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Benny and the Jets

Jets blow it at home against the Isles

In a 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders last night, the Winnipeg Jets were anchored by a toothless power play that managed two shots on three opportunities with the man advantage. Yes, “anchored” because this aspect of the Jets game kept the team from moving forward and essentially sank the team.

I know, teeth can’t have anchors - such is my frustrated state of mind after watching last night’s increasingly pathetic outing. I won’t even bother calling it an effort.

The Jets hadn’t even had a power play for a couple of games, so to get three in one game seemed like a gift. Well, never look a gift horse in the mouth, I guess, right? The Jets could barely even get set up on the power play, and when they did they were so busy with north-south passes trying to set up the perfect goal that they only got two measly shots through. This north-south passing plagued the team last night - so busy were the forwards with the tic-tac-toe passing that they seemed to forget that only pucks directed on the opposing team’s goalie stand any chance of resulting in goals.

That’s right, Jets fans, this same team that potted five against the Penguins wasn’t breaking out of its offensive drought as many were quick to herald. Consider that game officially an anomaly. Despite getting 38 pucks through on Evgeni Nabokov (who, admittedly, played a very good game), the Jets had very few quality scoring chances. Case and point – 11 of the 38 shots came from Dustin Byfuglean and Tobias Enstrom, and few had guys parked in front of the net for the screen or redirect. Nabokov will stop those all day.

The Jets got worse and worse as the game went on, and by the third period looked as though they had given up. Guys were coasting to get off the ice and back to the bench, allowing the Isles to move the puck up the ice quickly and create a number of odd-man rushes. Early in the season when the Jets seemed to drop the ball numerous times in the third period I thought it was conditioning – with 58 games played I’m not so sure it’s a physical thing that’s holding the Jets back.

Last night’s game was the first of nine in a row (except tomorrow night’s game in Minnesota) that will see the Jets play at home. If they want to catch the reeling Toronto Maple Leafs, they’ll have to pick up two points in virtually every tilt. The Isles – who played fantastic positional hockey last night against a team that could barely get over the offensive zone blue line – are just two points behind the Jets with two games in hand. They played like a team that was, to use the Jets’ slogan, fuelled by passion – one that is looking to quietly make a playoff push.

Even if this Winnipeg Jets make the playoffs, they clearly don’t have the right pieces to do any damage.

Filed in: Winnipeg Jets, | Benny and the Jets | Permalink
  Tags: new+york+islanders

Comments

Matt Fry's avatar

I could not watch the game after halfway through the third period.  I had to turn it off, I was so annoyed at the way they were playing.  It reminded me of the old Jets when all they would do is pass on a power-play.  Open shots with no one in front will almost always result in a a save.  It seemed like no one wanted to go to the front of the net.

I say even though Byfuglien is a defenceman, park his butt in front of that net every time and stay there.  It’s been working for Tomas Holmstrom for years. 

Obviously, Nabokov was having a fantastic game and applauded some of the saves he made.  But that’s when you’ve got to get in his face and screen the crap out of him.  Plus, Nabby was giving out low rebounds all night.  If players had kept rushing the net, I think they could have scored a couple more goals.  It was a dismal showing and one that could’ve been avoided with just a few more smart plays.

I knew this team would have a hard time making the playoffs but just seeing their effort level recently has been disappointing.

Posted by Matt Fry from Winnipeg on 02/15/12 at 08:21 PM ET

BMS's avatar

Agree completely. At least if you know Byfuglien’s going to be parked in front of the net you won’t have to worry about him pinching dangerously.

Posted by BMS from Winnipeg on 02/15/12 at 08:26 PM ET

Avatar

“I say even though Byfuglien is a defenceman, park his butt in front of that net every time and stay there.  It’s been working for Tomas Holmstrom for years.  “

Believe it or not, Bryan Murray did that with CHARA for a few years and it worked, sort of. So if Noel wanted to sell him on the idea, he could always refer to that.

Posted by larry from pitt on 02/15/12 at 08:37 PM ET

BMS's avatar

At least at 6’5”, Buff isn’t likely to take a puck in the face, right?

I really don’t get using Tim Stapleton on the blue line on the power play either.

Posted by BMS from Winnipeg on 02/15/12 at 08:41 PM ET

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About Benny and the Jets

Fifteen years ago, Ben's beloved Winnipeg Jets left town. He begrudgingly turned to the Montreal Canadiens for comfort and found none, and is now struggling to find a place in his heart for the Winnipeg Jets v2.0.

Ben is a Winnipeg-based freelance writer that writes a lot about wine and beer. Expect his son to be drafted into the NHL in 2025.

Send him an email at bmswpg@gmail.com and/or follow Ben on Twitter: @bensigurdson