Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Gary LawLess of the Winnipeg Free Press,
Dustin Byfuglien is going to be mentioned in trade talks as the NHL draft draws closer and the talking point that will be raised again and again is his weight.
It was evident Byfuglien grew heavier this season as the games moved on and according to accredited Jets blogger Pete Tessier, the player's weight rose to 302 pounds by season's end.
If there's any truth to this number, Byfuglien is virtually untradeable. Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff can't engage in trade talks with another GM and keep Byfuglien's weight off the table until the very end -- then hit his colleague with an, "oh, by the way, Buff's a little big right now."
from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,
The Winnipeg Jets cannot and will not move forward as a team with Byfuglien as he is currently constructed. He is a foundation piece and his half-the-time good and half-the-time bad output leaves the team with unsure footing.
The guessing and hoping has to end. It has to be now or never, where Byfuglien is concerned. He's either going to decide to be elite and do what is necessary to reach that level or he's going to continue to depreciate.
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff must determine whether Byfuglien is on the verge of a breakthrough. Will Byfuglien transform into a defenceman the Jets can count on every night? Or will it be the status quo?
If it's the latter, it's time to part ways.
Trade him now while there is still value. The perfect deal likely won't be out there but not moving will haunt this franchise.
This segment recently aired on TSN.
from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,
The final score was 4-2 for the visiting Montreal Canadiens and by the time the buzzer arrived, there was no steam left in the players or the fans. The promise of this season had been broken. And hearts in Jets jerseys, both on the ice and in the stands, were stopped.
The Jets, having been dealt one final cruel blow, had nothing left to offer. Their will had been broken. Weeks of tottering on an emotional ledge had taken its toll, and now with their fate determined, the Jets went fetal. No fight, no push-back, no nothing.
Taking its cue from the players, the audience many consider the best in hockey lost its voice.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
With 51 points, the Jets can finish with no more than 53 by winning their final game. It means the teams they’re chasing – the eighth-place Ottawa Senators and the seventh-place New York Rangers – can clinch a playoff spot with a single win in any of their remaining games. Despite earning just a single point in the shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, the New York Islanders locked down the sixth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference when Winnipeg lost.
So things are dire for the Jets, who were playing for the second time in two nights, and running mostly on adrenaline, knowing the stakes were so high. But the Capitals knew that, too.
It was the last time the two teams met as Southeast Division rivals and Washington can thank the Jets, in many ways, for saving their season. It was back in the third week of March when the Capitals, languishing in 14th place in the East, visited Winnipeg and swept the Jets in two one-sided games, outscoring them by a 10-1 margin.
No goal for Winnipeg and I believe it was the right call.
The screenshot is right when the puck hits the ice, on edge and you can see it makes contact with the goal line.
Watch the video below...
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
The Winnipeg Jets’ team bus stopped at the intersection of Dreams and Fears early Tuesday morning, as they pulled into Washington after a clutch 2-1 win at Buffalo, their entire season now laid out before them in one tidy divisional battle against the Capitals.
The Jets wanted a shot at the Southwest Division title, and at least a playoff birth? Here it is, boys. Right there for the taking.
They feared coming away with neither? Well, let’s talk at about 9 p.m. CT Tuesday night, and we’ll see what’s left of the Jets’ season.
“(Tuesday’s game) has been circled on our calendar for a long time now,” captain Andrew Ladd told media after the game in Buffalo. “We wanted to put ourselves into a position where it was going to be a meaningful game and we’ve done that. So here it is.”
Winnipeg Jets forward Olli Jokinen is out 6-8 weeks with a high ankle sprain after colliding with New York Islanders defenceman Thomas Hickeyearly in Saturday's game.
According to Gary Lawless of TSN Radio 1290, defenceman Zach Bogosian is also out at least a week with a concussion. The blueliner appeared to be injured after taking a hit to the head from Islanders forward Kyle Okposo.
Watch the hit below...
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
The third-place Capitals and ninth-place Jets are separated by a mere two points heading into the penultimate weekend of the season, each team with four games left on its schedule.
Washington, whose eight-game winning streak was snapped by the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night, remains in the division lead with 50 points, but the Jets trail by two after edging the Carolina Hurricanes in overtime Thursday 4-3.
Though the Jets are tied with the New York Rangers at 48 points, the eighth-place Rangers have a game in hand.
The two competing storylines are both compelling: one a team that has essentially risen from the dead after a dreadful start to the season, much in part to Alex Ovechkin's dynamic play; another club desperate to earn its first playoff berth since 2007.
Who has the advantage from here?
Three of the Caps' final four games are against playoff teams -- Montreal, Ottawa and Boston. The other game?
That's right, an all-important four-point match against the Jets at home Tuesday.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org