Saturday, January 19, 2013

Jets 2013 Season: Delayed on Takeoff

Article written by The Comish - Winnipeg Jets Correspondent Sportmentary Online Sports Talk
An unfortunate pattern is developing with theWinnipeg Jets- they cannot win their home openers. Last year the Habs spoiled the welcome back party and this year it was the Ottawa Senators who stole the show winning 4-1 before a sellout crowd at the phone booth, most of whom left into the frigid evening wondering if it was worth the wait.

There is no need to push the panic button just yet as this is only game one of the season and this plane needs to be deiced before it can take off. It looks like five days of training camp left the team delayed on the tarmac. The Jets did get out of the gates fast by scoring the first goal on blast by big Dustin Byfuglien who had a solid effort and was easily the best Jet on the ice but far too many Jets were passengers looking for their luggage on this day. 

The Jets were out shot  outplayed and outworked today. It was not as if they were trying to lose in fact to the contrary much like last year’s season opener they were pressing and perhaps trying too hard. After all it was 2-1 heading into the third period and the Jets did out chance the Sens in period two, which but for an unlucky bounce could have been just as easily a 1-1 contest heading into the third period.

If there is one reason to panic it’s that the this team does not have a natural goal scorer  who can change the game in an instant. It goes without saying that these players don't grow on frozen ponds and all teams have that type of player on their wish list. Evander Kane could be that player but he is too inconsistent and he still needs to gain more experience.  

Blake Wheeler had a breakout season in 2012 but he is not a natural goal scorer and he works for his points.  Much like last year this team will have to score by committee and make a commitment to defense if they hope to finish in the top eight. There are 47 games remaining and the Jets have a big test coming up as they head to Boston for a noon contest on Monday and then they are in Washington on Tuesday for an evening tilt with Mr. Ovechkin and company. 

This season is going to be a sprint not a marathon and it will be up to Coach Noel and his staff to find this teams identity early and not make them something they are not.  The Jets are a lunch bucket bunch and will have to work for every victory as none of them will come easy.

The question is are they up to the task.  We know the fans will support them but will they support each other.  If they don't they will be sitting on the tarmac waiting for clearance to take off come playoff time.

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