Jets vs Ducks: Where Did It Go Wrong?

Looking at the Winnipeg Jets series sweep vs the Anaheim Ducks –

The Anaheim Ducks finished off the Winnipeg Jets in four straight games much to the surprise and chagrin of Jets fans and the hockey pundits out there.

Reasons, excuses, whatever:

1.  Injuries:  All teams have and play through injuries but the Winnipeg Jets don’t have enough depth and high-end talent to compete against top teams if they aren’t 100%.  You know that when a series is over the truth about player injuries will start to filter out.  You also know when players aren’t practicing and/or aren’t participating in game-day skates that there’s no secret they are banged up. Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little, Mathieu Perreault, Tyler Myers and probably a couple more players were playing hurt.

2.  Powerplay:  The powerplay finally scored a couple of goals in games 3 and 4 but for the most part was non-existent (0-7) in Anaheim and when it could have been a difference maker in games 3 and 4 the Winnipeg Jets couldn’t even get set-up in Anaheim’s zone.

3.  Penalties:  This teams penchant for taking dumb penalties is well documented and reared its ugly head in this series and it’s inexcusable.

4.  Next goal:  In all four games of this series, the Winnipeg Jets had great opportunities to get that next goal for a two goal lead but it just wasn’t meant to be.

5.  Goaltending:  Although Ondrej Pavelec played very well, the numbers don’t lie.  His GAA (3.71) and SV% (.891) weren’t good.  He made a ton of great saves and was hung out to dry on multiple occasions by his team but Frederick Andersen (2.20 and .924) seemed to make that big save when needed.  The game winner by Jacob Silfverberg in game two and two of the goals in game four needed to be stopped.

Winnipeg Jets Adam Lowry

Adam Lowry was very solid in his first playoff series

6.  Where was Scheifele?:  Mark Scheifele struggled in this series with the lack of room and the physical play but it will be a lesson learned.  It’s part of the learning curve for twenty-one year old hockey players.

7.  Adam Lowry:  Although Adam Lowry is only a twenty-one year old rookie, he acquitted himself quite nicely in his playoff debut and there in lies the problem. If a rookie is your best player, it makes you wonder about all the rhetoric about experience.  I’m watching the Calgary Flames and I don’t see them having a problem with their lack of experience so I’m wondering why a much more experienced Jets team is getting a pass here.

8.  Defencemen:  I can deal with Dustin Byfuglien and Jacob Trouba’s gaffs on the blueline because these two bring a lot to the table but I am now done with Toby Enstrom.  Enstrom is a good puck moving defencemen and gets defended by his supporters based on this attribute but that’s it.  He used to be a three or four tool defencemen but not anymore.  In this series, he looked like a child playing against men.  It’s not Toby’s fault he is small but he lost 90% of the puck battles in the corners and behind the net.  When he is battling in front of the net all he does is create an extra body screening his goaltender because he’s not moving anybody.  He is no longer effective on the power-play as he won’t shoot the puck and rival teams know it which renders him useless and to that point Paul Maurice doesn’t even use him there anymore.  So my question is as one of the highest paid defencemen on this team, what does he bring to the table?  The Winnipeg Jets were 12-5-4 with Enstrom out of the line-up.  It’s time to part ways and put his salary to better use.  Six million dollars for a one or two tool defenceman is not very cost-effective.

9.  Best on best:  This isn’t really a criticism.  It’s just a cold hard fact that the Anaheim Ducks best players were better than the Winnipeg Jets best players. Wheeler, Ladd, Byfuglien didn’t have the impact we had all hoped for.

10.  Respect:  For a team that was perceived as a big, strong, tough team that was supposed to be hard to play against, I didn’t see very much of that grit in their defensive end and they didn’t seem to faze the Ducks one bit.  I think the Winnipeg Jets showed them too much respect and didn’t really get in their grill or agitate them.  But then again, I’m a dinosaur and I guess hockey isn’t played like that anymore.  BTW, the Flames are up 3-1 over the Canucks.  Oops ~ there goes that theory.

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Comments

  1. George Bain says

    Bang on with your comments Mitch. I couldn’t agree more. The powerplay in the last game was embarrassing! I must say I wouldn’t be sad if Enstrom was traded. Well on to next year and hopefully we will see a progression.

    Now on to the Wheat Kings!

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