Kukla's Korner Hockey
“I’m pretty sure good people, beautiful people live in Winnipeg. I’m pretty sure passionate fans. I didn’t mean it and I don’t want to offend anybody. I just I sincerely apologize if I offend somebody, fans in Canada and Winnipeg. I didn’t mean it to be honest.”
-Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.
Today Bryzgalov apologized for the statement he made when it was a possibility the Coyotes could be moving to Winnipeg, remember?
“Not many people live there, not many Russian people there,” he said at the time. “Plus, it’s cold. There’s no excitement except the hockey. No park, no entertaining for the families, for the kids. It’s going to be tough life for your family.”
more from Paul Waldie of the Globe and Mail
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
It’s not often a 5-2 loss to the Florida Panthers serves as a demarcation point for a franchise, but that’s exactly what happened to the Winnipeg Jets a week ago.
After losing to the Panthers and looking putrid doing so, the Jets were booed off the ice by their own fans. The same fans, incidentally, who waited 15 years for the NHL to return the way a spinster pines for marriage and who hadn’t seen the team in action at home in more than two weeks.
It was then the Jets stopped being cute and cuddly. And now if the team has any hope at all of making the playoffs in their first season back in Manitoba, they have to establish an identity beyond being the former Atlanta Thrashers, beyond being the new novelty act in the NHL, beyond being Canada’s seventh team.
Yes, NHL hockey belongs in Winnipeg. We all get that. Now it’s up to the Jets to prove they belong in the NHL.
from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,
Despite having moved to Winnipeg and taken on a new name and colours, the Atlanta Thrashers still, unfortunately, exist.
But a renewed campaign to permanently extinguish them is upon us.
Management and some players in the Winnipeg Jets dressing room have seen enough of the Thrashers’ way of doing things and are now intent on eliminating any remaining DNA.
Management doesn’t like the approach the group takes, as evidenced by recent comments from coach Claude Noel.
“We have to raise our standard of existence. We have a low standard of ourselves. That’s what we are right now,” said Noel. “That’s part of trying to change your identity.”
from Kirk Penton of the Winnipeg Sun,
If you think you’re a frustrated fan of the Winnipeg Jets, try being their coach.
Claude Noel is no longer Mr. Nice Guy. The honeymoon is over. The bench boss’ frustration level has reached new peaks after Thursday’s dismal 5-2 home loss to the Florida Panthers, which was Winnipeg’s fourth setback in a row.
“I’m a pretty black-and-white, up front guy. So this is what we are,” Noel said after Friday morning’s practice at MTS Centre. “We’ve spoken to each other, and this is what we’ve said, and right now this is unacceptable. This is not what we’re going to be about moving forward. You may think this is what we are, but it’s not going to get shaped this way. This is not going to go. This is not what I want, and this will not be the representation that we’re getting. It will get going in the right direction.”
from Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press,
They spent almost two weeks on the road, visiting seven cities in four states. Broke bread together. Went to battle on the ice together. Won some, lost some and gave us a sampling of what the 2011-12 Winnipeg Jets are all about.
“You know,” said Jet winger Chris Thorburn during the trip, “winning is contagious and I think we’re learning about ourselves and gaining confidence as games go on. What I like is everyone is contributing in different ways and the more we can play like that, the more success we can have.”
Good point, that….
Consider this, then, the six things we learned about the Jets while they were away…
NO LEAD IS SAFE- From the confounding department: this Jets team must learn—absolutely must—how to close down teams when they have them by the throats. Four times against the Sabres they blew leads, including a 2-0 advantage in the first that was wiped out in all of 11 seconds. They led 5-1 in Philly, trailed 7-6, blew an 8-7 advantage and then won 9-8. They blew a 2-0 lead against the Panthers before winning in OT. Developing a knockout punch when an opponent is on the ropes would help. But learning how to cover up and not get counter-punched is paramount.
from Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun,
The head coach of the Winnipeg Jets spent a good chunk of Monday’s meeting with the media defending the play of Byfuglien, who has been subject to plenty of criticism in the early stages of the season for his limited production and routinely getting caught up ice and out of position.
“He likes playing defence and I don’t think he sees himself as a forward,” said Noel. “If you want to go down that road, that’s an area I’m not prepared to go right now. We’ll keep him playing defence. There are some things he can give us back there. Right now, I’m not entertaining the thought of moving him up front.”
Byfuglien was at the rink for Monday’s optional skate, but didn’t go on the ice and wasn’t around to speak with reporters by the time the room was opened up for interviews.
Byfuglien seems to be frustrated by his play and it’s clear he’s trying to work through it.
I normally don’t point to game recaps, but if you missed the game, it was a wild one. Every time I was about to change the channel, someone scored.
from Paul Waldie of the Globe and Mail,
Seventeen goals, three goaltending changes, one blown-four goal lead and countless crazy bounces. Throw in a hero goal in the last minute and it’s hard to believe this was a game involving the Winnipeg Jets. But it was and the Jets managed to hang on, just barely, to beat the Philadelphia Flyers 9-8 to in front of a cranky crowd at the Wells Fargo Center.
added 10:39pm, video highlights below…
added 1:18am 10/28/11, I’ve also added a 2nd video with just the goals below….
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The area of inconsistency undermining the NHL isn’t supplementary discipline as applied by VP Brendan Shanahan, but rather initial discipline as determined by the league’s referees.
Seriously, one night Ryan Callahan is called for goaltender interference on the Island for kind of brushing against Evgeni Nabokov on a play going nowhere, but a few nights later nothing is called against the Penguins’ Matt Cooke in Winnipeg for knocking aside Ondrej Pavelec while a goal is being scored by Zbynek Michalek.
What’s the standard?
One night, Brandon Prust is called for boarding in Vancouver for having the Canucks’ Andrew Alberts fall down into him while finishing a check at the slightest touch.
But a couple of nights later, Cory Sarich gets away scot-free in Calgary for nailing Brad Richards from behind in front of the Rangers’ bench—not far, coincidentally, from the spot on the ice where Curtis Glencross concussed Chris Drury a couple of years ago.
What’s the standard?
The game continues to get faster. The NHL’s referees have not kept up.
From the CP via CBC:
Winnipeg Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien has pleaded not guilty to charges related to an alleged impaired boating incident.
Court documents with the Hennepin County court in Minnesota show not guilty pleas were entered to all four offences.
Police stopped a boat driven by Byfuglien on Lake Minnetonka in August.
Court documents say the 26-year-old passed a breathalyzer test but a police drug recognition expert concluded he was under the influence of drugs.
from Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press,
Winless in three tries and in a terrible nosedive to open the season, the Jets are both perplexing and vexing their boss. And the man who stepped up to the podium following Sunday’s optional skate at the MTS Centre looked and sounded nothing like the jovial sort who entertained everyone prior to the historic Oct. 9 opener.
“If I look at the three games and the way they went… are we achieving to the level that I think we should be? The answer would be no, we are underachieving. We are way below the bar,” Noel said Sunday in a tell-itlike- it-is autopsy of his club.
“Why is that? Why are you, an NHL player, playing like an American league player? And it’s not one or two, it’s more than that. What has happened between last season, training camp and the start? Where did this go sideways? You can’t tell me this is what we are, because if anybody was enthusiastic about the season, I was. I believe we can be a playoff team.
“But we don’t look like one now.”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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