NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 24: Mike Rupp #71 of the New York Rangers and Chris Thorburn #22 of the Winnipeg Jets fight during the first period on January 24, 2012 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)
The All-Star Break couldn't come at a better time for the Winnipeg Jets, as some time is needed away from the rink for both the players and their fans. In their final game before the league shuts down for the pond-hockey game in Ottawa this weekend, the Jets showed again how hard up they are for goals as they were shutout by Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers 3-0. Despite working hard again and showing a tremendous amount of effort and fight, the Jets showed again just how limited they are talent-wise. Hopefully the week off can help heal the injuries that have decimated our squad.
The stats for the back-to-back games just keep getting worse. The boys are now 0-8 in the second half of the back-to-backs and have been outscored 34-6 in the process. That is UGLY. To make matters worse, the Jets have only scored 21 goals in 12 games in 2012 for a crowd pleasing 1.75 goals/game average. Their overall record drops to 22-22-6 for 50 points in 50 games, which keeps them in 10th spot in the Eastern Conference, but they are now 5 points out the 8th spot while giving up games in hand.
Numbers and observations after the jump.
3rd Period: 16:22 NYR Brad Richards 16 (Ryan Callahan)
Shots: NYR 31 WPG 22
3 Stars: 1. Henrik Lundqvist 2. Ryan Callahan 3. John Mitchell
Thoughts from the Tarmac:
- I don't want to harp on things too much here, as we knew going into the season that the Jets would struggle to score this year, but 21 goals in 12 games so far this year? But we were so good in December!
- We didn't have Dustin Byfuglien, Evander Kane or Alexander Burmistrov tonight. That is a lot of our talent right there not on the ice.
- Adding on to the theme of not scoring, that is 4 goals in our last 3 games despite throwing 96 shots at Scott Clemmensen, Cam Ward and Henrik Lundqvist. A shooting percentage of 4.2%.
- One thing I cannot fault the Jets for is their compete level. The past three games are perfect examples of a blue-collar team that lacks talent working really hard but not seeing results. Some puck-luck would have been nice, but the end result is only 1 point in the standings from the past 3 games.
- Chris Thorburn may not have a goal yet this season, but he's certainly come close recently. He's made up for it in other areas of the game though, and tonight he was really good. He fought (and beat IMO) Mike Rupp twice and made the most of his 8:04 of icetime.
- Eric Fehr had a few chances, but also took two penalties to kill momentum. If he isn't scoring then I'm not sure what he can bring to the lineup. At least he keeps his shifts short though, as he took 17 shifts for 9:43.
- Zach Bogosian led the team again with 24:03 of ice-time, but was also on the ice for all three goals against.
- I'm puzzled by the fact that Patrice Cormier only saw the ice for 4:03 tonight, as I thought he brought energy when he was out there. Even more puzzling is that Aaron Gagnon, though looking okay, saw more then double the ice-time (8:38).
- Tanner Glass was stoned in tight. Blake Wheeler hit the inside of the post and had the puck go right through the goal mouth without banking in off of King Henrik. Andrew Ladd, Kyle Wellwood, Brian Little and Nik Antropov all tried really hard. Regardless, no goals for the 6th time this season.
- I'm going to say it right now. I don't think we're going to make the playoffs. And I'm okay with it. We are trending downward, we are now 5 points out of 8th, we have two teams to jump and these teams have games in hand. Coming out of the break we have 4 more road games where we have 7 wins in 25 attempts. With 32 games to go, we had either get healthy really quick or start reeling off road wins like crazy.
- Having said that, not making the playoffs is probably the best thing for our franchise long-term. While making the playoffs would be fantastic, we certainly could use a lottery pick (or at least top-10 pick) to try and find that elusive top-end offensive talent that we obviously lack. Thoughts?
- I am being fairly harsh on the squad right now, mainly because it's frustrating to watch this team work so hard and not produce offensively. Having said that, I love this team and can see the direction that this team is going and I really like it. The rebuild continues but I'll still cheer for them every night from now until forever. Go Jets Go!