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The JN Roundtable: The Season So Far

Recently with the Jets having passed the quarter pole mark of the 2017-18 season, the writers of JetsNation got together to discuss what they’ve liked and what they haven’t liked about the season so far.

As you can imagine, in the end it turned more into a conversation about Paul Maurice and just how effectively he is using this roster. We will soon have a part two where we talk about the players themselves, but for now, enjoy our breakdown of Paul Maurice as a coach and what is going right and wrong for the Jets.

Joining the discussion are Cassie Moiser, Bryan Finlayson, WPGChief (Twitter withheld as he is a secret agent), Tony D, Cody Buhler, and Robert Dalton.

Make sure you all give them a follow on Twitter with the links attached!

Art M: We’re well over a quarter of the way into the season… How is everyone feeling about this club? What do we like, what is concerning to us?

Cassie M: The offence has been great, as well as goaltending. I think the scary part is the sustainability of the success.

Brian F: Yeah, I feel rather good about how things have gone to this point. I feel like there are still things to improve, and lines to be optimized, but it’s been a fun team to watch. But as Cassie said, it’s the ability to sustain this play that worries me a bit. It’s become less of a fear as of late because of how we’ve seemingly settled in a bit, but it’s still a fear

Cassie M: Another thing that terrifies me is the penalty kill. It’s bad and special teams can make or break games.

Brian F: Oh god yeah. The penalty kill terrifies me because aside from the few who actually pressure, we just stand there and hope they don’t get a shot through or that it’s saved.

The powerplay, however, has been very nice to look at

WPGChief: I’m of the belief that the Jets are winning solely on talent and individual progressions rather than coaching. Hellebuyck specifically stands out. Do people really think we’ve fixed the 4th line because Perreault somehow found himself put there and was okay with it, and he and Hendricks and found “instant chemistry”? No, Perreault is just a really good hockey player in an advantageous matchup

Our management of game-by-game lines still reeks of inefficiencies, the power play seems to be clicking but our penalty kill is still hot garbage, and our neutral zone game is still a mess, as seen in the previous games in Detroit and Colorado.

Tony D: Can’t argue much with what WPGChief had to say. I worry most about the Jets transition game and how suppression of shots and scoring chances is really hurting what this team can become. Up the tempo drowned teams with wave after wave of offensive attack. Also would be way more enjoyable to watch.

WPGChief: At least CF/60 seems to be trending up and CA/60 seems to be trending down. Jets 5-game rolling average of those rates:

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(watch out for the y-axis)

Also Tanev doesn’t belong on the 3rd line and Petan needs to be freed from this coaching staff and management, don’t @ me. Pretty much, my challenge to anyone here is to name me something about this Jets team that has significantly improved *outside* of Connor Hellebuyck. Don’t get me wrong though. Racking up the wins right now is hugely important and will make life easier for the Jets if they don’t always have to chase the standings. How long will they be in front of the pack though?

Tony D: Speaking of Petan, wish I had bigger sample sizes to look at chemistry for him…

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I also like where the Jets are headed…

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Cody B: I also like that the advanced stats are improving. It makes me less nervous about the sustainability of this success. Is it just me or in the last game or two did our pk look slightly different than that useless line up the middle? And Chief I would say that Scheifele has improved as has Wheeler, even though they were already great. I think Tanev and Copp are also better than last season. Plus Tyler Myers is finally healthy and he is way better than our third pairing last year

I also feel it is tough to evaluate the effectiveness of coaching vs GM vs Players getting better. You could argue that when Maurice was dealt all those rookies it’s taken him a while to finally get his systems running the way he wants and now he finally does

Robert D: I’m still sceptical about Maurice. if the Jets happen to win the cup, it likely won’t be with Maurice

Cody B: What would it take to convince you Maurice is a good coach?(I am not saying he is).

Robert D: Good question. Consistency is one issue (and yes I realize that falls on the players as well) I feel his line matching leaves a lot to be desired as well I think we have the talent where a lot of his shortcomings are hidden as opposed to previous years

Tony D: I have issues with Maurice and I think he’s just a flawed coach. Not a bad coach just flawed. Some of the stuff he is doing is outdated and he’s coaching the Jets how I would coach a team I knew lacked talent. He is trying to keep the events low and be defence first. The big issue with that is he is also handcuffing the Jets shooting talent at the same time.

Robert D: I agree. The 2014-15 team makde it to the playoffs because of it. They likely would have won a game with a different mind set

Art M: I do agree with Tony’s points about Maurice.. but for the sake of argument, aren’t all coaches “flawed” in some way though? Name me a coach and I can probably list off two or three “negatives” that coach has been accused of. It’s why I’m always a bit wary of the “fire coach” talk .. who do you get to replace and what “defects or shortcomings” will that coach have?

Cody B: Great point Art.

Tony D: They are flawed coaching and poor roster management. All coaches have roster blind spots, Maurice is flawed is his actual coaching… ie: systems, etc.

WPGChief: I think what’s telling about Maurice is that a The Hockey News article written during his last tenure in Carolina reeked of the same problems seen today with the Jets

Art M: Right, so at the very least Maurice is consistent. I will admit it would be nice to have a coach that adapts to his roster.