This one hurts. It shouldn't hurt. It's only a game. But the Jets played their game. They played their game and therefore gave themselves a chance. The Jets play was much more fluid than previous games; there was less of a focus on hitting and more of a focus on doing things with the puck. It was all for naught. The Jets were bad at winning in regulation and overtime during the regular season and that trend has continued into the playoffs. Things are now looking dire for the Jets as they are staring down a 3-0 series deficit and the clock has almost struck midnight.
The Jets played well, but they had too many long moments of defending; of letting the Ducks cycle in the zone. They were too lackisdasical late in periods. They were not always playing until the end and it has hurt them big. Tomorrow is another day though and the Jets get a try again on Wednesday. Let's hope they use it well.
1. The Winnipeg Jets started the game playing a system that resembled the system that got them to the playoffs. It paid off in a big way when Lee Stempniak cashed in on a beautiful feed from Adam Lowry. That is the type of hockey the Jets need more of.
2. The Jets managed to not go into a defensive shell the entire period...but they managed to not be able to handle the Ducks forechek four on four and it cost them dearly with 5.4 seconds left when Cam Fowler scored. Dustin Byfuglien was up on the play, but there seemed to be poor rotation from the forward who should have been on Cam Fowler in the first place.
3. Jets got incredibly lucky at the start of the game when Tobias Enstrom did not control his stick and hit Corey Perry in the face. That is usually an automatic penalty but the referees decided it wasn't for some reason. Can't say the refs are not calling the game in the Jets favour.
4. Dustin Byfuglien is a hugely talented dumb-dumb. He can play hockey so well, but seems to lack the self-control when he needs it most. He is probably not going to change so the question is if a team can take the dumb with the very good player.
5. Blake Wheeler lost the face mask and found his scoring touch again. Bryan Little found a bad pass and busted his slump as well. It was bust-a-slump night at the MTS Centre.
6. Jakob Silfverberg has been super effective this entire series. He's noticeable at even-strength and on special teams. He has been really good for the Ducks, scoring big goals and making smart plays all over the ice.
7. Frederick Andersen looks shaky tonight, bobbling the puck and getting overwhelmed by the Jets traffic in-front of the net. The Jets need to continue getting bodies in front of him if they want to win a game.
8. Mathieu Perreault is really good at taking hits and keeping the puck so he can make a play. Whether it is to create a scoring chance for himself or a teammate, Perreault's ability to keep the puck is one thing that helps him be so awesome and is something that the announcers should be noting more than hit counts.
9. Adam Lowry has been assigned Ryan Kesler and is getting the better of him. Kesler is a player in decline and a master of cheap shots. Lowry handling him means that the struggling second line can avoid any type of hard match-up.
10. The Jets look much more like themselves tonight than any previous game. The have gone back to their carry-ins and carry-out. While the second line is still a mess, the other lines are much better and ahe system has been able to aid the Jets in slowing the Ducks down like the Jets need to do if they want to come all the way back from the 2-0 deficit that they had coming into tonight.
11. The Jets started overtime masterfully. They were generating a lot of pressure and forcing Andersen to make saves. They were not able to score though and that would come back to haunt them. Playing the fourth line so early in overtime also made little sense when you remember that this game is a do or die game.
12. The Jets defensive zone coverage has been suspect this series and it is no different on the game winning goal tonight. The Ducks had extended zone time and and icing call to contend with. The Jets were loose around their own net, letting Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf get clean looks on goal. If the Jets are going to come back, this will have to change. The game winning goal came off of an extended shift defending from the Mark Scheifele line. This line has been problematic for a while and really needs a change.
The Jets are in a hole. They have battled all year. They need to do it one more time.