To recap, the first extended road swing of the year for the Winnipeg Jets could be characterized as - meh.. While we’ve seen some real signs of improvement, points have been somewhat scarce and it’s beginning to catch up with the Jets in the standings. The Jets managed to keep up with the Avs Sunday night but a regulation loss puts them behind the eight ball with thirteen games played (most in the division) and only twelve points. Under five hundred hockey isn’t going to cut in this league and definitely not in this division. The Jets need to start putting points on the board or the hole is going to get too deep to crawl out of before we even start thinking about Christmas.
The tonic of course is a rebound win on the road, unfortunately that has to come at the expense of the St. Louis Blues who have been playing good hockey as of late, have been notoriously stingy at home and are most likely looking for a bit of payback for the shoot out loss at the MTSC. On the other hand the Jets have proven they can skate with the Blues and should be hungry for a win after coming oh so close in Colorado.
Keys to the game
- The powerless play; It has to get better, as in it has to convert. This team just cannot afford NOT to score on the power play. The Jets are good at attacking with speed and that draws penalties, a lot of penalties. The Jets need to make converting on the power play a cornerstone of their offence. There’s been slight improvement but it really has to become a priority.
- Andrew Ladd; He needs to regain some confidence and simplify his game a bit. He’s been trying too hard and its showing on neutral zone turnovers and missed scoring chances. Relax, play your game, good things will happen.
- Contain the Steen train: Alexander Steen has been lighting the lamp at will lately. He needs to be picked up before entering the zone and contained or else Ondrej Pavelec is going to have a bad night.
- Jaroslav Halak: Get in front of him, make him earn the stops.
- The Steen Train: Alexander Steen is one of the most dangerous players in hockey right now. If he gets chances its lights out for the Jets.
- Shoot to thrill: Pour lots of shots on poor Ondrej Pavelec, especially glove high and you’ll be rewarded
- Play to kill: Take penalties. Yep I said it! Push the Jets around, harass them, take liberties, it’s your house and they can’t convert on the power play anyway. If you take one of their key guys off with you, all the better.
- Zone time: Opposition puck possession in the Jets zone kills them. Gain the zone , cycle, get them running around and then give the puck to Steen.
The Jets will be in tough against a St. Louis Team that seems to have a lot of weapons to choose from, along with steady goaltending. On the flip side of that coin the Jets are playing a more disciplined team game lately and there seem to be a few players poised on the verge of an offensive breakout. In any event there are lots of reasons for both teams to chase the win Tuesday night, lets hope the Jets can come home with something to build on before facing the mighty Blackhawks on Saturday.
Player to boo mercilessly:
Jets – 3
Blues - 2