Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press,
It's a fair and timely question and one certainly worth asking right now about the Winnipeg Jets:
Who the heck are these guys, anyway?
Given up for dead three weeks ago, the Jets have ripped off the toe tag and jumped off the slab to get back into the Western Conference playoff discussion by going 8-2 in their first 10 games under new head coach Paul Maurice.
And the effort they served up in Sunday afternoon's 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre now appears to be more of a trend than a blip. They got solid goaltending from Al Montoya and good work from everyone in white and double blue en route to their second straight victory and fourth in the last five games.
The Jets are now 27-25-5 and with 59 points have moved into a tie with Nashville and Dallas -- four points back of Vancouver for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
via Marc Antoine Godin tweet, translated from French to English...
Therrien: "there there would have been 5 penalties late in the game for what the Jets did to Gallagher. We will ask for explanations."
Tortorella does make his official return from suspension on Monday when Vancouver plays in Detroit.
Perry was given 2 for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Mark Spector and Billy Jaffe of Sportsnet discuss possible options for Jokinen at the deadline.
"I went in and talked a little bit about what I saw, congratulated them on facing some tough adversity and winning, thanked them, and then proceeded to cancel the day off that they had tomorrow."
"It was good enough tonight but we can't rely on that being good enough in our next game. We've just got to get better."
-Paul Maurice after his first game behind the bench for the Winnipeg Jets. More on their 5-1 win over Phoenix from the CP at TSN.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
... what's at stake is so much bigger, especially given that this season is already a write-off with the Jets 10 points back of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
Moving a franchise to Winnipeg brought with it inherent risks.
Like Edmonton or smaller markets with little recent history of success (sorry, Wayne Gretzky et al was so long ago), the path to viability is clearly marked with little margin for error. Draft shrewdly, develop properly, hire good hockey people up and down the organization, including the coaching staff, and hope that as your team grows and matures and takes steps forward you become the kind of place other good hockey players and people will be drawn to.
We've seen the model happen for years in Detroit and more recently in Chicago and Pittsburgh.
But fail to hit those markers, draft poorly or make poor decisions in handing out long-term deals and that plan falls to pieces in a hurry. Make mistakes and as an organization you're forced to overpay for free agents that would rather be somewhere else or rush young players into roles they're not equipped to handle and the circle of failure spins and spins.
Andrew Ladd, the captain of the Jets on the coaching change.
As Ladd mentions, it now falls on the players.
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.
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