Given the hot start the Carolina Hurricanes had to start the season, combined with the Jets missing their best defenseman in Dustin Byfuglien and starting the great unknown in Laurant Brossoit, a lot of fans cringed at the thought about just how bad Sunday night’s game could have turned out.
Turns out it turned out ok didn’t it? The volume of shots given up is still a big concern and the offense hasn’t quite shown up yet. There are issues still plaguing the Jets, but you can say the same thing for a lot of teams in the NHL this early into the season.
In the end, they don’t ask how, just how many.
Big Ups to the goalies, especially Brossoit.
The story of tonight’s game begins and ends with the goalies, especially the Jets starter Laurent Brossoit who made 42 saves and was especially good in the first period as the leaky Jets defense gave up some prime scoring chances. Brossoit’s start went a lot better than I’d wager pretty much everyone thought it would go and while we shouldn’t quite feel like the backup spot for the Jets is now no longer a problem, last night’s game was a great first step to easing those worries.
It was mentioned a few times when he was signed and during camp that Brossoit was hanging out with Connor Hellebuyck and his goalie guru coach and we saw signs of that last night. Brossoit minimized his movement in the crease, didn’t appear to have happy feet or over-commit to passes made in front of him. In short, he looked a bit like Hellebuyck in goal which is a very positive sign.
Petr Mrazek for his part was also quite good last night in a quieter 23 save night.
Big Ups to Josh Morrissey
25:10 of ice time led both teams as the Jets leaned on him pretty heavily in the absence of Dustin Byfuglien. The team also used him on the number one power play unit to which he played relatively well. There were a couple of smaller mistakes made but much like the rest of the Jets defense, they struggled to handle the speed of the Hurricanes which is more of a credit to Carolina and how they are playing – they are going to give a lot of teams fits this season.
The defense was a bit of a Let Down
I say a bit because in the end a win is a win, but take a look at the shot heat chart from last night’s game…
WAY to much action going on in the slot area in front of Brossoit. Quite simply, the Jets were very fortunate last night that they had a goalie able to bail them out especially in the first and third periods where the Jets were out-shot a collective 29-13. It was somewhat expected given what we’ve seen from the Hurricanes so far this season (they unloaded 57 shots the previous night in Minnesota) and given the lineup on defense the Jets were icing.
Tyler Myers and Joe Morrow continue to cause way too much chaos with missed assignments in their own end. Ben Chiarot and Dmitry Kulikov had all kinds of issues keeping up with the speed of Carolina. Even Jacob Trouba struggled getting the puck off his stick and moving it forward at times. It feels strange to be overly critical of a win that they only gave up a goal in, but teams that routinely give up 40 shots a night, do not win routinely.
If anything this game proved the worth of both Josh Morrissey as mentioned above and Dustin Byfuglien by his mere absence.
Kristian Vesalainen and Jack Roslovic were a Let Down
It’s maybe a bit telling that Mathieu Perreault can play on a line with Matt Hendricks and Joel Armia and make them look like world beaters, but yet he isn’t finding the same magic with Vesalainen and Roslovic. Part of the problem is Roslovic is the one playing center on that line and that just isn’t workout out at the moment. Part of the problem is Vesalainen still seems to be having issues adjusting to the smaller ice surface of the NHL and the limited time and space with the puck that creates. Part of the problem is that they are being given less than 10 minutes a night of ice time.
With a Nic Petan return looming on the horizon, it’ll be interesting to see how long Paul Maurice goes with this line and to go one step farther, I wonder how long he keeps trying to make Vesalainen a thing this season.
He’s got five games left to leave a big impression.
Big Ups to those Aviator uniforms
A successful debut for the Jets alternate “Aviator” jersey which is a relief because a loss in them would have amplified the “it stinks” voices that seemed to hate it mainly because it wasn’t Herritage jersey-ish enough.
As I’ve stated before, those jerseys look beautiful and I don’t care what anyone else says. Adding a shoulder yoke or patches would make them perfect, but they are good the way they are.
Big Ups to Canada’s hockey teams
The seven Canadian NHL clubs went a perfect seven for seven this past weekend. The Oilers, Leafs, Habs, Flames, Senators and Canucks all picked up wins on Saturday and then the Jets completed the trick with the game on Sunday. Apparently the last time six Canadian teams won games all on the same day was back in the 1988-89 season, so it’s hard to imagine when seven Canadian teams did a clean sweep of the weekend’s games if it has ever happened at all. I don’t think this means teams like the Oilers, Canucks and Sens are going to have better than expected seasons, but it’s a nice little deal regardless.