The Winnipeg Jets have dropped their first two playoff games to the Anaheim Ducks, but all is not lost. For game three they return to the friendly confines of the MTS Centre and they are given the the benefit of last change for the next two.
Line-matching is one of the more interesting and potentially impactful coaching strategies in hockey and it is one of the few that even a layman can pick-up on if they are paying attention. Of course, sites like war-on-ice.com take things up a notch. They offer a detailed breakdown of the matchups, including a - to the second - breakdown of who was on the ice with who.
Who has faced who?
Through two games, the primary matchups have seen Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little and Michael Frolik face off versus Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Patrick Maroon far more than any other line. Little has been on the ice for more than 16 minutes of 5 on 5 play versus the Ducks top line. For reference, Scheif and co have seen about 6 minutes of ice versus the Ducks top line.
Drew Stafford, Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler have primarily faced Ryan Kesler, Matt Beleskey and Kyle Palmieri. This matchup was far less firm in in game two than it was in game one.
On the back end, the Toby Enstrom and Tyler Myers pairing was hard-matched against the Kesler line as well. The match-ups were pretty scattered there-after.
How'd they do?
Well, the Jets haven't been great through two games, but a few things are going well. First of all, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry have a pile of points, but they have done very little at 5 on 5. This is a positive sign. The big problem is that the Jets top six hasn't been putting the puck in the net.
When it comes to puck possession, Ladd, Little and Frolik have pushed possession fairly well. Stafford, Scheifele and Wheeler have been hammered. They aren't receiving much help from the back-end either. Trouba has shown flashes of quality play, but no pairing has asserted themselves over the opposition as of yet.
It will be interesting to see what coach Paul Maurice does with the matchups in game two. Will he work to find something new? How successful will he or the players be?