Jets Snapshots: Terrible road defence bane of Jets' existence
Crosby's better? You bet he is
Kirk Penton, QMI Agency
|Chris Mason gave up the ugliest goal of the night when he let a shot from behind the net by Evgeni Malkin go off his skate and in. (JASON COHN/Reuters)
WINNIPEG - Turns out Ondrej Pavelec was right.
The Jets do play terrible defence on the road.
To be fair, they were playing the team that is one of the Stanley Cup favourites, but the rate at which they gave up goals at Consol Energy Center on Tuesday night — when they are desperately chasing a playoff spot, no less — was too quick.
A peeved Pavelec said on Sunday night that good defence leads to offensive chances, and the Jets simply didn’t play good defence on the road. Tuesday night, even though they were facing Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and James Neal, wouldn’t have been good against any NHL team. At times the Penguins were passing the puck around like it was practice, and it usually ended up in Winnipeg’s net.
Now the Jets have to hope the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Washington Capitals on Thursday night, because if the Jets are six points out of eighth going into Friday night against the Caps, they might as well kiss the playoffs goodbye.
A little positivity?
Before we get to Tuesday’s debacle, a final word about Sunday night. I was very surprised head coach Claude Noel was so despondent about the 4-3 loss to Carolina. Yes, it was one they should have had and the third period was ugly, but the Jets were only two points out of a playoff position. A little more positivity would have been good in that situation … Noel was much less peeved after Tuesday’s loss, which was good. They’re not out of it yet … No offence to Penguins netminder Brad Thiessen — well, actually, I guess it is — but this was a game the Jets very well should have won. Thiessen struggled early, and if the Jets had been even half decent defensively they could have had this game going the other way … Would the result have been different if Evander Kane had buried that pass from Kyle Wellwood on the power play with the Jets leading 2-1 in the first period? It just might have been … Crosby’s better? You bet he is. Still a great chant from the MTS Centre faithful, though.
Quit whining, Sid
Centre Jim Slater said on Sunday the Jets are physical enough on the road, but they got out-hit 12-6 in the first period. A few more early checks might provide a little more jump. It can’t hurt … Speaking of hits, Tanner Glass had seven the last time they were in Pittsburgh and he registered nine on Tuesday night … Dustin Byfuglien waved helplessly as Jordan Staal blew by him into the Winnipeg zone early in the third period. Byfuglien looked much less agile on Tuesday, and his injury situation is not going to help the Jets down the stretch … That’s the fourth time the Penguins have scored eight goals this season, and the Jets have now been the victims twice. Yes, the Penguins have a lot of weapons, but eight goals is inexcusable. The Jets had all hands on deck defensively, and they started Pavelec … Crosby is no doubt sensitive about his head and everything, but there was no need for him to take a swing at Byfuglien in the second period. Crosby was offside, and he and Byfuglien made a little bit of contact after the whistle. Crosby, for some reason, swung at Byfuglien with his stick and then put on his whiny face.
No fun for goalies
What is it about Winnipeg’s goalies and Pittsburgh? The duo of Pavelec and Chris Mason are now a combined 1-14 against the Penguins in their careers. The ugliest non-stop of the night was Malkin’s goal from behind the net that bounced off Mason’s foot and across the goal-line … That’s 10 points for Malkin in his last two games against Winnipeg. Maybe the Jets don’t want eighth place, because they’ll probably just have to face Malkin and the Penguins … Spencer Machacek had two assists and was plus-2 in just more than eight minutes of ice time. Shouldn’t that have warranted a little more ice time? … Ben Maxwell had a solid return to the Jets lineup as well, sweeping a puck out of his own crease and adding an assist after a long Monday of travel from St. John’s … Jordan Staal’s not better than Eric, by the way … The Jets should try the Penguins approach. They should trade all of their top players, finish dead last next season and draft Nathan MacKinnon first overall in 2013. Then do it again the year after that. Then in about five years they’ll be the ones hammering everybody.