On the surface a 2-1-1 road trip (5 of 8 points) would seem like an okay trip. But sometimes the way you lose takes precedence over the final score. And how the Jets lost the 5-4 game to the New York Islanders on Thursday is what had Coach Claude Noel hot after the game.
The Jets again got behind 2-0 before they started to play. They fell behind 3-0 Tuesday in Florida before coming back to win. "It's very disrespectful to each other the way we start games, its poor," continued the Coach.
Jets did tie the game at two before the first period ended on goals by Toby Enstrom and Andrew Ladd. Ladd had four goals on the four-game trip, giving him 28 on the year, one shy of his total last year. Ladd has played in every game so far this season, the only Jet to do so.
Kyle Okposo's second of the night in the second gave the Islanders the lead, in a period that saw the Jets run themselves into penalty trouble, and end up with only five shots on goal.
Zach Bogosian's second goal in as many games and fifth on the season tied the game once more. At 11:45 a very poor call by the officials led to a penalty shot goal for Michael Grabner and again the Islanders were in front. But 36 seconds later, Dustin Byfuglien, who the officials thought hooked Grabner, again tied the game. Byfuglien ended with a goal and two assists, Enstrom a goal and an assist.
Just when it looked like the Jets would go to extra time for a fourth straight night, a turnover led to the winning goal. Travis Hamonic's slap shot was tipped by Grabner and beat Chris Mason for the winner. Mason was again sharp and had to be as the Jets got into a game of no-check river hockey with the Islanders. With the game tied the Jets had a power play with under four minutes to go, but the best scoring chance was a short handed breakaway by Josh Bailey, but Mason made the save.
"You can say all you want about coming back, but the way we played says who we are and I don't like it," continued Coach Noel. As for it being the end of the trip, "Let's not put excuses into it. We were here to win the game and could have won the game. Play the right way for the right reasons, that's all we ask. I'm not talking about the season, I'm talking about this one game."
The Jets close out the season Saturday at MTS Centre against the Tampa Bay Lightning (TSN 1290). Steven Stamkos of the Lightning sits with 59 goals on the season.
Monday and Tuesday from 6pm to 8pm there will be special wrap-up programming on TSN 1290, the radio home of the Jets, including a two-hour chat with general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff on Monday.
Jets finish 14-22-5 on the road, but were better down the stretch, 7-8-1 in their last 16.
Prior to Saturday's game the Jets will present the Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy. Snyder was a popular Atlanta Thrasher player who passed away in 2003 following a car crash. The award is for the player who best embodies perseverance, dedication and hard work so his teammates might succeed. The Snyder family will be in attendance.