Benny and the Jets
by BMS on 10/25/11 at 01:15 PM ET
In a battle of the backup goalies, The New York Rangers’ Martin Biron was the busier and better of the two, facing 28 shots and turning away all but one en route to a 2-1 New York Rangers victory over the Winnipeg Jets. He did just enough to keep the Rangers in the game, earning the first star of the night in the process. Chris Mason, meanwhile, played fairly well, although he wasn’t exceptionally busy.
While the Jets continue to improve on areas in which they struggled in the first few games of the regular season (special teams, passing, etc.), it wasn’t enough to beat a listless New York Rangers squad. The Jets dropped this one to a team that’s struggling offensively and is closing the longest road trip (distance-wise, at least) in their history.
It was a game the Jets really should have won, as they outplayed the Rangers for the bulk of the game, hemming the team in their own end on many occasions. The first seven or so minutes of the third period saw the Jets throw everything they had against the Rangers, but they just weren’t able to convert. A subsequent penalty in the defensive end to Chris Thorburn changed the tide, as Ryan Callahan banked the puck off Zach Bogosian’s skate and past Chris Mason for the game winner.
The Jets’ best forward continues to be Alexander Burmistrov, who extended his point streak to five games with an assist on Nik Antropov’s goal. The Kane/Antropov/Burmistrov is the Jets’ de facto number one, as the Wheeler/Ladd/Little trio continues to struggle to put pucks in the net (Ladd has the line’s only two goals). The Jets’ problem up front right now is that almost all of the scoring is coming from one line. Kyle Wellwood has been shuffled off the line with Antropov and Burmistrov and is seeing far less ice time (under ten minutes last night). I still think he was a pretty decent pickup for the price, especially if he can generate some scoring chances for the Jets’ bottom six.
To me, the best defenseman on the Jets last night was Zach Bogosian. He was pounding shots from the point from everywhere (although the Rangers did well to block many of them), pinched when he needed to but managed to get back and provide good coverage on Ranger forwards when needed. Yeah, the winning goal went off his skate, but the Jets were shorthanded and he had his man covered - it really wasn’t his fault. Enstrom and Byfuglien both played pretty well, and Buff showed a bit more life than he did against the Hurricanes. He’s still not making many big hits or getting up in anyone’s face too often.
Overall, the puck movement was good and the Jets looked solid - they should have won but didn’t. All it takes is one bad penalty and one fluky goal and you’re done - even against a team that’s visibly exhausted, has no wheels, hasn’t played a home opener and has played in three countries. The Rangers had no zip in their game and didn’t generate a lot of quality chances, but they cashed in when they needed to.
Now the Jets hit the road for a seven-game road trip of their own that doesn’t see them back at the MTS Centre until November 10. With no wins on the road so far, the team will have to hope they can play as well as they did last night, and hope for some better luck.
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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.