Henrik Lundqvist stymies Jets…is it too soon to be concerned? by Chuck Duboff

Lund1

© Chuck Duboff

That was one sensational goaltending performance by the King, Henrik Lundqvist.  After taking an early 1-0 lead, the Jets were shut down, time after time, by spectacular goaltending.  The Jets played a great first period, only to have Nic Ehlers make a “stupid pass” (Ehlers) which led to a tying goal for the Rangers.

That seemed to deflate the Jets, as they came out in the 2nd period and were dominated by the Blue Shirts.  The third period saw the Jets get back to back power plays, only to have The King make miraculous saves on both Scheifele and Laine; and with just under four minutes left, the Rangers Jimmey Vesey scored the go ahead goal.  With one minute left in the game, it appeared that the Jets had tied the game, only to have it overturned on replay because of a high stick on the deflection.  Michael Grabner scored into an empty net and for the first time this season, the Jets lost back to back home games.

Ehlers 2

Several observations on the Jets apparent struggles the last three games:

  • I am concerned that Conner Hellebucyk is going to bet burnt out; with the Jets not having a backup that they can count on, it would seem the team is going to run with Conner.  He allowed two 5 hole goals against Arizona and then again yesterday, the first goal trickled through his legs.  To me, this is a concern.
  • There is very little chemistry on any of the lines right now.  I would put Kyle Conner back with Scheif and Wheels; I’d put Perrault and Armia back with Matty Hendricks (a very dominant line early in the season)  I’d leave Little with Ehlers and Laine.
  • The third line is a major concern…the Jets are missing both Adam Lowry and Brandon Tanev.  The two of them bang and pressure the other team and that is missing right now.  When it’s Lowry, Tanev and Copp, that is a tremendous third line…but right now it would seem that Copp at centre is what we have…perhaps Roslovic and Petan with him…or Lemieux.
  • The Jets are missing Jacob Trouba!!  Thank you Captain Obvious…but his physical presence and quarterbacking the power play is greatly missed.
  • Given more ice time because of Trouba’s absence, Tyler Myers seems to be struggling.
  • Wheeler and Perrault need to start providing some offence…it can’t always be on the shoulders of Laine and Ehlers.
  • To quote Geoff’s brother Derek: “this could slip away really easily”  After being number one in the NHL and in first place in the Central Division for a long time…suddenly Nashville is pulling a way in the division and the Jets are hearing the feet of St. Louis, Dallas and Minnesota creeping up on them.
  • The games are getting more intense, almost a playoff style hockey; perhaps our young kids who are experiencing this style of hockey for the first time (Laine, Ehlers, Morrisey, Roslovic, Helleybucyk, Conner…) are feeling the pressure.
  • That is why I continue to say that the Jets have to pick up at least one, if not two, veterans to calm the locker room down.  One of the players said that while Hendricks was injured that the bench was really quiet…Hendy can’t do it by himself; Chevy needs to do something to help the kids out.
  • Jets have a tough one tomorrow night against Washington; it would be a great time to get their mojo back and start a new winning streak.

Should we be concerned?  I would say it’s not time to panic, but with so few games left, I would say that it is time for the team to bear down and kick it into another gear…this is almost playoff hockey..

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