The “Games in Hand” Myth

| February 24, 2012 | 0 Comments

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Talk to anyone who likes to be negative about the Jets (local media) and they will say that while the Jets are currently in 1st Place in the East the teams that are beneath them all have games in hand. This is true and should be accounted for but I think that too much weight is being put into this.

During the Flyers game I was on twitter engaged in a conversation with a writer from the Winnipeg Sun. He was harping on and on about how the Jets were way below .500 since OT losses should be counted in the record. I pointed out yes but that it really didn’t matter since the Jets were only 1pt out of 1st in the south east. Numerous fans also brought up this point.

Then he responded with this gem.








First of all I guess if you work at the Sun then facts are “nonsense”. Who needs facts when they get in the way of your narrative. Facts are for losers! Screw the facts! Lets just forget facts and go off the opinion of a writer who probably couldn’t get a job covering a major sport in another city.

I personally love the #gamesinhand hash-tag. Yes the other teams have games in hand that doesn’t change the fact that the Jets were 1pt out of 3rd at the time. (Now they are solely in 3rd place). Games in hand only matter if the other teams win. From the way Toronto, Florida and Washington have been playing lately they don’t seem to be in any position to make up those points.

All three of those teams are in a slump and within 2 weeks they will have all played the same amount as the Jets. Unless they all start winning then the Jets have a very good chance of hanging onto their position. The Jets are playing well and if they can keep winning then they will be fine.

This team was on a role in December then injuries hit them hard. At one time or another they were without their 3 top offensive players and their top 3 defenseman. When January came around without their top players the team tanked yet still managed to stay in the hunt. Now they are healthy again and guess what they are back in the hunt.

While they struggled the media was quick to say that this team wasn’t very good. When the fact that their top players were hurt was brought up the naysayers just said that this was a lack of depth. Even though any team in the nHL would struggle losing their top offensive and defensive players at the same time.

The Jets get healthy and start winning and then the narrative changes from lack of talent to “they have played more games then the other teams” or “they are not a true .500 team”. The story changes just to support their assumption that this team isn’t that good.

While it is true they have played more than the teams who they are battling, it really isn’t that valid of a point to use to put this team down. There is nothing they can do about the schedule. All they can do is play the games that are set out for them. And until the other teams show me that they can win those games in hand then I’m just going to enjoy being in 3rd place in the East.

Anything else would be nonsense.


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