The Winnipeg Jets got taken to task by the Nashville Predators. They shut down the Jets at every opportunity and had dominate stretches. This is because they managed to slow the game down and take out the Jets speed. When the Jet did manage to break through, they were shut down by Pekka Rinne, who seems to have found himself or his luck or both.
Of concern for the Jets should be the usage of their defencemen. While there is nothing wrong with playing the third pairing, they should never play more then Toby Enstrom, Jacob Trouba, and Josh Morrissey unless there are injuries involved.
On a brighter note, Patrik Laine broke his goose egg for scoring as a twenty year old and Nikolaj Ehlers looks like he is going to do something soon, but Bryan Little looked like the most dangerous Jet for most of the night and Dustin Byfuglien looked off for most of the night. And that does not even touch Connor Hellebuyck who has looked like more pucks are going through him this series then normal. This was not a “must win” game, but the series would be a lot nicer at 3-1 then it is at 2-2.
- According to both NBC and CBC Scott Hartnell is playing as an answer to Dustin Byfuglien being awesome this series. Kevin Fiala has been taken out of the lineup. How does any of this make sense and can anyone explain how NHL coaches think to me please?
- I love Byfuglien as a player, but he has made some bad choices on when to pinch in the first period resulting in two on ones. Thankfully, Toby Enstrom seems to be back in his element and has been able to defend them really well, but Byfuglien should be cognizant of the fact that he needs to be smarter with his decision making.
- Ah, the third pair is fun. While I am not a big Joe Morrow fan (scarred from his time with the Montreal Canadiens), I do think he is better then Ben Chiarot and should be rotated into the lineup to give the bottom pairing more mobility and offensive ability. Because while Joe Morrow giveth and Joe Morrow taketh away, Ben Chiarot only taketh away.
- The Jets have actively made their lineup worse by keeping Matt Hendricks in the lineup over Jack Roslovic is one thing that I do not understand. While Roslovic is not perfect, he has more skill in his pinky then Matt Hendricks does and is genuinely a good player. It is beneficial to have players with scoring potential all over the lineup. Also, it allows for the Jets to run three scoring lines and one checking line instead two scoring lines, one checking line, and a fourth line that hits guys. The Jets are far better when the play in the first set up.
- Say what you want about P.K. Subban, but he is a very good player. He broke up a two on one and then went down the ice and scored on a jumping Viktor Arvidsson screen. I am not against booing Subban on principle (Jets fans love booing the oppositions best players), but I am against booing him because it feeds him and makes him better like a superhero or something. Maybe if he isn’t booed, he won’t be as good.
- Connor Hellebuyck has made a lot of good saves this series and let in a lot of bad goals. He needs to be better if the Jets want to win this series. He needs to make the saves you expect him to make instead of having the puck go through his body.
- I feel like at some point Patrik Laine, Nikolaj Ehlers, and Kyle Connor are going to explode for goals. I just hope that explosion happens soon because the Jets need their offence if they are going to make it beyond second round.
- Paul Maurice needs to fix his usage when it comes to the defence. Going into the third Ben Chiarot and Tyler Myers were behind only Byfuglien in ice time. This should never be the case and is something that needs to change ASAP.
- Chris Cuthbert says Patrik Laine has only scored one goal since turning 20. Laine is clearly washed up now. No need to retain him when his entry-level contract is up.
- While the Jets did not play great this game, I am more concerned with the coaching decisions that Paul Maurice has made in the lead up and during this game. Something to watch in games five and six.