Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Neutral-zone turnover = scoring chance against

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The Jets:

9 - Evander Kane

67 - RW Michael Frolik

55 - C Mark Scheifele

44 - D Zach Bogosian

39 - D Toby Enstrom

31 - G Ondrej Pavelec

 

Setting the scene:

The Jets and Tampa Bay Lightning were tied 2-2 when the third period began in Tuesday night's 4-2 Winnipeg loss. The final 20 minutes open with Mark Scheifele's line, featuring Evander Kane and Michael Frolik, on the ice along with the defence pairing of Zach Bogosian and Toby Enstrom.

 

The situation:

The Jets are 30-plus seconds into a shift -- around 40 seconds is considered a good shift length -- when they begin to break out of their own zone. Scheifele makes a smart pass to Kane who, as he crosses the Jets' blueline, attempts to chip the puck behind the Tampa defence to allow for his team to make a line change.

 

The turnover, Part I:

Kane's chip is deflected by Tampa defenceman and, as a result, the puck doesn't go deep. Still, Frolik and Kane exit the ice along with Enstrom and Bogosian (Scheifele stays on) and are replaced by Andrew Ladd, Blake Wheeler, Mark Stuart and Dustin Byfuglien.

 

The breakdown:

Ladd, Wheeler, Stuart and Byfuglien scramble to get into position after the quick change as Tampa makes a pair of tape-to-tape passes in transition and is instantly back on the attack in the Jets' zone. Dustin Byfuglien manages to corral a loose puck in the corner and, under pressure from Tampa winger Alex Killorn, fires a pass behind the Winnipeg net to Stuart.

Stuart moves up along the boards and is presented with two options: 1. Hammer the puck along the boards further or 2: Send a pass to Wheeler, who has turned from protecting the front of the net when Byfuglien retrieved the loose puck in the corner, and is moving up ice near in the Jets' zone just wide of the face-off dot.

 

The turnover, Part II:

Stuart's pass is intercepted by Valterri Filpulla, who quickly feeds Killorn for a one-timer that, luckily, whistles past Ondrej Pavelec but just misses the net.

 

J.P.'s says:

"These things are keys to the Winnipeg Jets lately. They've been having trouble with turnovers and they do several things. First, they hand over the momentum to the opposition. But they can also lead to tired players at the end of a shift because of the inability to make a line change and then, as a result, you are giving up scoring chances because you are in your zone too long.

"In this example they have full control of the puck in defensive zone about 38 seconds into a shift, almost time for a change, when one mistake ultimately leads to a chance against.

"The attempt to chip the puck behind the Tampa defence was the correct read, but any time you turn the puck over in the neutral zone or defensive zone it makes it difficult to change and keeps the momentum with the opposition. On this play one mistake led to another and the puck was almost in the back of the Jets' net."

 

J.P. Vigier, who grew up in Notre Dame de Lourdes, Man., is a former NHL winger (Atlanta Thrashers, 2000-07) who finished his career in the Swiss league. He is part of TSN 1290's Jets' broadcasts and teaches power skating and skill development for kids of all ages (jeanvigier11@gmail.com).

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 11, 2014 ??65534

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