I sat down on Wednesday night to watch the game. I didn’t make it through the whole thing. I couldn’t watch, it was impossible to watch. Tonight is a new night. Tonight, the Jets are back in the ‘friendly confines" of the MTS Centre to face the well travelled Nashville Predators. Tonight is the middle game of a 7-game road trip. They will be bringing in an 8-5-2 record and more importantly, a 2-0 record against the home squad.
Nobody knows what to expect from this team. I have never seen a more inconsistent team in my entire life. They have gone from an absolute debacle on Saturday against the Blackhawks, to what many considered to be absolute poetry against the Wings on Monday, to another huge embarrassment in Chicago on Wednesday night. Monday night was a game with smooth transitional offence, speed, passing, solid goaltending, smothering defence, effective (without results) power play performances. It was great. Unfortunately for the Jets, it was sandwiched by polar opposite games. Who is this team?
The 5-game stretch that the Jets are in the middle of is a terribly difficult one. Before it began, I looked at the schedule and I sow only tonight’s game as a game that was a realistic win possibility. They need to find a way to get this one to keep the locker room from falling even further into depths not yet seeen in Jets 2.0
KEYS TO THE GAME
Score on the power play - Period. Nothing fancy to say here. The Jets are 1 for their last 39 on the power play in the last 12 games. That means that they have essentially played the equivalent of an entire game with an extra guy on the ice and only scored 1 goal. That’s awful. That’s embarrassing. Fix it.
Fix the Music City Blues - The Preds are coming into town looking to reach a 5-0 record against the Jets. The Jets need to right the ship. The Predators are a divisional rival now and the more confidence that the franchise gains against a divisional rival, the more problems the Jets will have.
Buff’s Blues - The TSN panel did a fantastic job on Wednesday showing how terrible Dustin Byfuglien played. He came into town "skinny". He carried the team on his shoulders for the first few games while everything was looking good. Things have fallen apart since then. He is no longer playing with the only D-man he should be playing with (Tobias Enstrom), he is playing lazy again, he’s getting beaten on defence and he is still looking for the elusive first goal. Byfuglien needs to get the monkey off of his back and start moving towards the "pro" column and away from the "con".
Ride the Hutton Wave - Carter Hutton is 2-0 against the Jets and he has stopped 72 of 75 shots in the process. His numbers have been relatively pedestrian against the rest of his foes but not the Jets. Nashville needs to ride the play that Hutton has been providing against the Jets and push the home team into submission.
Colin Wilson - "Hometown boy" Colin Wilson is really finding his groove. He is coming off of a 4 point (2G, 2A) on Wednesday night. He will be looking to continue that success tonight in the town where he grew up.
Attack early on D - The Jets have had hard time getting their offence going and that starts all the way back in their own end. Their rushes have started with mostly whimpers and many of these zone exits have resulted in neutral zone turnovers. With a strong forecheck and aggressive neutral zone defense, the Predators could find themselves in several odd-man rushes which Pavelec has struggled with lately.
PLAYER TO BOO MERCILESSLY
Mike Fisher. I have had a thing for Carrie Underwood for a long time, ergo I hate Mike Fisher.