Enstrom and Buff were good. Seems like Buff did all the right things in the off-season.
Hainsey and Stuart are not an ideal 2nd pairing, but they're what the Jets are going to have to go with until Bogosian is back. Hainsey was fine overall. Stuart showed for the umpteenth time in his career that, while he is a really solid bottom pairing guy, he just can't handle 2nd pairing situations and minutes.
Clitsome and Postma were bad. I'd be willing to give Postma a pass on tonight because of his inexperience, but the Clitsome era is drawing to a close me thinks. Redmond should get a shot soon. Not happy to admit this, but I really wish we still had Mark Flood kicking around.
Ladd, Little, and Wheeler looked to be the guys farthest behind the curve due to the lockout. I think Noel decided to keep them together in the hopes their chemistry would help them overcome that, but unless they start clicking ASAP the line will be blown up IMO.
Kane, Jokinen and Wellwood had absolutely no chemistry. Either they find it fast, or Noel can start mixing and matching with guys off LLW to find a at least one line that works.
Having said that, Jokinen was really busting his tail out there and if he keeps it up he'll be a really important player for the team this year. Don't get me wrong, he was absolutely ineffective, but the effort and desire is there and to see that in a guy of his age and experience means a lot. Now it's a matter of putting him in the right situation.
I think the key is going to be how to distribute the playmaking talent among the shooters like Jokinen and Kane.
The Antropov, Burmistrov, Ponikarovsky line was very good in terms of effort and puck control. But, the production still needs to show up. The story of Burmistrov's career to this point.
The 4th line was weird. Slater was fine and will be fine going forward. Thorburn is Thorburn.
Schiefele was obviously playing his heart out and left it all on the ice, but he really did not look like an NHL player. He struggled to mentally keeping up with the speed of play, he is really weak on his skates still, and overall his strength seems to be lacking. Having said that, I think the decision as to whether he stays or goes really comes down to where he'll develop the most in the next few months. On one hand, he is a dominant player in the OHL and it doesn't seem like he's going to be forced to improve if he goes back to Barrie. On the other, the major flaws in his game right now, balance and strength, are ones that are extremely difficult to address during the season. If over the next 4 games there is zero drop off in his intensity and effort level, and he shows steady improvement in terms of processing the speed of the game, I'd be comfortable seeing him stay.
Line needs some time together. Kane looked pretty bad, wasn't making plays and was giving the puck away.
Radio said Jokinen actually had 3 more giveaways then the next closest player of either team in this game, wasnt kane but cant remember who the next guy was.
Im not going to single him out, but despite what some say i personally dont feel olie had a good game at all. Some of that is probably the lack of chemistry with kane, but he seemed a little deer in headlights with the puck on his stick tonight. Though he did look good skating and checking in the corners.
Still early, hoping it comes together. I have a feeling that first line may not be together for long though
Looking at the future
*Given enough time LLW will get back to how they were last season and KJW will become at least as effective as they need to be as a second line... Kane had some moments in creating offense and Jokinen has only played in this line for 3-4 practices
*PBA have shown they will be fine shutting down the other teams best guns
*The 4th line is a 4th line and they don't really have a huge effect on the game past being secondary defense guys and some energy minutes, which I don't doubt that Wright-Slater-Thorburn will have any trouble doing.
*Enstrom-Byfuglien show that they can do what they do
*Hainsey was ok in the second pair but he needs to be the weaker support guy (#4) not the main guy (#3)
*Postma showed poor defensive zone coverage, but he is a rookie and he also showed really great offensive instincts; I think this shows he can do well if he's severely sheltered (like Stuart)
*The power play showed that it has potential but needs some minor adjustments
*The D core showed that it needs Bogosian back so that Hainsey-Bogosian can take all the tough minutes allowing for super sheltering of Stuart-Postma
What I would do:
*Keep forward lines pretty much the same for even strength and keep PP1 the same... they all showed signs although had their problems
*Switch Redmond for Clitsome and put Redmond on the 2nd pair with Hainsey and Stuart with Postma on the 3rd pair
*Change PP2 to Antro-Scheifele/Wellwood-Jokinen Hainsey/Redmond-Postma... Kane is not ready for PP and Antro has had a lot of success there; Scheifele/Wellwood can distribute and Jokinen/Antro can be big boddies on the wall and in front of the net
*Pray that Bogosian comes back soon then you can shelter the **** out of Stuart-Postma who should end up being a positive instead of a negative there
I agree that Buff played great and Postma played poorly... but...
What if Postma's hit on the post had gone in... and Byfuglien's shot didn't...
What if none of Postma's 4 giveaways resulted in a goal... and one of Byfuglien's 4 did...
Wouldn't change much from my POV.
Goal aside, Buff was a force to be reckoned with. He looked smooth and composed with the puck, and was creating offense. Although there were some close calls (ie. one near breakaway on the PP that was deftly broken up by Toby and his mammoth stick), I never once felt like he was wildly out of position and unable to recover. It's one game, but it really looks like his skating and conditioning are on another level compared to last year.
Postma was hot garbage in almost every aspect. Even when he wasn't spraying the puck around mindlessly, he looked totally lost with his positioning. No doubt he has some offensive ability, but he looks like a total liability out there.
Originally Posted by garret9
It's one game and it happens.
If we can get Bogo back soon we'll have a competent top4 that we can start sheltering the **** out of our 3rd pairing and two Stuart/Postma/Redmond/Clitsome can beat the **** out of 4th liners.
Agreed on both counts.
Like Gump said earlier (paraphrasing), this was a bit of a bizarre game and probably one that isn't really indicative of anything other than a team with major rust to shake off. As bad as the Jets looked, the Sens didn't look a whole lot better, and there certainly was an opportunity to bury them in the early going. Especially if Neil was given a 5 and a game for boarding, which IMO would've been the right call.
So the puck goes off your defender's shin pads 30 feet from the net and changes direction on you and...
Stuart can't tie up Neal and you are stuck by the traffic at the other post and he swats it in the net...
Postma serves up a pizza unexpectedly in front of your net and you are surprised by his gift but miss making the save...Pav's fault? Bad defense not bad goal tending.
Bad positioning (common problem related with Pav's since his youth)
Neil shouldn't have been served a poor rebound but I'd share the blame with Stuart's lack of proper decision making there
Bad Pizza's, AKA giveaways, happen to all teams, but we have a history of allowing more of ours in the net (including last season) percentage wise than 29 teams
My point wasn't Pav's was the only problem or fault... just that if he is going to be the goalie he's paid for (a far above average starter) he's going to have to stop a lot of those that aren't "his fault"