Rewriting the Story

| March 6, 2012 | 0 Comments

(Photo by Marianne Helm/Getty Images)

The Jets are on the road to the playoffs yet that still hasn’t stopped some of the “experts” out there to still discount this teams chances. Ever since the NHL came back the media (a lot of them local) have gone out of their way to try and put down this team. The argument they like to use over and over again is “Its just the Thrashers in different uniforms”.

I’ve seen this written and said multiple times throughout the season. Anytime the Jets lose a game someone out there will gleefully point it that this team is still the Thrashers.

You see Journalism becomes a lot easier when you can fit stories into a pre conceived narrative. You come up with a thesis early on and then just bend the facts to fit it.

The media decided that the Jets weren’t going to be good this year. So all season long all of their stories have to fit that narrow parameter. When the season opened they looked like they were right. The Jets took a while to find their legs and for a good chuck of the beginning of the season sat near the bottom of the standings.

Slowly they found their legs and started to win especially at home. Thats when the “they are still the Thrashers” meme started. Last season the Thrashers started off well and then faltered at about the halfway mark. So when the Jets started to play well and win games the media just decided that since they fell part last season they would again.

Well the Jets didn’t fall apart, they excelled so the media had to find an angle that would fit their thesis. They came up with the Jets can’t win on the road and will falter in the coming months once they have to play away from the MTS Centre.

Sure enough due to injuries the Jets tumbled a bit in January but still managed to stay in the hunt. Then February rolled around, the Jets got healthy and started to win again.

Well this didn’t fit the narrative so the media looked for something to fault the Jets on. Even though they were battling for the 3rd seed in the Southeast it still didn’t count because the Jets had played more games than the other teams in their division. Almost every story about the Jets included the phrase “Games in hand”.

Yes the Jets played more but the media was willing to already concede those games to Washington, Florida and whomever else the Jets were battling for the playoff spot. They just took it for granted that Washington and Florida would win all their games and thus fulfill their predictions that Winnipeg is not a playoff team.

This past weekend was suppose to be when the Jets were put into their place with both Florida and Washington making up 2 games in hand. Well sadly for the media it didn’t work out the way they wanted. Washington and Florida both squandered the chance to put any distance between themselves and the Jets. So then the narrative has to change again.

This week the old “they are just the Thrashers” standby came back. The media pointed out that the Jets were only 5pts ahead of where Atlanta was last season and once they have to hit the road they will just fade away.

I am no beautiful mind but  5pts ahead is still ahead. Last season at this stage the Thrashers were done. They were out of the playoff picture and the team was in its death throws with one foot out of Atlanta. As it stands today Winnipeg is 3pts ahead of Washington for 8th in the east, only 2pts behind Florida for the lead in the Southeast and 4pts behind 7th place Ottawa.

To put it simply they are in contention and will be until the end of the season. If the Jets can get a win or two on this mini road swing against Vancouver and Calgary then they will be the favorite to clinch the final playoff spot in the east.

Yes they used to be the Thrashers but things have changed. They are in a new city, with actual fans, they have new ownership, new management and some new players. Yes a lot of the Thrasher pieces are still in Winnipeg but now it seems that they know what to do with them. Wheeler, Bogosian, Kane, Little, Burmistrov, Pavelec and others are all having the best seasons of their careers.

The team knows that things are different and are playing that way. Lets just hope that one day the media figures it out.

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Category: Jets News

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