Yays and Nays 11: Two Periods for the Price of Three!

For a while it looked like Jimmy Howard would handle everything the Jets threw at him, but the Good Guys scratched and clawed their way to a 2-1 victory over the struggling Red Wings. They didn’t make it easy on themselves, but results are all that matters, right? Right?… Right.

Yays

  • Our boys put together a full 40-minute outing! Sure, ok, yes, that is sarcasm, but it was still a full 20 minutes more than they managed against the Leafs! Yay!
  • Laurent Brossoit! For a bargain-basement back up with a dismal NHL track-record going into this season, Brossoit has had an astonishing level of success so far going undefeated in three outings with the Jets. Not to take anything away from the guy – he has looked strong and consistent so far – but I would urge some degree of caution as we have yet to see him play against top-flight opposition. The team defence hasn’t hit its stride, and that is the environment that I believe Hellebuyck needs to excel – a few more games of Brossoit being a boss might be enough for the team to get its ducks in a row.
  • The PP seemed to be the catalyst for all the team’s energy this evening. Perhaps owing to DET’s passive defending, but the top unit was able not only to notch the tying goal, but also to maintain extensive zone time and generate plenty of dangerous looks. Lit a fire under the butts of the rest of the guys at 5v5. Good to see.
  • The rebirth of the Perreault-Little-Ehlers line. I didn’t track anything, but it looked like an instant return to form for me! That line works. Make it happen. Thanks.
  • I’m no Red Wings fan, but I do love to watch Athanasiou fly. Shame he took a few ugly penalties because otherwise he was putting up an artful performance. It’s just good hockey.

Nays

  • What a hot garbage first period – AGAIN. Whatever the coaching staff is doing to prepare the players for the games is not. freaking. working.
  • Detroit is a team that is having trouble putting all the pieces together. Jimmy Howard is hardly an all-star calibre goalie anymore. Happy with the win, but it was a little disconcerting to see a quote-unquote cup contending team struggle so hard against a relatively soft opponent. Jets are vulnerable to the counter-punching style of the Leafs and the Wings. Either stop giving up so many rush chances, or start buying in to the defence already. Not optimistic for tonight’s game…
  • I have some concerns about the shift length of the PP1 unit. Yes, if they’re getting lengthy zone time that makes sense, but they have consistently been out there for about a minute and a half at a time. Maybe try a partial line change on the fly to get some fresh legs out there? There were a few times were the PP2 unit only got to come out for 20-30 seconds, and that just isn’t enough for a unit to get set up and make anything happen.
  • During the first intermission, Wheeler blamed the ice surface for all the bouncing pucks and botched chances in tight. As much as that’s a real thing, I get tired of hearing it as an excuse. If the ice is preventing you from playing the style of game you want to be playing, then adapt. Get traffic. Screen goalies. Crash the net. The Jets have years of experience where that was the *only* way they could score goals, and now they can’t seem to bust it out when it would come in handy.
  • Speaking of Wheeler, he still seems to be struggling. Wasn’t his worst game of the season, but till. We don’t know what the issue is, or how long it’s going to take for him to get back to form (or if he’ll get back to form) but he isn’t pulling off the things he’s known for right now. He isn’t reliably winning battles, and he definitely isn’t blowing past defenders. The team already has Laine playing like a passenger at 5v5 and only showing up for the PP time. Not sure there’s room for Wheeler to do the same.

Verdict

Can I give this one an ‘*’? Ok. Let’s call it a Yay*. There’s a lot to work on still, but it ended up being a gutsy win and there were good things to take away. I don’t think that level of performance will cut it against a more dangerous team like the Leafs, so I’m really hoping the Jets can find another gear for tonight.

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