By: Adam Wazny | Wednesday, March 21
The Jets didn't play the way they knew they had to and it killed them in last night's 8-4 loss in Pittsburgh. Granted the Pens feature some awesome strength up the middle with Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal, and Sidney Crosby but the Jets didn't really give themselves a chance.
Claude Noel has talked about the team being built on its defensive play and emphasized the checking game heading into last night's huge game in their playoff push. Instead, the Jets fell into a pattern of trading chances with Pittsburgh which led to too many turnovers and too many prime scoring opportunities against - a lot like the team's last visit to Pittsburgh (an 8-5 thumping). You're not likely to shutdown that Pens line-up, but they can be limited.
With that painful reminder fresh in their minds, the Jets have now lost their last 3 on the road and have stalled on 11 away wins in 35 tries. Can they be something better outside the walls of the MTS Centre walls? A quick look back at their last four road wins shows two have come by 2-1 scores and all four needed the patience it takes to overcome the opposition in more than 60 minutes. In other words, they're capable of it but it's just not something they can produce consistently.
Now the Jets wait in Washington (and practice) and hope the Capitals don't extend their advantage to six points over Winnipeg in the battle for eighth in the Eastern Conference with nine games to go (8 for the 'Caps after tomorrow night's visit to Philly).
Of note tonight, Buffalo hosts Montreal and Florida visits Carolina
EASTERN CONFERENCE "LINE DANCE" ... tracking the race to get above the line between 8&9
3. FLORIDA (1. Southeast Division)
3/13 TORONTO...Panthers win 5-2
3/15 BOS ...Panthers win 6-2
3/17 BUFF ...Panthers win 3-2(SO)
3/20 @PHIL ...Panthers win 2-1 ...85PTS (10GR)
3/16 @WPG ...Caps lose 3-2
3/18 @CHI ...Caps lose 5-2
3/19 @DET ...Caps win 5-3 ...80PTS (9GR)
3/14 AVS ...Sabres lose 5-4 (SO)
3/17 @FLA ...Sabres lose 3-2(SO)
3/19 @TB ...Sabres win 7-3 ... 78 PTS (9GR)
3/16 WAS...Jets win 3-2
3/18 CAR ...Jets lose 4-3
3/20 @PITT ...Jets lose 8-4... 76PTS (9GR)