Wanna blog? Start your own hockey blog with My HockeyBuzz. Register for free today!
 

On Lemieux, Maurice, the Jets and what now?

November 4, 2018, 11:17 AM ET [68 Comments]
Peter Tessier
Winnipeg Jets Blogger •Winnipeg Jets Writer • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Sometimes you need to digest what you see and look at things a bit objectively and that's what I've done with a pause from the Global Series after the 4-2 loss on Friday. Frankly the Jets still continue to confound logic with the way they play and the way they are structured. Time has not been helpful to my opinions on the game and the team.


Lemieux

What he did was stupid and dumb. It completely changed the game and although his mates almost killed off the 5 minute major for his deliberate headshot on Trochek, they lost a player and momentum. Even head coach Paul Maurice admitted that was the game changing moment during his post game comments.

This experiment is done, if it isn't at least NHL Player Safety will delay it's return for a few games hopefully five. That's the level of disdain with Lemieux and what he does on the ice which is almost nothing. To think that he was kept in the lineup over Roslovic and made Dano expendable. (yes I know that's a tired story in this space)

Maurice

While he gets points for realizing that he had to shake up the lines did he still make an error? There's a reason to suggest 'yes' based on the above. However what about looking for skill and using it?

Ehlers Scheifele Wheeler
Connor Little Perreault
Tanev Lowry Laine
Lemieux Petan Copp

Huh?

Accept that Maurice will not move 55 from 26 no matter what. It's not in his wheelhouse despite the overwhelming evidence that something is not right with Wheeler.

55 and 26 on ice- 49.21% CF 48.53% SF 44.44% SCF 40.51% HDCF

55 w/o 26 on ice- 63.89% CF 73.33% SF 76.47% SCF 71.43% HDCF

26 w/o 55 on ice- 26.32% CF 23.08% SF 25% SCF 0% HDCF

So what's a fan to do other than claw your eyes out in frustration? Blake Wheeler is simply not himself and the speculation mounts as to why. Thank god he hasn't signed a contract extension early... oh wait.

While Laine has had some better results with Lowry and Tanev it's clear that it's Lowry driving the play and making himself more than useful for whomever he plays with. It's not the same with Tanev but again that's another tired argument in this space.

So let's optimize...again, especially now that Lemieux is out of the picture.

Ehlers Scheifele Wheeler
Connor Little Perreault
Copp Lowry Laine
Tanev Petan Roslovic

Or

Ehlers Scheifele Laine
Connor Little Wheeler
Perreault Lowry Copp
Tanev, Petan Roslovic

The challenge here is that there is not enough right-hand shots for the team, but there are options and frankly with the inconsistent play this team has shown so far this season all options should be open.

Connor Scheffele Laine
Perreault Little Wheeler
Copp Lowry Ehlers
Tanev Petan Roslovic

Enough with the blender let's talk about goaltending.

When will Connor Hellebuyck string together some consistent games? The Jets' number one goalie has been great or bland this season and that should be conquering as he carried the team through the early part of last season. Hellebuyck has only put together two games in a row of above .900 save percentage .947 and .903. Everything else is either great or not so great and that has to be concerning to the team. He was undeniably the anchor for it last year and so far that has not happened and like another key player mentioned above, when will he 'arrive'?

Add to the fact that with Jet lag, time change and more Maurice decided to play him on Friday after a great effort on Thursday and guess what- he got torched for 4 goals on 26 shots. This one is on Maurice.

So what of the coach? What does he see when looking at the team and it's challenges? That's the mystery that comes with the head coach. Fans hear the articulate thoughts and observations from him, all spoken with authority but yet the actions behind the bench confound.

What's next for the Jets?

This is the biggest concern for fans- what gets the Jets out of these doldrums? First Wheeler has to change or be changed as it's obvious something isn't right unless he's on the PP. However what about play- are the Jets that awful?

They are slowly moving to the better part of the grid on shots for and against. The team as a whole is shooting terribly low compared to last year- there's certainly room to improve there. They are lower on the xGF and differential than in the past so simply put they are somewhat average. It's on Maurice to get this team to be better and so far that is not happening and there's more than a few areas to be concerned about. Fix one and another hole appears and that seems represented by the fact the team will not play a full 60 minutes. Pick your reason why or when but the evidence is there some type of change has to come from within or be made by the coaches as what we see now likely isn't going to lead to success later.
Join the Discussion: » 68 Comments » Post New Comment
More from Peter Tessier
» Jets face Canucks and looking at Laine
» Myers, Morrissey, Vesalainen & Ice Time
» Scheifele shines as Jets beat Devils
» Is Wheeler back?
» Jets host Avalanche after 7 days with no games