Winnipeg Jets Goalie received a ton of criticism this off-season for his inconsistent play, and came to training camp in improved physical condition hoping to live up to his end of a 5-year contract worth $19.5 million. After letting in 4 goals on 18 shots (.778 sv%) hockey analytics junkies will use that number to show that he isn’t worthy of even an NHL roster spot.
However, hockey is a team game. While Pavelec’s save percentage has been outside the top 30 for the last three seasons, it is defensive breakdowns like these that he has continued to go up against. Each of the four goals by the Lightning were a result poor defensive play that left the Jets goalie vulnerable.
Grant Clitsome’s pinch highlighted by the circle leaves Steve Stamkos and Jonathan Drouin on a 2 on 1. Clitsome is unable to catch Stamkos and is wide open after a beauty play by the former Halifax Moosehead.
Tyler Johnson enters the zone on the right side and tries to pass to Jonathan Drouin. Adam Lowry checks Drouin into the boards but doesn’t stay with his man. Drouin ends up wide open in front of Ondrej Pavelec and the 3rd overall pick in 2013 buries it into an open cage. Meanwhile, Pavelec, Trouba and Stuart are mesmerized by Kucharov behind the net.
This goal is created by some nifty passing on the power play. After some cycling in the corner, the puck gets to Jason Garrison at the right point. He passes across the ice to Kucharov who one touch passes it to Ondrej Palat. Palat receives the puck on a tee takes a slapper that is tipped in by Namestnikov. On this play Scheifele pursues too high at the point and leaves the cross crease pass wide open.
Adam Lowry loses the face-off, skates up the ice and loses his man Tyler Johnson. Enstrom tries to pinch on the left side but misses. Zach Bogosian has to skate all the way from the right side to catch up to the 2 on 1 and Ondrej Palat wins this battle of the Ondrej’s.
Ultimately Ondrej Pavelec is the one stopping the pucks but defensive plays like these will continue to allow prime scoring opportunities.