Yays & Nays 6: Gave It Away

I struggled to string together anything worth reading after watching that game. The Jets fell 5-4 to the Oilers in overtime last night after losing a 3-goal lead in the third period. There was a lot to dislike about this game and I could probably just do an entirely “nay” based article. However, to soften the blow a bit, I’ll start with a couple good things you could pull out of this game.

Alistair pieced together a more in-depth recap here: WPG-EDM Recap: McDavid Does McDavid Things

Let’s give this a shot, shall we?

Yays

– Adam Lowry tallied 2 goals, with both of them coming in the first 10-minutes of the game. Adam Lowry: Elite Sniper Extraordinaire.

– Furthering the point on Lowry, the entirety of the Copp/Lowry/Tanev was the most effective line for the Jets. They spent most of their night matched up against the Oilers’ second line of Lucic/Draisaitl/Yamamoto, but took other assignments against both the McDavid line and the Oilers’ 3rd line consisting of Caggiula, Strome, and Puljujarvi. The TLC line was the only Jets forward group above 50% in CF% (CF% – Corsi For Percentage; The percentage of all shots that are taken by a team).

– For most of this game, the Morrissey/Trouba pairing did a decent job at holding the McDavid Line in check. More specifically, Josh Morrissey did a great job with what he called a “hard gap” to try and contain McDavid’s ability to beat you with his speed. Josh mentioned that later in the game, they lost that gap and obviously when you even give McDavid the slightest of spaces, he can burn you. However, I loved seeing the early game-success of Morrissey taking away McDavid’s lanes.

– I’m often one to criticize the faith this franchise puts in Brendan Lemieux, however, his game last night was not one of the many things I hated about that loss. He had the lowest TOI among all Jets, but I wasn’t too upset with how he played last night. If he doesn’t take penalties, he could find his way into a more regular fourth-line role.

Nays

– I’m not going to sugarcoat this. From the middle of the second period until the end of the game, the Oilers took over the play. Making things worse, the Oilers scored 2 goals within the first 3 minutes of the third period. As we all know, the Oilers eventually tied it up and then won it in OT. It was a terrible attempt at a sixty-minute effort.

– I’m on that boat of people advocating for the line-blender to be taken out and used, and the first place to start would be that top line. I think separating Scheifele and Wheeler is the first step in finding a solution to our lack of scoring to start this season. I’m a proponent of moving Laine up to that top line RW position to help jumpstart his goal scoring, while also tweaking the second line by switching those two. I honestly think the only line that could remain unchanged is the TLC line, and even then some tweaking could be looked at. There’s a comfort zone that has to be stepped out of by the coaching staff, because something isn’t working.

– Further to my lineup change points, I think it’s time to look at benching Nikolaj Ehlers for a game. There is some sort of disconnect to start this season, and it’s dragging both himself and his teammates down. A huge example of this is his OT shift last night. Practically everything he did while on the ice led up to the game-winner by Darnell Nurse. A wake-up call has to be sent.

Recurring Nays

– The second PP unit still has very little impact. We saw it again this game when Little, Ehlers, and Myers were all playing catch and taking ill-advised shots. Broken record.

– The defense is still awful to look at beyond the top pairing. With Byfuglien out, the bottom two pairings are doing very little while displaying how to defend poorly. The lack of a puck-moving, smooth skating LHD is hurting us. Please, Free Niku.

Verdict

I think you can probably guess the verdict on this one. Hard Nay.

Next Action: The Jets continue their home-stand as they take on the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday, October 18th. Puck drop is 7:00PM.

Brian Finlayson

I like optimized lineups and numbers that make the lineup make sense. Born and raised in Winnipeg

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