Jets win this one and we will be playoff bound before anyone realizes it. This team has shown it can compete and win against the BIG BOYS and if we beat the Islanders, it will show we can beat the lesser to teams. Last year we had problems against the garbage teams and would lose more often than not.
A win would give us 7 out of a possible 10 points in 5 games. That's 10% of the games played under the 48 game schedule.
I'm really curious to see what kind of system Noel puts together for this one. It's pretty clear he had the Pens figured out. I don't think we'll clog up the NZ as much, but the forwards will still be committed to coming back. Shot blocking, zone clearing, puck support, puck management all were very good last game.
I also like the line changes. Would love for Scheif to be the third C, but that's wishing for too much.
I see no reason to go with Montoya. Pavs is just beginning to find his game (and his confidence) and it's still early in the year. You sit him when you see him get tired or struggle - neither is the case right now. It has nothing to do with getting your backup the starts.
I'm really impressed with the way Noel has the team playing. They seem more confident and creative with the puck than they ever were last year - Little's setup of Ladd last night, Kane's newfound playmaking ability - and their defensive coverage is certainly less "scrambly". This game will be a big test though to see if they play down to the opposition or repeat their effort from last night against the Pens. Call me an optimist but I see them blowing the Isles out, 5-1.
Pens were an amazing 4 piece top6 with a terrible bottom 6 except Sutter.
This game will be a lot different since NYI are build more like us with a top9 system.
*NYI have been a tad lucky with the goals as their entire middle6 F have a OnIceSh% way >10%... meanwhile Slater is the only player on the Jets' with >10%...
*each of our top3 lines should be expecting goals soon from new contirbuters with the amount of shots they have been placing on net (Jokinen, Antropov, all 3 of the 3rd line) and both their middle 6 lines should be regressing to earthly numbers (that is unless their team is all Stamkos' and Crosby's... No? OK)
1st line) Moulson-Taveres-Okposo are heavily pushed into the offensive zone. They aren't great defensively (although Taveres is nothing to scoff at) as they keep getting out-chanced even with not facing the toughest QoC and being pushed into the OZS. Moulson is a legit offensive thread though with Taveres consistently setting him up.
2nd line) Grabner-Nielsen-Boyes would be the line they are wanting to put against KJWh and Noel may want the same. All 3 of them have been seeing offensive production above their norm with a very padded OnIceSh%. This line got has yet to have a goal scored against it even though it has been heavily out-chanced... maybe we can change that . I'm going to predict Jokinen's first goal against this line .
3rd line) Ullstrom-Aucoin-McDonald have even more inflated OnIceSh% than the 2nd line. Now we can't bank on these guys regressing against us, because it doesn't work like that (plus it's not like their first line has any issues creating offense), but it does show how this team with a similar record to us has been a little lucky with their 14 GF. They picked up Aucoin off of waivers which was a great deal for them as he is a strong shutdown guy for that line, but the rest we should be able to outplay. I'm going to predict that one of Antropov, Ponikarovsky, Wellwood, or Burmistrov scores against this line .
4th line) Meh, who cares really about a 4th line.
1st pairing) Hamonic-MacDonald... don't let their GDTs fool you; these two have been getting all the match-ups and an extra 4mins per a game of even strength time. Silly uneducated NYI fans confusing who is their first pair. They haven't been doing all that bad considering their usage is almost as tough as Hainsey-Stuart.
2nd/3rd pairing) I've noticed that they've mostly used Streit-Strait and Carkner-Finley but there has been some wife swapping going on. Strait OK job. Streit is playing like last seasons Stuart (over his head). Carkner is been doing OK but I wonder how much is inflated since he starts off in the Dzone about as much as the Sedin sisters do, and yet he ends his shift there 61% of the time. Finley looks like the guy may be worse than Clitsome!!!
Their offense has been a bit overly lucky other than their first line, but their top line is a legit threat to score a goal a game between the 3 of them and their middle 6, although they should regress, still have some offensive punch. Their defense is subpar to us in almost every way even with the loss of Bogosian. Pavelec > Nabokov >>>>> DiPietro... I hope we face DiPietro
This is a huge test for us. The Islanders don't carry the same 'excitement factor', if you will like Boston, Washington or Pittsburgh, so as much as we were up and ready for those games, it's going to be a big test for us to be up and approach this Islanders team with the same approach, intensity and focus. I hope to see us come to play here much in the same way we have our last 3 games. The bar has been set, it's time to see how we handle the 'lesser' teams of the league, no disrespect intended.
*FYI I still consider us a 'lesser' team. Just saying whether you're a good or bad or mediocre team, in most cases you always get up to play the leagues best teams.
I would really like to get our SA/60 down as Pavs is facing 4th most in the league:
Lehtonen 39.4 SA, 0.942%
Holtby 35.9 SA, 0.863%
Theodore 34.5 SA, 0.939%
Pavelec 32.8 SA, 0.932%
Miller 32.8 SA, 0.952%
...but part of that may be from facing tough teams up front...
We still haven't faced some of the weaker teams like FLA and such