D-ZONE COVERAGE: Montreal has the puck behind the Jets net and Mark Stuart (5) is keeping the opposition from attacking the goal by containing to the outside. Jacob Trouba (8) is stationed in front of Ondrej Pavelec (31) in the net.

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This article was published 13/11/2014 (2528 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

D-ZONE COVERAGE:

  • Montreal has the puck behind the Jets net and Mark Stuart (5) is keeping the opposition from attacking the goal by containing to the outside. Jacob Trouba (8) is stationed in front of Ondrej Pavelec (31) in the net.

Once the puck is moved up along the wall, Bryan Little (18) moves to defend and keep the opponent along the glass while Andrew Ladd chokes off a pass to the point.

Michael Frolik (67) is stationed in the high slot to prevent a pass into a dangerous scoring zone.

J.P. ON WHAT HAS CHANGED:

  • "There is less chasing and a much bigger commitment to the details. The Jets have been effective at keeping or pushing everything to the outside and taking away the chances in the slot and prime scoring areas.

"They’ve made a concerted effort to pressure when the opposition gets into a scoring area, but when they’re not there, the Jets are no longer running around with their heads cut off. There’s a much more consistent effort in this area. We’re not seeing players being mesmerized by the puck and falling asleep and then having an opposition player scoring while a Jet simply stands beside him."

STATISTICAL EVIDENCE:

  • Heading into Wednesday’s action, the Jets ranked 6th in goals against (2.06 per game). That is a significant jump from last season where they finished 22nd overall (2.82).

The work is reflective in the numbers for Pavelec, who has a 1.99 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage — considerably better than last season’s totals (3.01/.901).

"The big difference around Pavelec is how the Jets have effectively taken away second and third scoring opportunities," said Vigier. "He’s not being asked to make as many of those acrobatic saves where he has to try and dive across the crease on those shots where he has no chance. Now he makes the first save and the puck is cleared with no more mess in front of him."

J.P.’S LAST WORD:

  • "What Jets coach Paul Maurice has done since Day 1 of training camp is taken out the gray areas.

He’s simplified it for the players and they now know exactly what to do.

When a player is uncertain of what to do or where to go, it leads to doubt and hesitation.

"Overall, the most dramatic change has been the work ethic in the defensive zone. It’s very visible. They may not be scoring a lot right now, but they are competing on every puck, every game. They stay the course and they see the results and those feed each other."

 

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 does Jets analysis for both TSN 1290 and Radio Canada and teaches power skating and skill development for kids of all ages (jeanvigier11@gmail.com).

 

— Ed Tait