This current roster will not make the playoffs. And if TNSE doesn't care and they're sticking with the long-term approach, than it's time to sell-sell-sell. But if they do care and want to make the playoffs? Well, it's well past time to do something about it. Because this team has nowhere near the amount of talent needed to be a playoff threat.
The Winnipeg Jets found another way to embarrass themselves this evening, as their "power-play" was beyond hideous in a 4-2 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Despite holding the 2-1 lead after one period, the Jets gave up the momentum-sucking short-handed goal and never regained their energy. And the Rangers team that doesn't score goals? Well, they put 4 by our starting net-minder. Yikes.
The game couldn't have started any worse for the Jets, as the home-team opened the scoring just 19 seconds into the game. A Zach Bogosian pinch sent the Rangers in on a 2-on-1, and Ron Hainsey failed to block the cross-ice pass as Derek Stepan deposited it past Ondrej Pavelec. However, a great 3rd-line shift less than a minute later resulted in Nik Antropov taking a fantastic pass from Kyle Wellwood before sliding it 5-hole on Henrik Lundqvist. Just 1:15 in, the score was tied at one.
The scoring wouldn't end there in the first frame, though, as Zach Bogosian one-timed a nice Hainsey feed through a maze of traffic to give the Jets a 2-1 lead at the 12:54 mark. The good news was that the Jets finished the period with the lead, where they are 8-0-0 on the season (dark foreshadowing...), but the bad news was that Grant Clitsome took an accidental high-stick under his visor from teammate Alex Burmistrov and was lost for the night. Hopefully he's okay, but he looked to be holding his eye...
Sadly, all of that good work was again undone by the Jets "power-play". A high-sticking call to Mats Zuccarello and a tripping call to Dan Girardi gave the Jets a 5-on-3 for 39 seconds, and wouldn't you know it? Not only did they not get a shot on net, but as soon as Zuccarello came out of the box Ryan Callahan scored a short-handed goal to tie the game. Ugh. And despite having four power-plays in the period, the only goal was a shorty against and the Rangers out-shot them 15-7 in the frame. Just hideous.
And the 3rd didn't get any better, either. Ondrej Pavelec put a rebound directly onto the stick of Derek Stepan, who got in behind Bogosian who was hobbled seconds earlier by a Callahan slap-shot, and he made no mistake to put the Rangers up 3-2 at the 5:46 mark. And when Bustin failed to put any effort into another back-check, Rick Nash waltzed right into a prime scoring position and whistled one past Pavelec to end the scoring. If Dustin Byfuglien wants to play defense, then somebody please tell him to play defense. I've had enough of his rover bullshit if he keeps getting caught up ice and his team keeps getting scored on.
Oh well, I've been clamoring for the team to sell big-time of late, as this team is nowhere close to resembling a cup-contender, so another loss tomorrow could force Chevy's hand. Here's hoping, as standing pat is the stupidest thing he could do. However, after reading that he tried to acquire Michael Handzus earlier today, I have pretty much lost all faith in our general manager so I'm terrified to see what happens in the next 30 hours.
- What the f*ck is wrong with the power-play? They just stand around, make slow passes, and only feed it up top for a one-timer from the point while the PK just blocks everything. The Jets went 0-for-5 and looked horrendous during their attempts.
- Seriously, though. The nonchalant nature of that 5-on-3 almost suggests that this team is scared of success. Instead of smelling blood and going for the kill, they relax and let bad things happen. Ugh. Somebody (ie. Perry Pearn) needs to lose their job over this.
- This team is just not talented enough to overcome losses in the special-teams battle. And when you end up losing 1-0 because of a shortie? You deserve to lose.
- Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler combined to put another zero points on the board. The last point any of them got was against the Lightning. Over a week ago. That's over 13 periods ago. When you only have 4 top-6 forwards and three of them keep going oh-for? You're gonna lose.
- We've said it before at AIH, and we'll say it again. Ondrej Pavelec needs to be a 0.900+ goalie for this team to win. And while it's not all on him, he still allowed 4 on 35 for a 0.886 save percentage. It's simply not good enough.
- Did Dustin Byfuglien look tired to you? Well, it's likely because he played 29:17. No wonder he doesn't back-check. Obviously it didn't help that Clitsome went down with the eye injury, but that's too much for Buff.
- Tobias Enstrom and Zach Bogosian also played over 25 minutes (25:35 and 25:02, respectively), while Ron Hainsey clocked in at 22:27. It's tough when the coach doesn't trust Derek Meech to play more than 13:49 when you're already down a man.
- Patrice Cormier saw the ice for 1:39 while Chris Thorburn played 2:21. The lack of depth is hilarious.
- Alex Burmistrov played all of 7:37 tonight. I give up.
- Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan and Rick Nash piled up 4 goals, 4 assists and a plus-11. That's pretty good. Much better than Ladd's Little Wheeler, that went scoreless and -5. Ouch.
- BONUS THOUGHT: I hope that Kevin Cheveldayoff and his team were throwing lamps around the Long Island hotel that they were staying at. I almost did when I heard that he nearly acquired Michael Handzus...