I got stuck watching one of the horrendous streams linked in the BDT, due to Gamecenter being blacked out here in New York, and because MSG decided not to show the game on TV despite the guide claiming to be showing it.
Anyway, very glad I got to see... SOME of the game. Jets looked a little lethargic after about the 5 minute mark of the 1st period, and there were long stretches were it felt like they couldn't get any offense going (cough5on3powerplaycough). That said, they mustered enough offense to win, and Pavs really stepped it up today. He made a number of huge game saving saves. Absolutely awesome to see. Hopefully his confidence remains high and his play remains stellar.
Pavelec, and Nabokov aren't bad goalies. They're just on HORRIBLE defensive teams. Holtby isn't that great as we saw last night, and Bishop is just 8 foot tall, and pucks just hit him. The Devils make horrible defenses look like the 95 Devils though.
The Devils have been known to make horrible goalies look great though regardless. I'm sure we'll find a way to give Mr 3 GAA himself Ryan Miller a nice 1 GAA/967 save percentage though.
Enjoy the high right now everyone but don't get too pumped up. The jets went on a great streak for a month last season and then the bottom fell out. They need to work on horrible powerplay or we may miss the playoffs by a few points this year.
It really seems like we're a scary team to play against. Lots of size on the wings (Evander Kane is our smallest winger), and lots of offensive weapons. Kane, Wheeler, and Byfuglien all have that size + speed thing going. Most teams are lucky to have one of those kind of guys.
I do see lots of improvements over last year, but I still see areas that can improve. The general feel of various interviews I get are that the coach isn't being as hard on everyone, because little mistakes happen but we seem to be able to deal with them. The problem last year was any sort of mistake or let down and we'd give up the game.
A few areas that need to improve:
The defence need to be more aggressive in front of Pavs, taking bodies out, lifting sticks, and not stabbing at the puck. This gives Pavs the confidence to freeze the puck, which he has always had a problem.
Pavs positioning has improved, but it can still improve more. He really needs to stop flopping around, and learn to stay upright.
Our PP zone entires need to improve. You need the wingers to gain a lot of speed through the neutral zone before dumping the puck in. Right now it seems like they all slow down right before the blue line, then the puck gets dumped in. Don't try to force it, if there's no entry move the puck back.
Defensive zone coverage needs to improve especially forecheck/cycling. Lots of blown coverage or not being aggressive enough.
What has improved :
When a D man pinches, the wingers or center are covering for him, that almost never happened last year. Vastly improved over last year.
Buff seems to be picking his spots better, that 2nd goal was the perfect time to gain some speed. He saw the devils cheating to one side and kind of on their heels, so he took a chance and it paid off.
Moving the puck through the neutral zone. No longer are we just going for a straight north line. Moving the puck sideways out of coverage, drop passes, there seems to be a lot more creativity confusing the other team.
Good game. I am very happy with this team right now, they are in a good spot right now and things really seem to be clicking. Most of all, we've got confidence. We're now 5-1 in our last 6 games and we have some very winnable games coming up, very key we continue on here.
Ladd is a beast, he is playing so well and leading by example.
Byfuglien looked good tonight, you could tell he wanted to be apart of things out there.
Kane was held off the scoresheet tonight but he was very notoceable.
Pavelec made some nice saves for us, i like how Pavs is playing right now and it must continue.
Thorburn with just 1:54 of icetime, 3 shifts. Tangradi with under 5 minutes of icetime. I really hope Chevy can shuffle the deck here and upgrade the roster over some of these guys. Can only carry non-productive passengers for so long. Hopefully and ideally we can move Peluso to the 4th line and insert Wellwood and Miettinen over Tangradi and Thorburn. We must form a consistent identity in our bottom 6, and the sooner the better.
Ladd - Little - Wheeler
Kane - Jokinen - Burmistrov
Miettinen - Antropov - Wellwood
Wright - Slater - Peluso
Miettinen was skating/practicing, so hopefully he is back soon. I'm ready to give Wellwood some games to try amd find a groove, he can't possibly be less effective than Tangradi and Thorburn.
I thought Peluso was good again tonight in his minutes and role. He can play fulltime on the 4th line and be effective in his role at the NHL level. I have zero doubts about that. Had a blip there with the turnover, but he is effective in his role and he is learning. Remember too, he is a rookie. I like him.
I am afraid to say this team is making me a believer again because each time that happens we go on a losing streak, so I'll leave it at i am very happy with our game right now and i hope we can continue on playing like this.