Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Jets Find Their Wings

Article Written by The Comish - Winnipeg Corrspondent
They say home is where the heart is but the Winnipeg Jets have proven that isn't necessarily true as they picked up 3 out of a possible 4 points on their visit to the East coast. Even the most ardent Jets fan could not have predicted that this would be the case. It is too early to say if this is an accurate measure of this squad or if they were in the right places at the right time.

The Jets lost the Bruins game in a shootout but if you fed Claude Noel truth serum odds are he would say they were lucky to escape with a point at Boston as the Bruins outplayed and out muscled the Jets. The goal post was the first star for them as Boston hit it 5 times.

The Jets did play with grit and determination evidenced by the fact that Chris Throburn opened the scoring before the well went dry and the Jets went almost two and a half periods without a goal. However, Boston also went scoreless until the shoot out and were playing their home opener.

The Jets performance against Boston gave the team much needed confidence that had gone out of their sails in the Ottawa game in their home opener and this carried on into Washington where they dominated play. It was a great team effort and Coach Noel seemed to find the right line combinations that produced offence and kept Mr. Ovechkin in check.

The other positive signs from games 2 and 3 of this sprint to the Stanley Cup where the play of Dustin Byfuglien and Evander Kane who both look to be maturing into their roles on the team. Byfuglien is playing a freewheeling game amassing 13 shots on net in only 3 games. It appears that he is playing with great confidence knowing that the steady and smooth skating Tobias Enstrom has his back.

Evander Kane looks like he has overcome his twitter follies and is focused on becoming a complete player. He is still shooting first and asking questions later( leads the forwards with 11 shots on net) but he is also looking to pass the puck, which is something he did not do much of last season.

Now before we plan the Stanley Cup parade let’s put the things into perspective. The season is just 3 games old, Andrew Ladd is still taking untimely penalties in addition to coughing up the puck in his own end too often, they don't have a game changing playmaker(although in time Kane could be that guy) and they still get caught running around in their own end to often.

However, this is a young team with untapped potential. It will be up to Coach Noel to get the most out of these players early in the season if they want to make the playoffs and based on the last two games he seems to have their attention. The next game against Pittsburgh will be a gigantic test to see if the Jets can stay the course and prove that there is no place like home.

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