Fresh off a disappointing - but simultaneously inspiring - loss to the Minnesota Wild, the Jets bounced back in a big way against the New Jersey Devils. They controlled play from start to finish, directing 34 shots at the Devils' net while allowing just 22. Michael Hutchinson was solid in net, and that was all it took for the Jets to cruise to victory.
1) There was no excuse for starting Pavelec in back to back games. Tonight, the Jets started Michael Hutchinson, just as they should have last game. Hutchinson looked a bit shaky at times, but the results say he was pretty solid, stopping 21 of 22 shots en route to victory.
2) What's it going to take for the Jets' coaching staff to give Hutchinson some more starts? Pavelec is playing well this season (.923 SV%) and that's well understood, but Hutchinson is on fire.
3) The Jets have lacked secondary scoring all season; the coaches changed up the lines heading into this one and it worked. They got goals from Mathieu Perreault, Mark Scheifele, and Michael Frolik tonight.
4) Speaking of Mathieu Perreault, tonight's goal was his first in a Winnipeg Jets' uniform. Let's hope it's the first of many more.
5) One thing I've noticed is that just in the last two games (probably because I've been critical of it all season, but oh well), the Jets have started using Mathieu Perreault in the face-off circle quite a bit more. He took 14 draws against the Wild last game, going 8-6, and went 8-4 tonight. That's a heck of a lot better than Mark Scheifele's 45.3% or Adam Lowry's 42.9% coming into tonight's game, although those two combined to go 7-3 on the draws tonight.
6) With a minute to go in the game and the Devils' net empty, the Jets had a line of Lowry-Scheifele-Frolik out there to protect their lead. That's a lot of confidence in the youngsters.
7) Jim Slater led the fourth-liners with 6:28 of ice time. Chris Thorburn played 5:05, while Matt Halischuk saw just 4:54. It seems that Paul Maurice has realized what he has for a fourth line (i.e. not a whole lot) and is managing the minutes as such. I am pleased by this development.
8) What does TJ Galiardi need to do to get back into the lineup? Considering how little Halischuk and Thorburn play at even strength and the Jets' success on the penalty kill so far this season with Galiardi, wouldn't it make more sense to have Galiardi in the lineup simply as a penalty killer? Add on the fact that Thorburn and Halischuk don't really kill penalties, and it would appear that they're just used as warm bodies for five minutes. Might as well have a warm body that can contribute a little bit as well.
9) I thought Michael Frolik had a great game tonight. He finished with 2 points (1G, 1A), as well as 4 shots, for his efforts. A very efficient 15 minutes of ice time.
10) I can't comprehend why the Jets don't use Paul Postma on the power play. Postma is a defenseman known for his offensive ability, while his actual defense has been questioned. He played just 50 seconds tonight with the man advantage. For comparison, Zach Bogosian - who is not known for his offensive ability - played over four minutes.
11) Bonus thought: Evander Kane can't seem to put points on the board, but have no fear. As long as he keeps producing shots as much as he does, the points will come eventually. He can only shoot 5% for so long. Be patient. The goals will come.
Finally, here's tonight's Corsi and Shift charts, courtesy of www.war-on-ice.com.
What did you thing about tonight's game? Share your thoughts below.