goal that deflected wide off a Kings defenseman, ricocheted off the back wall onto the skate of Kings goalie Ben Bishop and into the net.
It was the highlight of the Jets night and probably fitting since it was quite ugly and won’t be making any highlight reels any time ever.
The second period and beyond was more like the Jets we’ve come to know this season with the Kings being much more aggressive on the forecheck and the Jets simply unable to clear their own zone multiple times. It forced the Jets into bad turnovers that led to a Jake Muzzin goal to tie things up. It then forced the Jets into taking some careless penalties of their own which then turned into Kings goals.
To put it in a word, the Jets special teams was putrid. It can’t get much worse than giving up three man advantage goals out of four times short handed.
The only thing worse than that power play would be to do something like give up a short handed goal on a Kings two on one with the puck carrier keeping the entire way and shooting high glove side.
And yes, that happened.
Which brings me to Connor Hellebuyck.
He was awful. There is no other way to put it. Yes he was under siege most of the night, yes he was playing behind a brutal defense that only got worse when Dustin Byfuglien left the game with an apparent injury… Excuses can be made and some might have a touch of legitimacy to them, but Hellebuyck looked like Pavelec-lite on the ice tonight minus the scrambled out-of-position-desperation saves Ondrej usually made. One could say “the book is out” on Helle, but we all know it’s just a pamphlet and in big bold letters it just has “HIGH GLOVE SIDE” printed on it.
Is it even worth talking about the team defense at this point? It’s not good, but when the only two legitimate NHL level defensemen in the lineup are Byfuglien and Morrissey, you’re gonna have a bad time.
Buff even without playing the final 4:48 of the game still let all players in ice time. The Jets may have finally broken Buff. This might be the equivalent of driving the hell out of the monster SUV, never once taking the foot off the gas and now having it finally blow a piston and left on the side of the road.
Somewhere Jacob Trouba is looking at a potential partner of Mark Stuart or Brian Strait and thinking “wonder if I could stretch this injury out just a little more…”
In all, it was simply more of the same from the Jets as we’ve seen them the past few seasons. Undisciplined play. Bad goaltending. Worse defense. Poor puck movement. It’s not like the Kings somehow returned to their Stanley Cup winning form for one night and the Jets were in the wrong place at the wrong time, it’s that the Jets played so poorly that the Kings couldn’t do anything BUT look like legit playoff contenders for at least one more night.
The Jets started off decent and then when things went sideways, the team pretty much rolled over. Not that we should expect much from this team overall going forward, but it would be nice to see a team play with a little more intensity than the “casual Sunday skate with the family” mode they were in tonight.
Your Hot Takes:
Sooo I stayed up for that? Ohhh man 😑 #NHLJets
— Jeff Cabiles (@ShOcKjOcK80) March 24, 2017
— Todd Lewys (@Lewysonsports) March 24, 2017
@NHLJetsNation We already made (recent) history by going 3 in a row twice this season. Asking for 4 in a row would just be greedy.
— Kristen Suderman (@KLSuderhand) March 24, 2017
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