These past two games the Jets have played very well. They are limiting the self inflicted wounds and playing a punishing forecheck first kind of offense. Some of the NHL’s biggest stars have been shut down by a Jets D that just a week ago looked softer than butter on a hot day.
So what’s the deal? Why do they play so differently game to game? The answer is competition.
Against the top teams in the NHL the Jets have fared well, yet against the weak sisters of the poor they have struggled. When they face the likes of a Stamkos or Ovechkin the Jets pick up their game and seem to play up to the other teams level. In no world do the Jets match up on paper to the likes of the Caps or the Bolts but they utterly dominated them these past two games.
Then against the Blue Jackets or the Senators, teams that they should be able to beat easily they have fallen is spectacular ways. In games versus weaker teams the Jets seem to just set it on auto pilot and phone it in to disastrous results.
So the question is why? Why does Winnipeg play good against the elite yet poorly against the weaker teams? It could be human nature. Sports is riddled with cautionary tales of superior teams taking lesser ones lightly. Maybe the Jets are taking some teams too lightly and perhaps some teams do the same for the Jets.
It could be coaching. Maybe Claude Noel and his staff are spending too much time preparing for the better teams and not putting the work in for games against the likes of the Blue Jackets? Hockey is a mental game and maybe the Jets are not getting their heads into the matches versus lower teams?
Whatever the answer is it really doesn’t matter. Somehow the Jets need to play as good against the Flames as the do against the Flyers. They should have one speed, one gear and thats full throttle. If you take your foot off the gas for a second any team in this league can beat you. There is a lot of talent in the NHL and if give them any opening they will make you pay.
We won’t know until the All-Star break if this team is legit or not. We should have a good idea by then if they are a playoff team. If you ask the pundits they will say no. The Jets are still the Thrashers with nicer jerseys, more fans and are still one of the weaker teams in the league who are are destined to compete for a lottery pick. Yet I will wager that these experts haven’t watched other than a handle of every Jets game.
I’ve watched every game this season. This is a good team that sabotages itself. Bad penalties and stupid turnovers have plagued this team like a medieval french village. Throughout this season we have seen glimpses of something special. The young players are starting to get their footing and the veterans are beginning to lead by example. This was clearly evident the past two games at the MTSC Centre.
This team is going to need every win it can get if it hopes to make the post season for only the second time in franchise history. They cannot afford to let up against any team. Yeah its easy to get pumped playing against the Caps but its the games against the Senators or Islanders that really matter because those are ones that you should win. They are games that you HAVE to get 2pts from. You are expected to and must because it in’t going to get any easier.
This is not a great team but its also not a bad team. To be perfectly honest the Jets are a middle of the pack club that if they play up to their potential could grab a playoff birth.
So can the real Winnipeg Jets stand up and beat the crap out of that park loving Brzygolov tomorrow night?
Category: Jets News