Hockey Headlines

Friday, 17 April 2015

The Same Problem

I'm bagged today. I'd like to say that I'm going to with the Jets in their first playoff series for every minute, but I don't know if I can stay up to all hours of the night and function the next day. I did make it through last night's game, though, and I got to see a hard-hitting, fast-paced game between the Ducks and Jets. There were scoring chances, there were big saves, and there were lots of hits, but what sunk the Winnipeg Jets in Game One was a familiar trend: untimely penalties. The most penalized team in hockey this season knows they can't give the Ducks a chance to skate with the man-advantage, and their fall in the third period resulted from two power-play goals-against in the final frame.

The Jets, to their credit, only took four penalties through the whole game, but the Ducks capitalized on the Jets' first and third penalties of the night, and both penalties were unnecessary in terms of why they were taken. Mark Scheifele's roughing penalty was a punch to Ryan Kesler's face and chest after Kesler had been irritating him all night, and Frolik's boarding penalty was entirely selfish as he hammered a Duck into the boards. Perry scored to tie the game 2-2 on the Scheifele penalty while Getzlaf buried the second power-play goal to ice the game at 4-2 while Frolik watched.

Two selfish penalties resulting in two power-play goals, and the Jets now find themselves down 1-0 in the series.

Overall, the Jets have nothing to get overly worried about their game, but they need to refrain from taking selfish penalties. Stick infractions will occur, but both the Scheifele and Frolik penalties were players reacting to annoyance and/or frustration. That's entirely what happens in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the Jets needs to control those emotions if they want to succeed.

Game Two is on Saturday. The Ducks were 2-for-3 on the power-play. The Jets were 0-for-3 with the man-advantage. Special teams show up big in the playoffs, and the Ducks proved just how big they are with two goals from their two best players while skating a man up.

The Jets can't make those mistakes again if they want to win their first NHL Stanley Cup Playoff game. And they won't survive if they don't change their ways.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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