Part of me wants to just go “the less we talk about what happened, the better” and the temptation is there because it is just one game out of 82 and it’s not like they’ll win every single game, and you don’t want to overreact to one really bad game even if it came against a 31st place overall hockey club. As I mentioned in the Flight Plan less than 24 hours ago however, freaking out about just how bad that game is to be expected because the thought most people seem to have is that good teams don’t lose to really bad teams, even though it actually happens all the time.
That’s the way the puck bounces
To a man last night in the post game interviews, many of the Jets players wanted to point out that four of those five goals against came off of unfortunate bounces or circumstances. There is some validity to that and you can’t dismiss the repeated cases of bad luck that kept striking at the team last night. As the old saying goes however, luck is when opportunity meets preparation and the Red Wings were more than prepared to take advantage of opportunities that they had earned by simply being the harder working of the two teams on the ice last night. At the very least one player flat out admitted that the Wings just wanted it more on Thursday night.
— Ken Wiebe (@WiebeAthletic) December 13, 2019
The only argument I’d make to any of that would be that it seemed like intensity was missing for most of the game. It made a brief appearance in the second period but skipped back out of town when it was 4-2 late in the second.
Move ref, get out the way!
Let’s talk about that first goal for a moment.
WELP. This all happened.
1-0 Wings on the Helm breakaway goal. pic.twitter.com/Rn2EcQJJFG
— JetsNation (@NHLJetsNation) December 13, 2019
Yeah, that one. We’ll talk about only this one because this one really seemed to set the tone for the entire game in how things were going to go.
It speaks volumes to how bad Beaulieu handled the puck initially because the poor linseman got away from the boards, still gave him plenty of space and figured getting behind Nathan was probably the safest place he could be because there is no way he could handle the puck so badly that… ohmygod it’s in the lineseman’s skates because Beaulieu couldn’t corral it properly off of the initial fumble, the puck is past the linseman now, there goes Helm with the puck while Nathan suddenly has the skating agility of an awkward seven year old who can’t side step to save his life and there’s goes the puck in to the net on a perfectly places shot bar-down.
So I don’t completely blame the linesman here because the puck is along the boards as Beaulieu is fighting it and that’s the spot the linesman vacates. Then the puck takes this sudden redirect right in front of him… Having been an on-ice official before, I don’t know what else he could have done.
But at the same time, that’s a situation where I wish the NHL would blow plays dead. Yeah it might have been annoying for Wings fans, but you can’t have the placement of an official no matter how inadvertent it is to affect a play that much to the degree that it gives a guy a full out breakaway. Darren Helm might have had the speed and angle to have a breakaway from Beaulieu even without the linesman getting in the way, but we’ll never know for sure.
I honestly thought that was a thing in the NHL where officials could blow a play dead due to external interference where it gives one team an advantage over the other of some sort. Maybe I was just imagining it.
Just watch, three weeks from now the Jets will get a fortuitous puck bounce off a ref that leads directly to a potential Patrik Laine game winning goal and it will be waved off because THAT is when an official will decide that that kind of play shouldn’t be allowed to happen.
It’s the same old issues on offense.
Again, I won’t harp too much on all that went wrong because a lot of what went wrong last night I truly feel can be traced back to effort (or compete) levels. Both the level of which the Red Wings played the game at and the level the Jets were at which was pretty much non-existent as you can see from the even strength corsi chart…
But the same issues that have been dogging this team all season were all pretty obvious last night. The penalty-kill was atrocious. The Jets couldn’t get out of their zone without turning the puck over once or twice each time. I’ve seen junior clubs with better passing skill than what the Jets had last night. They barely even saw any of the ice around Johnathan Bernier yet Red Wings players had zero issues getting to the front of the Jets net.
When people talk about expecting the Jets to eventually get into a rut and “regress” these are the things they are looking at. They are still evident during Jets wins, but they are a little more obvious during losses and downright glaring when contrasted against a bottom feeding team such as the Wings.
As mentioned, the less we talk about this game the better. Here’s hoping for a much better effort against Philly on Sunday or else we might really have to start talking about these things as a growing concern.