January 17, 2012
Jets' performance in back-to-backs comical
By TED WYMAN, QMI Agency
This back-to-back games situation has become comical.
The Jets are not only losing every time they play the back end of a back-to-back but they’re not even competitive.
This has become a giant mental hurdle and it’s costing the Jets a chance to be a playoff team.
The Jets are 0-7 now when playing the night after a game. The scores recently: 5-1, 4-0, 4-1, 7-1.
Like we said it’s almost laughable. And ugly.
The Jets talk a good game when it comes to playing on back-to-back nights. They seem to know what they need to do, but they never go out and do it.
It can’t be a coincidence that they lose badly in these situations every time.
So what’s the issue? Lack of conditioning?
Jets fans better hope that’s not it, but there must be some explanation.
The Jets have six more back-to-backs this season. We’ve said all along there’s no chance they’ll make the playoffs if they lose the second game every time.
Even if they did somehow get into the post-season, they certainly aren’t showing they’re the kind of team that’s designed for those intense seven-game slugfests.
KANE'S NOT ABLE
Claude Noel probably won’t call out Evander Kane again, but we will. He took a bad high sticking penalty, was minus-2 and had only one shot on goal. He’s not playing like a budding star lately … When it was still 0-0, Nik Antropov had a wide open net and hit the outside of the post. The Jets need Mr. Million Bucks a Goal to put those in on occasion … Toby Enstrom got burned near the end of the first period as Zach Parise picked off his pass and then flipped it past him to Ilya Kovalchuk, who broke in and beat Mason. It’s never good to give the best player on the ice a breakaway and it ruined a decent period by the Jets, who seemed to be playing exactly as they did during Monday’s 2-0 win at Ottawa. As soon as Kovalchuk scored, it seemed like the game was over …The Devils made it 2-0 early in the second on a point shot by Petr Sykora and it was over. The Jets just don’t seem to have the legs for comebacks , especially when they’re playing the second of back-to-back games … Not a great game for backup goalie Chris Mason. Long shot by Sykora beat him and David Clarkson made it 3-0 on a bad angle shot early in the second … Mason let in four goals on 15 shots and was replaced by Ondrej Pavelec. Nice that Noel gave Mason a second straight start after his shutout Monday, but it clearly wasn’t the right decision this time.
NHL refs seem lazy when they call those idiotic slashing the stick penalties. It’s always a penalty if the stick breaks or the player loses his stick. The exact same action is not a penalty if the stick stays intact or the player actually hangs on to it, as he should … Seems like the most common penalties refs call are slashing the stick and shooting the puck over the glass. Such dastardly infractions … Thought Jim Slater had another strong game for the Jets. He was buzzing around the net, tied for the team lead with three shots on goal and wasn’t on the ice for a goal against. He hits, he goes to the net and wins faceoffs. Very valuable energy player … Alex Burmistrov could be more of a scorer if he would just shoot the puck. Even when he’s in the slot, he’s always thinking pass or making the extra move … Winnipeg Sun hockey writer Kirk Penton said the atmosphere in New Jersey reminded him of a Manitoba Moose game, except there were less fans.
FLOOD STILL WORKING
Great back check by Mark Flood to take away a breakaway chance from Zach Parise late in the second. Just to take away a chance without taking a penalty or penalty shot was impressive … Back to back games have been tough on the Jets and must have been tough on play-by-play man Dennis Beyak, who sounded like he was battling a sore throat Tuesday night … Terrible call on Slater early in the first period. He was sent off for interference on Matthias Tedenby but both players initiated the contact and there should have been no penalty on the play … Bryan Little is still not playing with the same kind of speed he had before he injured his foot. When he’s fully healthy, Little is the kind of dangerous forward the Jets need right now … A positive for the Jets was the way they played in the third period. They finally started to generate some chances and Enstrom scored on a great top-shelf shot from the point … Somehow the Jets ended up outshooting the Devils 21-20, which makes the five goals against seem pretty disappointing … The Jets better pick it back up because they’ve got a struggling Buffalo team that is playing a back-to-back visiting the MTS Centre on Thursday and big divisional game against the Florida Panthers on Saturday. They can still make up plenty of ground this week, with a couple of wins … Funny, the Ottawa Senators were also playing for the second straight night Tuesday and, after losing to the Jets Monday, went out and beat the Maple Leafs 3-2. So it is possible.