Game Takes: Jets Crown Kings
The home opening is always that extra bit of fun, fans are happy and excited and there’s optimism in the air as nothing too drastic has happened to sway opinion.
Last night the Jets hosted the LA King and fans got a chance to see this year’s edition of the team in person. The results were what they wanted but not without some grinding and frustration.
Sure Maurice deserves some praise, he didn’t screw up a great line-up last year but he sure as heck gave many Jets fans some moments to think about.
The first goal
Listen to that one from the Kings announcers it’s so kind that they don’t criticize Scheifele for a non existent back check after freshly coming on the ice. It’s Kovalchuk’s old man speed that got him that goal right?
When Twitter was asked who was at fault our local harsh critic had no problem pointing the finger and included the whipping boy too.
So while the Jets were having their moment recapturing the glory of last season and remember fallen hockey hero Ab McDonald the Predators were raising a banner. Huh? They one the President’s Trophy the Golden Knights won the west. Look Winnipeg has defaulted to having Avco Cup Banners in their rafters and nothing wrong with that but… they were actually accurate portrayals of what happened. The Preds were the 3rd team in the west by playoffs which is what you get award for or maybe that’s just the southern way of saying Central Division Champions?
Yeah Kyle Connor strikes again with a little Johnny on the spot action to assure the puck crossed the line. Things are lining up for the third year winger and he’s not just benefitting from playing with Scheifele and Wheeler, he’s actually making thing happen all on his own. They grow up so fast.
What the heck was Tanev doing out there with Scheifele anyway? Whatever the case he made the most of it and found a way to get the puck on the right stick so Scheifele could make amends for his back check gaffe from earlier. When would Myers turn the tables and find redemption?
The Jets fired everything at Campbell and then some as they controlled most the play and certainly the shot attempts. At one point during the third period the Kings did not have a shot for 7:40 and the final shot total was 39-17 for the home team. Campbell made it so that this was not Sharks-Flyers 2.0
The silent type
Yeah, Chiarot did have a decent game by the eye-test. He was solid on the shot attempts allowed even if he had the second most against on the team in his 17:45 of 5 vs 5 ice time. But when you get down to the scoring chances for and against when he was on the ice it evens out 7-6 in favor and 4-4 for high danger. For a team with only 12 shots and then 33 shot attempts at 5 vs 5 let’s not wave the pompoms to hard- Chia has some work to do.
How do you miss that? Skating right down the middle of the ice towards the net totally unobstructed and boom! ‘Roche Chambot’ with a stick.
Phaneuf is about as relevant to hockey now as he was 3 years ago which means he’s not. Have to find some way to make use of that thing in his hand he’s paid so handsomely for.
‘Ol neon Dion was a bright light for the Jets rocking a 32% CF and 27.27% scoring chance for. Jets probably wish they saw him more than 3 times a year.
But wait there’s more…
This is the existential question that all Jets fans know the answer too…
And to sum it up…
With the game winding down it was ‘ol 57 who took the preventable penalty to give the Kings a power play. Scott Billeck who has his own hot streak going with tweets lately hit home a cold hard reality for the uber tall defenseman.
Luckily the Jets survived the onslaught from the King who pulled the goalie and made it a 6-on-4 battle. The dynamic foursome of Morrissey Trouba Scheifele and Wheeler did their job on PK with Wheeler getting possession and a prime chance for the empty-netter with time to shoot and perhaps skate than he thought. Oh well, #captainproblems.
It was not a masterpiece on the score sheet but it was a win and the Jets played like the Jets with TLC dominating shifts at one end and not quite getting hemmed in at the other. They Jets made the Kings pay for being slow and made Campbell work his tail off to keep it close because this game should not have been close. Basically what the fans saw was the style of hockey they came to expect last season- a high tempo pressuring offense with solid goaltending.
That’s a good thing but let’s remember that Maurice finally had last change and could set up his lines on zone starts to his favour. That was part of the problem in both St. Louis and Dallas as the team surrendered shots in one game and goals in the other.
Want another positive? They stayed out of the penalty box, at least until it mattered. Let’s see how that goes in Nashville as the Jets hit the road again.