2
Photo Credit: © Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

JNGD.R3G4 Recap: Jets Can’t Solve Vegas; Lose Game Four 3-2

To say this series has been a study in frustration for the Jets and their fans would be an understatement. The Jets have gone for long stretches of time in each game where they carry play and are clearly the better team, but the Vegas Golden Knights are just so good at punishing mistakes made against them and once again it was the difference tonight as they beat the Jets 3-2 and take a 3-1 series lead heading back to Winnipeg.

TALKING POINTS

  • Another weak start yet again as Tyler Myers took an interference penalty (would have liked to have seen an embellishment call as well to be honest) and the Knights instantly scored on the power play. Being down early in the game yet again has been an absolute killer for the Jets as it’s allowed the Knights to keep pressure up with the forecheck and not worry too much if a mistake is made because they have Marc-Andre Fluery backing them up. The Jets have had all kinds of fits dealing with that pressure in the neutral zone.
  • There were quite a few moments of sustained pressure for the Jets, but it was all kept mostly to the outside along the boards as the Jets tried but Vegas did an excellent job defending the “home plate” area in front of Fleury.
  • Contrary to what everyone thinks – especially after that first period where there were some questionable calls on the Jets and some missed calls against Vegas – the NHL doesn’t have any kind of conspiracy against the Jets.. They simply have bad officials. C’mon, a league that can’t figure out how to stagger start times for multiple first round games is somehow going to rig a game or a series for one team over the other? Don’t give the NHL that much credit.
  • Paul Maurice was going to live or die by his first power play unit tonight and he was rewarded for it as Laine’s one-time blast gave the Jets life and a tie game. The entire game I thought the unit was good but maybe hesitated on their shot selections a bit.
  • Speaking of Laine, there wasn’t a single chance to shoot that he passed up and when you have a shot like he has, that’s not the worst thing in the world to do. For as great as Fleury has been, the Jets should be continuing to pepper him with pucks.
  • Almost as automatic as the Jets giving up an early lead has been the Jets giving up a goal right after scoring one. Give credit to Vegas for the strong responses after giving up goals, but it’s maddening if you’re a Jets fan to see the Jets play well for prolonged stretches, score a well earned goal, only to see everything deflated virtually the next shift after. At this point, I’m starting to think it’s all in their heads and they almost invite Vegas to get a few chances to regain a lead.
  • Credit the Jets for not going away or rolling over though. The play leading up to the Tyler Myers game tying goal was some of the most inspired, sustained pressure I think the Jets had on any team all season. And for once after getting a goal to tie it, they didn’t give it right back again (although Vegas again came right back at them, the Jets held strong)
  • The game winning goal against summed up this series so far quite perfectly. The Jets are the ones with all the momentum, looking good in the Vegas zone, one mistake – Buff whiffing on a one-timer opportunity – and one relatively innocent looking rush that was being angled off nicely, yet Reilly Smith’s flutter shot was so perfectly placed and still had enough zip on it to fool Hellebuyck…
  • Speaking of Hellebuyck: Not going to lie, an .897 save percentage is ugly. He looked lost on that second goal against where I feel he over-committed to one side before being beaten on the other. The other two goals though? Not many goalies are going to have a chance on the cross-ice pass that beat him in the first period and there isn’t much more he could have done on the third goal. Does he deserve blame for the loss? Not any more or any less than any other Jet does really.

SCORING SUMMARY

HIGHLIGHTS

CHARTS N STUFF

Stats & charts courtesy: Corsica.Hockey

Matchups are limited to 5-on-5 situations. Tile size is scaled by Time On Ice and colour is scaled by adjusted Expected Goals differential. Blue represents a home team advantage and red represents a road team advantage.

 

Heat Map Chart courtesy: NaturalStatTrick.com

PLAYERS OF THE GAME

For Winnipeg: Patrik Laine – Can’t do much more than the kid tried to do tonight. Seven shots on net, a handful more either blocked or that missed. Had a power play goal. Any thoughts that he hasn’t done his part should be shelved.

For Vegas: William Karlsson – A goal, five shots on net and a ton of ice time. The Jets have had all sorts of troubles taking care of Vegas’ top line and tonight it was Karlsson giving them fits.

NEXT FLIGHT

The Jets have their work cut out for sure now, but the goal will be to just win one game as it’s back up to Winnipeg for game five and an early start time as puck drop is at 2:00 PM CST at Bell MTS Place.