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It’s not how you start a game, it’s how you finish. In this case, the Jets actually started and ended strong by scoring the first and last goals as they took on the Vegas Golden Knights last night.

It wasn’t necessarily the most pretty victory, but winning back to back games on the road doesn’t have to be. Getting four points on the back to back is cause for optimism despite all the negativity surrounding the team. During the intermissions we learned some really interesting things about Byfuglien, but for now, let’s talk about what we can take away from the game itself.

1) Brossoit had another rough start

When looking at the game in it’s entirety, Brossoit actually played fairly well. He made some nice saves in the third period when the Jets were mounting their comeback and he was sound positionally for most of the game.

Even though the first period was a little bit rough, he fought through the tough times and looked better as the game moved on.

Looking specifically at the goals, it was clear that Brossoit never even saw the first Vegas goal. He went down into the butterfly and then didn’t react as the puck got snapped past him and into the top corner.

The one that Brossoit would really like to have back is the Pacioretty goal that came from the top of the circle.

The shot fooled Brossoit who likely anticipated the shot going high as you can see him tense his shoulder as the puck is shot. The lower release caught Brossoit by surprise and it managed to slip past him for the second goal of the game.

As mentioned above, Brossoit did settle down and despite a few frantic moments in the crease, he played quite well in the second and third periods.

2) The special teams are really not special

It only took a few seconds for the Golden Knights to score on their first powerplay of the game. It was a needless penalty by Laine who flipped the puck over the glass and the Jets paid the price moments later. The league’s worst penalty kill lived up to the hype in the first period.

On the other side of the puck, the Jets powerplay was also in shambles for most of the game. First of all, the thought was that Ehlers should get a chance to play with the first unit because of his recent goal scoring streak and the scoring woes of the first unit. When Ehlers didn’t get that opportunity, it left plenty of fans frustrated.

Things got even worse in this game as the Jets somehow thought that taking Patrik Laine off the top unit would help them score goals. There’s an argument to be made because Laine hasn’t scored a powerplay goal in a very long time, so it’s logical to move him down for a different look. However, Laine has routinely led the team in PP goals since coming into the league, so it doesn’t make any sense to take your most dangerous special teams player and demote him. I wasn’t the only person confused by this as giving Laine and Ehlers 14 seconds of PP time on three total powerplays is absolute nonsense.

To be fair, the Jets are just trying to get anything going with the man-advantage, but I don’t think benching Laine and Ehlers is a good start.

The one saving grace for the team was that the switch up finally produced some results after looking terrible throughout the rest of the game. Perreault, who moved into Laine’s spot on the top PP unit, was able to tip a nice pass from Connor past Subban to bring the Jets to within one goal.

3) Speaking of Perreault…

Mathieu Perreault was clutch in this game as he scored half of the team’s four goals on the night. He started off the scoring in the opening minutes and he also started the comeback in the third period as he scored another on the powerplay. I know Paul Maurice doesn’t listen to the current staff at Jetsnation, but he does listen to our former staff as our good friend Garrett Hohl gave a very simple solution to make the Jets better.

It worked against Vegas as Perreault came away with two goals. Side note, if the Jets need some more pointers, just hire Garrett already…

4) Laine isn’t scoring, but that’s OK

The Sportsnet broadcast last night was talking about Laine’s goalless drought and mentioning that he needs to get back to scoring his normal amount of goals. While that would be nice, I’m totally fine with Laine becoming a playmaker and turning into a better overall hockey player.

Against the Golden Knights Laine had a number of scoring chances. He made a nice move off the wall before whistling a backhander wide. He also got a number of shooting chances from all over the offensive zone. There shouldn’t be much concern for Laine’s goal totals because he’s likely to start scoring again and also because he’s turning into a much better offensive player overall.

Specifically looking at the overtime winner, Laine makes the play possible by hustling through the neutral zone and getting a nice offensive zone entry. He cuts to the middle of the ice, but the important part is that he doesn’t shoot the puck. The Laine of last year likely would have let the shot go from a fairly deep distance. The Laine of this year had the offensive awareness to draw multiple defenders before making a beautiful drop pass to Connor. Laine’s ability to draw defenders is the reason that Connor had so much space to take the puck to the net.

It was a fantastic play by Laine who is really showing some great strides towards becoming a much better overall player.

5) Lowry is a big, strong man

A quick shoutout to Adam Lowry who held his own against Ryan Reaves in the fight after Lowry’s hit on Tuch.

While this will likely get a more in-depth look during another post, the main takeaway from this play is that Lowry is a really strong man. The hit itself wasn’t malicious as most people agreed it was a normal hockey play. Lowry connected through the body as Tuch was along the boards and Lowry did a really good job of not extending his elbow or arm to connect with the head.

Unfortunately for Tuch, the force of the hit caused his head to rebound off the glass and he left the game. Hopefully he’s not out for the long term as injuries are never a good thing.

The interesting part of this play was that Gerard Gallant decided to make Lowry pay for the hit by sending out Ryan Reaves on the very next shift. Ryan Reaves is normally a winger, but Gallant told him to line up at centre and go right at Adam Lowry.

This caused some confusion among the Jets as Maurice was asking the refs about an instigating penalty because Reaves was clearly sent out specifically to fight Lowry and for no other purpose. Reaves has taken less than 200 faceoffs in his entire 11 year career, so he definitely wasn’t put out to win the draw in neutral ice.

With Maurice talking to the officials, Lowry yelled at the Jets bench that he could handle it and to not worry about switching lines or anything else.

As expected, the second the puck was dropped, Reaves and Lowry dropped the gloves for a short, but spirited tilt.

It was a very weird set of events on the ice as the entire game slowed down to a halt for several moments leading up to the fight. Sometimes hockey’s “code” can be very confusing. This was one of those times.


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