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Winnipeg Jets News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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3/25/15: The Winnipeg Jets are known around the NHL for having one of the loudest buildings in the league, despite being the smallest. Playoff hockey has not been in Winnipeg since the first iteration of the Jets left decades ago for Phoenix. In short, that building will be rocking if the Jets get into the postseason. The Jets are playing very well right now and are currently holding off the L.A. Kings for the final wild card spot. Their come from behind shootout win over the St. Louis Blues was very big last week and they just need to keep it up for another couple of weeks.
3/18/15: The Winnipeg Jets have been one of the surprise teams this season and have been in playoff position for the last few months. Unfortunately, they have been slumping lately while the Los Angeles Kings have been rising, and found themselves out of a playoff spot last Friday morning. The Jets have taken a lot of injuries on defense and it is beginning to show. The latest was Tyler Myers, who has stepped up over the last few weeks. The Jest recalled Keaton Ellerby from the AHL to take his place, but really need some wins to get back in the playoff race.
3/11/15: The Winnipeg Jets are not going down without a fight, though it would make life so much easier to many teams in the Western Conference if they would simply call it a day. That does not seem to be in their DNA as they cling to a wild card spot with about 15 games left in the regular season. Michael Hutchinson seems to have taken the starting goaltender spot from Ondrej Pavelec and sporting a respectable 2.34 goals against average and .918 save percentage with two shutouts in 33 games this season. The Jets are on their Florida swing this week, at the Panthers on Thursday and at Tampa on Saturday.
3/4/15: The Winnipeg Jets are clinging for their playoff lives, but are still in fairly good position to make their first postseason since they were the Atlanta Thrashers. While they may have one of the smallest arenas in the league, they have tremendously passionate fans who will make it very tough to play in Winnipeg, should they make the playoffs. Currently, they hold the first wild card spot, but there are many teams that still have a chance. It will be a rough road, literally, for the Jets this week as they head on a road trip to Nashville on Saturday and St. Louis on Tuesday. Those are also the two top teams in the Central Division.
2/25/15: The Winnipeg Jets have suffered a bit of a setback on their quest to get into the playoffs. Rookie defenseman Ben Chaiarot will be out an estimated six weeks with a broken hand, an injury he suffered in a fight with Toronto's Daniel Winnik in a 4-3 loss last Sunday. Chairot has been a pleasant surprise for the Jets. He was called up when the team was short of defensemen a couple of months ago but played well enough to stick around. The Jets still trail the Chicago Blackhawks by four points but are in good shape for a playoff bid.
2/18/15: The Winnipeg Jets are in 'win now' mode and made a blockbuster trade with the Buffalo Sabres to improve their chances of making the playoffs for the first time since moving to Winnipeg. The Jets traded Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian and Jason Kasdorf for Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford, Joel Armia, Brendan Lemieux and a 2015 first round pick. Myers is a fine young defenseman that can play 25 minutes a game. Kane had become a thorn in the side of the Jets and is out for the remainder of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery. So it looks like every one is happy and the Jets got a few nice pieces to build on.
2/11/15: As the NHL regular season starts to enter into its final few months, the Winnipeg Jets are not ceding to the common expectation that they will slide. Instead, the Jets are still within striking distance of the Chicago Blackhawks for third in the Central and currently hold a wild card spot. But there has been a lot of speculation about power forward Evander Kane. Head coach Paul Maurice made him a healthy scratch last week and then it was learned that he is playing with an injury. It was then announced that Kane would be having season ending surgery on his shoulder, so it is doubtful anyone will trade for him.
2/5/15: Winnipeg, like the Calgary Flames, was not expected to be this competitive this season. However, more than halfway through the schedule and the Jets are comfortably sitting in a wild card spot with a chance to catch any of the teams ahead of them in the Central Division (Nashville, St. Louis and/or Chicago) for a guaranteed spot. If they were in the Pacific Division, they would be in second place. The big difference between the Jets and the three teams above them is goal differential. The Jets are at a respectable +13, but everyone else is +30 or better. Still, the Jets are doing very well this season and it would be great for the game if they make the playoffs.
1/28/15: There is good news and bad news for the Winnipeg Jets this week. The good news is that they headed into the All Star break as one of the hottest teams in the league with five consecutive victories. That has put them only two points out third place (behind Chicago, with 62) but in line for a wild card spot. The bad news came when it was announced that the NHL and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL could not work out a date for the Jets to host the Heritage Classic Game. The outdoor game between Canadian teams will likely be moved back to the 2016-17 season.
1/14/15: The last couple of weeks have been hard on the Winnipeg Jets. They had a nice hot streak going which got them tied for third with the St. Louis Blues in the Central Division. Since then, though, the two teams have gone in opposite directions. Winnipeg is now six points behind the Blues, but comfortably up on a rejuvenated Colorado by five points in the standings. The Jets hit the road for two tough games this week: at Dallas on Thursday and at Chicago on Friday, before returning home to host the lowly Arizona Coyotes on Sunday.
1/7/15: By most predictions, the Jets should not be where they are in the standings right now. They are better. Through the end of the 2014 calendar year, Winnipeg is in fourth place in the Central Division with 45 points - only two points behind the St. Louis Blues. That has them in the mix for a playoff spot if they can sustain it. The Jets biggest improvement has been defensively, where they have only given up 92 goals, or 2.4 per game on average. Winnipeg has been better on the road than at home, posting an outstanding 11-4-4 record. They can improve on those stats this week on a road trip that takes them to Arizona on Thursday, Los Angeles on Saturday and Anaheim on Sunday.
12/3/14: For the past few seasons, the Jets' Achilles Heel has been in net, particularly with starting goalie Ondrej Pavelec. But Pavs started the season red-hot and got the Jets to the top portion of the Central Division standings. Unfortunately, he has since cooled down and is on a four game losing streak. That downturn, combined with the Blackhawks coming alive, has pushed Winnipeg down to fourth place in the division. Overall, Pavelec is 7-8-2 with a 9.17 save percentage. Those are pedestrian numbers and one wonders if the Jets will make a move soon to salvage the season.
11/19/14: The knock on the Winnipeg Jets this season was the problems they have suffered with for the past few years - goaltending. Starter Ondrej Pavelec has traditionally been about average, if not below. That has changed this season as Pavelec is on fire with an excellent .928 save percentage. Backup Michael Hutchinson has been better (in limited work) with a .949 save percentage. Improved defense has helped tremendously and the Jets are playing as well as they have in years. They are currently third in the Central Division with 20 points, and that is ahead of Chicago.
11/5/14: Losing a shootout is always unpleasant, but it worse when the team you are faced against has a history of never winning the tiebreaking frame. Such a fate fell on the Winnipeg Jets last week when they faced New Jersey in a shootout. New Jersey had not won a shootout since March 2013 - a streak of 18 shootout losses. However, Jacob Josefson scored the only shootout goal, giving the Devils a 2-1 win. Winnipeg's schedule remains tough in the early going, with home games against Nashville and Pittsburgh this week, followed by a trip to Ottawa.
11/12/14: The Winnipeg Jets continued on their surprising 2014-15 campaign by moving up into third place in the Central Division - ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild. And this looks like a team that sticks together. Evander Kane continues to show he is a top power forward in the NHL. He earned the Gordie Howe Hat Trick last week against the Penguins when he recorded a goal, an assist and a fight. If the Jets keep this up, then they will have no reason to trade Kane, though many other teams would want him despite the price tag.
10/29/14: The Jets have struggled this season, much as they did at the end of last season, which suggests that the bounce they received from naming Paul Maurice as head coach back in January is over. But Maurice is not about to pout. He insists that his team is playing good offense, just not converting scoring chances into goals. The Jets are averaging only two goals a game, and that will improve in time. At the same time, they may want to look at goaltending options soon, because the current regime is shaky at best. Winnipeg heads to the States for a long road trip, with games at the Islanders, Devils, Rangers and Blackhawks this week.
10/22/14: It has been a tough start to the season for the Winnipeg Jets, and that is not good in the hyper-competitive Central Division. Through four games, the Jets are 1-3-0, which has quickly put them in the bottom of the division. Defense has not been too shabby, with the Jets only allowing 11 goals (2.75 per game). However, offense is a problem and that is made worse with Evander Kane's injury. Winnipeg has only managed seven goals all season and were shut out by the Nashville Predators last week. To put that in perspective, the Tampa Bay Lightning scored seven goals against the Montreal Candiens last week. Tampa will be in town on Friday, followed by Columbus on Sunday.
10/15/14: Winnipeg is another one of those good Western Conference teams that has the misfortune of being in the Western Conference. They are strong enough to win a lot of games, but seem to be on the bubble for making the playoffs. They got their 2014-15 season off to a solid start by taking down the Arizona Coyotes 6-2. But the win was not without a cost. Power forward Evander Kane collided with a teammate and left the game early with a knee injury. The injury could keep him out for a few days or even weeks. Of course, if the rest of the team plays like they did in Kane's absence, then this could be a team to watch this season.
10/8/14: While the Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars are worried about their backup goaltending, the Jets have a far bigger concern - their starting goaltending. Ondrej Pavelec has been the starting goalie there for a few years now, but has consistently ranked among the bottom third of goalies in the league with a save percentage just over .900 each of the last three seasons. It is kind of a wonder why the Jets did not try to claim Jakob Markstrom off waivers (from the Canucks) when they had the chance. Given that the Jets are actually pretty close to being a playoff team, it makes one wonder why they did not take a chance to improve their roster.
10/1/14: There is no question that the Jets have a potential superstar on their roster with power forward Evander Kane. He is young. He is tough. He can score goals. All great attributes and those are skills that every team (particularly in the Western Conference) need. He can be a franchise player. He was also almost dealt to the Philadelphia Flyers. Ultimately, the two sides could not come to an agreement. If they had, Winnipeg would have lost their best player, though it is speculation on what the return could have been. But Kane is a unique talent, and keeping him another year could drive up his value and benefit the Jets in the long run.
9/24/14: The Winnipeg Jets have 99 problems, and, yes, goaltending is one of them. Winnipeg actually has a pretty good top six on offense and can handle their own with blueliners. But they have not been able to get that elite goaltender that can get them out of lower class of the West and propel them into the playoffs. The team has invited journeyman Danny Taylor to training camp. While not an earth-shattering development, the NHL does have a rich tradition of journeymen propelling their team to wins - just look at Dwayne Rolloson with Tampa a few years ago.
9/17/14: The Jets may have a superstar in the making with Evander Kane. Of course, they may have a lot of other baggage on their hands with Kane, not including his assault case. Kane is an extremely gifted power forward that can clear out defensemen to create scoring lanes. Of course, his relationship with the Jets has been contentious at times. It is not surprise that many experts predict that he may be traded at some point. That would be a blow to the Jets, as they do have a guy that can draw fans in, even in a small market like Winnipeg.
8/28/14: The Jets did the right thing back in April by signing head coach Paul Maurice to a long term deal. He was brought in to the fold in January after the team fired Claude Noel. Maurice immediately had an impact and the Jets became a team that had a realistic shot at the playoffs. They stayed in contention until the final weeks of the season. Maurice now has had time to move his family to Winnipeg - and it is just another move for them. Maurice has been with Harford then Carolina (when the team moved), Toronto, back to Carolina and even a season in Russia with the KHL. Hopefully they can settle down for a few years.
8/21/14: When head coach Paul Maurice inherited the Jets midseason earlier in the year, his predecessor had moved defenseman Dustin Byfuglien to offense to try and generate more points. Maurice kept him on offense for the rest of the season. He is a big guy and tough to move in the crease. He also does generate offense. As the season starts, the debate in Winnipeg is whether or not to move him back to defense. There are good arguments on both sides, but one key factor is that on defense he will probably get more ice time. While he will not be in as many scoring opportunities, he can quarterback the offense from the blueline.
8/14/14: A question circulating around the hockey circles concerns the future of Jets star forward Evander Kane. At age 20, during the 2011-12 season, he broke out and scored 30 goals and 57 points in 74 games. He still is a top rising talent, but has struggled a bit for the past few years. He was even benched for a bit last season and has been vague at best about his future in Winnipeg. Perhaps it would be time for a trade, which could benefit both the Jets and Kane. Kane would get a change of scenery and may not have to shoulder the load. Meanwhile, the trade could bring in a big haul for the developing organization.
8/7/14: The Jets have been in Winnipeg for three years now, after relocating from Atlanta, but have yet to make the playoffs. They have been close a couple times, but have not been able to crack that barrier. Perhaps, if they were still in the Eastern Conference, then they would have made it to the postseason. The Jets are actually a pretty good team, but have the unfortunate lot of playing in a loaded Central Division in the Western Conference. That being said, they have a quality roster and may just be a piece or two away from finally playing in May.
7/31/14: The Winnipeg Jets appeared to take a gamble on defenseman Keaton Ellerby's availability when they opted to not offer him a qualifying offer. That meant that he became an unrestricted free agent and eligible to sign with any team. Had they offered him qualifying offer, then he would have been a restricted free agent. The gamble seems to have paid off as Ellerby did not sign with anyone and the Jets were able to re-sign him to a one year, two-way deal for $700,000. Another year in the Jets' system could serve him well, as he averaged less than 14 minutes per game and registered only six points.
7/24/14: The honeymoon in Winnipeg may be over and that means that it is time for the team to produce. Through three seasons since moving to Manitoba (from Atlanta), the Jets have not made the playoffs. They did put up a nice effort this past season but fell out of the race in the last two weeks. The Jets really need a true number one goalie. There are still a couple talented guys available in free agency, and Martin Brodeur would be an interesting piece since he is only a few wins away from win number 700. No other goalie in NHL history has even hit 600 wins, so getting his 700th would at least draw attention to the team.
7/17/14: The Jets know they have an emerging star in power forward Evander Kane. He is young (just 22), he has a few years of experience, he can score and he can be physical. He also may not be with the team too much longer. Kane sounded unhappy in radio interview and only said that he is a member of the Jets right now. This should be sounding alarms for the Jets management team. They need to figure out a way to keep their best player happy or trade him off for a good return. One possibility could be Nashville, who is looking for offense and needs to be physical to compete in the West.
7/10/14: When the Atlanta Thrashers left the deep south for Winnipeg, and rebranded themselves as the Winnipeg Jets a few years ago, Winnipeg suddenly became one of the more enthusiastic places to play with a boisterous fan base. But a few seasons of missing the playoffs may be starting to temper some of that fan enthusiasm. It is tougher for the Jets to draw top free agents to Winnipeg, so they have to depend on their player development more than most teams. They just resigned goaltender Michael Hutchinson to a two year contract. That may mean they are inclined to give him a shot as the starter over incumbent Ondrej Pavelec in the near future.
/3/14: If the Winnipeg Jets were looking for scoring in the draft (and really, who is not looking for scoring all of the time), then they may have found it in their first round pick. With the ninth overall selection, the Jets drafted Nikolaj Ehlers of the Halifax Moose Heads from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Ehlers played 63 games last season and had a whopping 49 goals and 55 assists fro 104 point. Of that 27m goals were at even strength, indicating that he knows how to finish on the power play. He is only 17 now, so it will be a few years until he gets to the NHL, but that production is simply outstanding.
6/26/14: Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec had one of his worst seasons as a pro last season, posting a 22-26-7 record, a .901 save percentage and a 3.01 goals against average. Those were among the lowest numbers of any regular starter in the NHL, and generally would be worthy of a trade or some other means of replacement. When asked by a Czech news outlet, he took accountability for missing the playoffs, but also added that he has three years left on his contract and not worried about a buyout. That being said, if the Jets could land an elite goalie in free agency (like Ryan Miller), then he may find himself looking for a new job.
6/19/14: The Jets star forward Evander Kane may have a long offseason. It will not be spent getting ready for the next NHL season, but rather in a courtroom. Kane is being sued for an alleged assault from last August. Kane insists that he was the one that was attacked. He claims that the plaintiff was 'aggressively confrontational' towards him, and that led to the incident. He provided that claim in a statement to the defense in order to challenge the lawsuit. No hearing date has been set yet, but the Jets have to hope that this does not become a distraction over the summer or next season.
6/12/14: The Sutter family is NHL royalty. Starting in the mid 1970's, the Sutters had six brothers in the league: Brian, Brent, Duane, Rich and Ron (twins), and Darryl. Those Sutters (who have ties to the famous Sutter Mill which spawned the 1849 Gold Rush in California) are long retired. So now is the time for the next generation of Sutters. The Jets had the rights to Lukas Sutter, but have decided to let him go and re-enter the NHL draft after they could not come to an agreement on a contract. He was the 39th pick in 2012, but, at the same time, if he does not want to help Winnipeg grow, then do something else.
6/6/14: The Jets are looking for depth and a bit of a scoring touch, but what team isn't? They selected Alex Burmistrov from Russia in the 2010 draft and Burm played a couple years in Winnipeg before going back to Russia after clashing with former head coach Claude Noel. Noel is gone but Burm is not coming back, yet. He will play another year in the KHL and may consider returning to the NHL after next season. If or when he returns, he would not be under contract with the Jets, however, Winnipeg will hold his rights. They could re-sign him or trade the rights to another team that would like a young veteran forward.
5/29/14: There is a pretty good reason why team owners and GM's do not like international tournaments such as the Olympics and World Hockey Championships - their top players are exposed to a high chance of injury. While Olympic hockey with NHL players has been a ratings success and good for the league as a whole, there is talk that the NHL will not be sending players in 2018. Case in point, the Jets' first round pick in 2012, Jacob Trouba suffered a strained neck at the WHC and is back in Winnipeg being evaluated. Fortunately, it appears minor and will not affect him for the 2014-15 season.
5/22/14: Unbeknownst to the rest of the world, the Jets are getting criticized for the 2014-15 goaltending situation while the 2013-14 season is still underway. Winnipeg was in contention for the playoffs, but fell just short. At the end of season press conference, GM Kevin Chevadayoff announced that Ondrej Pavelec will be the team's starting goalie next season. Pavelec has been just average in his career, going 113-125-15 with a save percentage just over .900. He is also owed $3.75 million next season. There are opportunities to get more established goalies, and if next season is like this one, a good goalie might be the difference between playing hockey and booking a tee time in May.
5/15/14: The Jets seem like they are knocking on the door of the playoffs. While they missed the postseason again, they have a strong team that may need a little more offense to get to the next level. Of course, the Jets have the honor of playing in the Central Division of the Western Conference, likely the most competitive division in the NHL. The Central sent five teams to the playoffs this season, so the Jets certainly have their work cut out for them. But they are a quality club and it would not be surprising if they got to the playoffs next season.
5/8/14: There is no two ways around it - the Jets and their fans are disappointed that they missed the playoffs. It is easy to say that next year is a new beginning (the Chicago Cubs have been saying that for more than a century). However, unlike the Cubs, the Jets have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs next season. There are a lot of factors at play, but it looks like Mark Scheifele will be back. Scheifele is a talented young player who had last season cut short by a knee injury. Get him back, along with Evander Kane (and get a goalie), and this is a very formidable team.
5/1/14: Take heart, Jets fans, your team is on the rise. Though Winnipeg failed to make the Stanley Cup playoffs, they did finish the season at a respectable 37-35-10, good for 82 points and a winning record. The team responded positively when head coach Claude Noel was fired and replaced by Paul Maurice. They stumbled down the stretch, and that cost them a chance at the postseason. But this is a good, young team that can easily develop into a contender. The Jets will need to find a franchise goalie, but there may be a few on the open market in a couple of months.
4/24/14: The Jets had a nice resurgence in the second half of the year when the team replaced head coach Claude Noel with Paul Maurice. They were in the thick of the playoff hunt until the final weeks when an untimely slide sealed their fate. So now the attention turns to offseason acquisitions to improve and finally get back to the playoffs (for the first time since the team came to Winnipeg). The Jets, first and foremost, need to find a true number one goalie. Ondrej Pavelec was average, and most champion teams have a top notch netminder for the playoffs - it is the main reason the Blues paid a king's ransom for Ryan Miller.
4/17/14: It is a case of too little, too late for the Jets, but they have been playing rather well as the season closed out. The team rallied to beat the Boston Bruins 2-1 in a shootout and followed that up by spoiling the Calgary Flames' home finale. The Boston win is impressive in its own right, as the Bruins later wrapped up the Presidents' Trophy for the best regular season record (and earned home ice advantage throughout the playoffs). The next step for the franchise is to determine if Paul Maurice will have the 'interim' tag removed and be named the full time coach.
4/10/14: Winnipeg Jets' star forward Evander Kane would like to be getting prepared for the playoffs right now, though that does not look like it is going to happen this season. Instead, he may be getting prepared to defend himself in court. A charge of assault has been filed against Kane in Vancouver. It stems from an incident a little while ago where the plaintiff claims Kane harmed him in an altercation. It was investigated when it happened but no charges were filed. It is anyone's guess as to whether or not the case has merit, but could also be an attempt to wrangle money from a professional athlete.
4/3/14: The Jets have precious few games left and a good amount of ground to make up if they are going to make the playoffs this season. Currently, Winnipeg is nine big points out of the last playoff spot and would have to overtake the Dallas Stars and Vancouver Canucks in short order to qualify for the postseason. But don't tell the Jets players that. They are getting back captain Andrew Ladd and goalie Ondrej Pavelec for the final few games, and that may be the spark they need for one last push. If the Jets can keep their core together over the summer and pick up a few good pieces, then they should be in good shape for next season.
3/27/14: Hockey players and coaches generally do not like pity, but it is hard not to feel some bit of sorrow for the Winnipeg Jets. They play in front of adoring and rabid fans in one of the smallest markets. It is difficult to attract top end free agents, so they really have to build internally. They have made a great run this season, especially after winning 11 of their first 14 games under interim head coach Paul Maurice. Unfortunately, the Jets have struggle recently, and have gone just 3-4-3 in their last 10 games. That drought may have put them out of playoff contention, as they are now six points out of eighth place with a handful of games remaining.
3/20/14: These are nervous times in Winnipeg. The team made a bold decision to fire their head coach and replace him with Paul Maurice. The team immediately responded at the time, going on an impressive 11-3-1 run and getting into the playoff conversation. But the Jets have lost their last six games and trail Dallas by several points. In all likelihood, the Jets would have to win about 13 of their last 15 games and hope Dallas plays about .500 to get in. The franchise has not been to the playoffs since 2007, when they were in Atlanta, and they will have to be the best team in the league to get there this year.
3/13/14: 2014 should go down as one of the busiest trade deadline transaction days in NHL history. And not just on the trade deadline, but in the days leading up to that due date. That means that plenty of teams made blockbuster trades to either get that 'last piece of the puzzle' or to build for the future. Curiously, Winnipeg was not among them. For a team that has a real shot of making the playoffs but has some holes to fill, this seemed odd. On the other hand, the Jets have been soaring since Paul Maurice took over as head coach. Perhaps the team feels that they are going in the right direction and that there is no need to mess with what appears to be a successful recipe.
2/27/14: Most people, even true NHL fans, probably cannot name five, if any players on the Winnipeg Jets. That is not the fault of the players, bur that is what happens when one plays in Winnipeg. The Jets best and best known player is easily Evander Kane. He has struggled this season and is frustrated with his injuries. Kane has not played in the past month - due to both the Olympic break and a deep cut on Kane's hand. The Jets are sixth in the Central Division and still have a shot at the playofffs this season.
2/20/14: The Winnipeg Jets have four of their own over in Sochi, Russia for the Winter Olympics: forwards Michael Frolik (Czech Republic), Olli Jokinen (Finland), Blake Wheeler (USA) and goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (Czech Republic). The Czechs were a powerhouse in the past, but they also had the best goalie on the planet (at the time) in Dominik Hasek. They have not been able to replenish the stock of elite players they once had, of course that would be a tall order for anyone. Four Olympians is something to be proud of, and it is no wonder that the Jets have a shot at making the playoffs in the Western Conference.
2/13/14: The Jets may be building something in Winnipeg. It is very true in the NHL that most great teams struggle for a bit, draft well, develop talent, then make the leap to the elite (see the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks as great examples). The Jets are still finding their way, but it is very encouraging that young players like Mark Scheifele is playing like a seasoned veteran. Scheifele was the franchise's first round pick in 2011 and is impressing his teammates in his first full season in the NHL. He is also just 20 years old and has 34 points in his first 60 NHL games. If he continues to develop, he could be one of the best in the league in the next few years.
2/6/14: So this is pretty cool. A lot of teams, in all sports, give the player of the game something special. In football, it is the game ball. Usually in hockey, it is the game puck. The Jets are going a different route. They are giving their player of the game a fighter pilot helmet with the Jets logo on it. Forward Devin Setoguchi was the first to win the award last week after Winnipeg knocked off the Vancouver Canucks. It could be fun if more teams did something like this - imagine the Kings giving their POG a small kingdom, or San Jose giving theirs a live shark.
1/30/14: The NHL will stage the Heritage Classic next month, which will pit the Vancouver Canucks against the Ottawa Senators in an outdoor game. Both teams will wear throwback uniforms, with the Canucks honoring their predecessor, the Vancouver Millionaires (the last team from Vancouver to win a Stanley Cup - almost one hundred years ago). Word now comes that the Winnipeg Jets will get their own outdoor game next season, which may well be a Heritage Classic against another Canadian team such as Calgary or Montreal. The location has yet to be determined, but there are plenty of great venues available.
1/23/14: Winnipeg fired head coach Claude Noel a couple weeks ago as they languished in last place in the Central Division. He moved Dustin Byfuglien from defense to offense before he left, and new coach Paul Maurice is not moving Byfuglien back to defense. The logic is that Byfuglien can create offensive chances and space, and that he has the skills to play forward. While the move really cannot hurt, it is unusual position switch and not often found at the highest level of professional hockey. Incidentally, the Jets are only 10 points out of a playoff spot, and there is still a chance that they can catch fire.
1/16/14: Perhaps it was only a matter of time, but those who follow the NHL realized that Jets coach Claude Noel was on thin ice. The axe fell on Sunday when the Jets announced they replaced Noel with Paul Maurice as head coach. The Jets also fired assistant coach Perry Pearn. It looked like he had a chance to save his job when the Jets had a three game winning streak at the end of 2013, but started 2014 with five straight losses. And a few of those games were not even close, as they gave up six goals to both Pittsburgh and Columbus. The Jets may need to hit the reset button soon and purge some under-performing players from their roster before they can really improve.
1/9/14: The Jets are not an elite team in the NHL and, in fact, sit well out of a playoff spot and have lost their last three games. Now they are getting criticized from other teams. After the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Jets 6-5 on Sunday, a few Penguin players questioned the Jets' system. This was not an attack on the individual players - for whom they had praise. It was an indictment of the Jets' gameplan. Certainly Evander Kane is a top player, but with so many issues, the Jets may be forced to trade him for prospects and get a new coach before next season.
1/2/14: The NHL may be on the bottom rung of the four major professional sports leagues and could probably benefit from some big time rivalries. The Jets and Oilers may not be at the top of the marquee wish list, but it could have some impact in Canada. There is a budding rivalry between these two teams. Neither is particularly strong, but both have a lot of talent and could easily become playoff contenders in the next few years. At least the first gauntlet has been laid. Jets' goalie Ondrej Pavelec is upset at an elbow he received from Nail Yakupov last week in the Oilers 6-2 win. It should be fun to watch these teams match up again later in the season.
12/26/13: The Jets added some organizational depth in the most important place earlier this week by signing goalie Eric Comrie to an entry level contract. Comrie was selected 59th overall last June and has been playing with the Tri-City Americans of the WHL. One nice stat is that his play has actually improved since he was drafted and he has better numbers. His two older half-brothers (Mike Comrie and Paul Comrie) each played in the NHL several years ago. Mike even had 365 points in almost 600 career games. His younger brother is also on the Americans and may get drafted in the next couple of years.
12/19/13: While it is does not have the cache of Maple Leafs and Bruins, or the standing implications of Blackhawks and Blues, the Jets and Stars may be developing a bit of a rivalry. Two points separate the teams in the standings, and Dallas beat the Jets 6-4 last week. The big issue was Anthony Peluso of the Jets viciously hitting the Stars' Alex Goligoski from behind. Peloso was ejected from the game and has a hearing with the league coming up. Stars coach Lindy Ruff was livid about the hit - adding fuel to this growing fire.
12/12/13: The NHL installed the Winter Classic a few years ago to raise the profile of the league with a marquee matchup, played outdoors, in a historic or large venue. Past Winter Classics have seen the Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks, and Washington Capitals in places like Wrigley Field and Yankee Stadium. The NHL has expanded the outdoor games so that there are six now. The most notable this season being the Ducks vs. Kings at Dodger Stadium. Winnipeg is getting in on the act and will get a Heritage Classic game in 2016. Good stuff for the Jets, though no opponent has been announced yet.
12/5/13: There may be some big trouble brewing in little Winnipeg. There is reportedly tension between the Jets' best player, Evander Kane, and the team. Kane is in the second year of a six year, $31.5 million contract, but his name is being thrown around in trade speculation. Kane has struggled this season and has not provided the offensive production as in past years. He has not asked for a trade yet, but labor tension is always delicate and that could mean the 22 year old will have a new home by the trade deadline, if not sooner.
11/28/13: Tough news this week for the Winnipeg Jets as they placed Zach Bogosian on the injured reserved and recalled Zach Redmon to take his place on the roster. Bogosian has a groin strain is 'week-to-week' according to coach Claude Noel. Bogosian is one of the Jets top four defenseman and has one goal and three assists in 21 games. He may not score much, but he is a workhorse, pulling in almost 23 minutes per night. Winnipeg is looking up at the rest of the Central Division, and certainly needs everyone healthy to turn the season around.
11/21/13: As has been mentioned before, the Jets certainly got the short end of the stick when they were re-aligned into the Central Division. Winnipeg has been steadily improving this season and just outlasted the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in a shootout. That put the Jets at 10-9-2 on the season. Their 22 points would put them in the thick of the playoff hunt in the Eastern Conference, but they second to last in the Central. In fact, Nashville brings up the rear with a .500 win percentage. The Jets will be a team to watch the rest of the season as they keep improving and are on a four game winning streak.
11/14/13: Many people questioned the Jets when they signed Bryan Little to a multi-year contract for over $23 million dollars. So far, the Jets are looking pretty smart. Little leads the team in goals and points with 10 and 17, respectively. That puts him in a tie for fourth in goals in the NHL and a tie for seventh in the NHL in points. He has been a key contributor as the Jets try to rebound from their slow start and get back to .500. He notched four points in the last two Jets wins and is showing everyone that he is well worth the money.
11/7/13: Winnipeg does not have the financial resources of teams like Toronto, or the New York Rangers, or Los Angeles Kings, so when they make a long-term deal then it better work out for them. The team re-signed young defenseman Zach Bogosian to a seven year, $36 million deal. Bogosian is only 13 games into his contract and has not been productive yet. He has zero goals and only three assists. To the media, the sky is always falling and they are causing concern that the Jets are regretting the deal. Then again, it is only 13 games into the contract, so it is likely to get better, especially as the Jets add talent around him.
10/31/13: The Winnipeg Jets are adapting to life in the fiercely competitive Western Conference and currently sit about 500 on the year. They have been inconsistent, to say the least. One night, the beat the mighty St. Louis Blues in a come from behind win and won the shootout. But then they go and lose to the mediocre Nashville Predators. Some good news is the new life in forward Blake Wheeler. Wheeler had a slow start, but has scored in consecutive games - bringing his point total to three goals and three assists on the year. If he (and others) can continue to improve, then there may be a playoff spot waiting for them.
10/24/13: The Winnipeg Jets were the unlikely beneficiary of the long-standing St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks rivalry. The NHL schedule makers had the Blues playing in Winnipeg the night after St. Louis visited Chicago. The Blues and Blackhawks played another draining and physical game (St. Louis won 3-2 in a shootout). The Notes were tired by the time they played the Jets and it showed. Winnipeg rallied from an early deficit and was able to beat the mighty Blues in a shootout. The win evened up the Jets' record at 4-4 and keeps them in the mix in the young season.
10/17/13: Even though it is only five games into the season, there is already some panic setting in with the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets won their first two games. However, they have dropped their last three games. And there are different types of losing. Losing close games is one thing - but the Jets have been completely dominated in their losses. They are getting outchecked, outshot, and generally outplayed. The Jets need to reassess their offense because the dump-and-chase method simply is not working at this point. There is some young talent on the team, and maybe it is time to let them be free to make their own plays rather than depend on a dull dumping strategy.
10/10/13: The Winnipeg Jets fans welcomed back Teemu Selanne, in what may be his last visit to Winnipeg. The original Winnipeg Jets drafted Selanne. He was a rookie in the 1992-93 season and set rookie records with an astounding 76 goals and 132 points. Those type of numbers would easily lead the league now - and by a large margin. Selanne was named the number one star of the game. He did not have a goal or an assist, but certainly got the sentimental vote. The Jets fans were classy and appreciative in his return, giving him a standing ovation.
10/3/13: Winnipeg could be compared to the Green Bay Packers. The team enjoys unconditional support and has the smallest stadium in the league. It is also one of the toughest places to play for road teams. The Jets have been back in Winnipeg for two seasons now, but they need to consider the honeymoon over. The goal this year, their first in the Western Conference, must be to get back to the playoffs. The front office opted to keep their core together for this season rather than search for veteran leadership. There is no substitute for doing, and that is the only way this team will get the experience they need to take the next step.
9/26/13: The Jets, when they were the Atlanta Thrashers, had the coziness of playing in the Southeast Division. While the Capitals are usually good and the Lightning have had some exciting years, it was no where as competitive as the Western Conference - which is where the Winnipeg Jets are now. The Jets have a nice assortment of young talent and need to come together quickly in their new environs. A big part of their development may be right winger Devin Setoguchi. The Wild jettisoned him and that could be the Jets gain on the second line. A big year by Setoguchi would give the team two solid scoring lines and keep them competitive throughout the year.
9/19/13: The Winnipeg Jets made their mark on the NHL even though the season is still a few weeks away. The Jets started as the Atlanta Thrashers - an expansion team in 1999. Only those people who have a pulse could have foreseen that NHL hockey would not succeed in Atlanta. Again. (The Calgary Flames were originally the Atlanta Flames, but moved in 1980). The move to Winnipeg forced the league to re-align the conferences, so the Winnipeg Jets are now in the Western Conference, while the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets transferred to the Eastern Conference. This was a good move by the league, though it leaves 14 teams in the West and 16 in the East.
9/12/13: Team Canada would be wise to consider Jets' captain Andrew Ladd for their Olympic team. The Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia are less than five months away. Canada is always a favorite, and they won gold in the 2010 Games in Vancouver. One thing Team Canada could use is physical, defensive forward like Ladd. Ladd has always been a great backchecking force, but in the past four years has developed an offensive game. He would do well on the third or fourth line for the Olympic team. That does not even mention that he knows how to win championships - he was on both the 2006 Hurricanes and 2010 Blackhawks who both won the Stanley Cup.
9/4/13: Some may feel that moving a team from a major metropolis to Winnipeg is a big risk. That is probably true, though the team did not receive much support in Atlanta. But Jets management is showing they are willing to take big risks. They came to terms with defenseman Zach Bogosian on a seven year, $36 million deal. Bogosian is a talented defenseman, true, but at the same time, that is the type of contract that instills him as a long-term cornerstone. If he is not the player they expect him to be, then the contract could cripple the franchise for years. Here is hoping that the the Jets made the right call and improve along the way.
8/29/13: There was much rejoicing in Winnepeg a couple of years ago when the Atlanta Thrashers announced they were relocating there. Since then, the team was renamed the Winnepeg Jets, a nod to the former NHL team that once resided there but moved to Phoenix. Attendance has been outstanding and the city is primed for a winner. Their road may be tougher this season. The Jets are moving to the Western Conference, and with it, the added burden of all the great teams. The good news is that their travel schedule will be lighter, so they will not spend half of their year on the East coast.
3/13/13: Unlike much of the Southeast Division, Winnipeg finds themselves in playoff contention with 28 points through 26 games. After boasting one of the top home ice advantages last season, the Jets have actually been better on the road this year going 8-5-2 away from the friendly confines of Winnipeg. Andrew Laad has led the Jets for much of the abbreviated season, currently holding a seven plus/minus while pouring in a team-high 13 goals. Ondrek Pavelec has played well as the starting goalie, but backup, Al Montoya has been even more impressive having not lost a game thus far with a 2.33 GAA.
Winnipeg Jets Tickets -Team History
Winnipeg Jets tickets allow fans the opportunity to see one of the NHL's youngest franchises on the rise. Established in 1999, the Winnipeg Jets joined the National Hockey League as an expansion team called the Atlanta Thrashers and played their games at Philips Arena in downtown Atlanta. Watch as the Winnipeg Jets build their legacy and work to bring their first Stanley Cup to Winnipeg!
Winnipeg Jets Tickets -Season Info
The Winnipeg Jets are undergoing a transition as a franchise. After having a monster of an offseason in 2010, the Winnipeg Jets have started to put together a very talented young unit. With a focus behind players like Evander Kane, Dustin Byfuglien and 25-year-old captain Andrew Ladd, the Winnipeg Jets are taking the steps to ensure this franchise is competitive for years to come.
Winnipeg Jets Tickets -Ticket Information
Winnipeg Jets tickets ensure that fans see the Winnipeg Jets playing top contenders throughout the entire NHL season. The Winnipeg Jets have their work cut out for them in a tough Southeast Division. With matchups against great teams like the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes and non-divisional meetings with Sidney Crosby's Pittsburgh Penguins, the Winnipeg Jets are sure to be tested all season long. Grab your Winnipeg Jets tickets now and don't miss the action!
After the Atlanta Thrashers were purchased and moved to Winnipeg, the new owners decided to use their throwback name of the Winnipeg Jets. The question now lies as to what are they going to do with their logo. Will they modernize the old or go in a completely new direction? They have the same make up as the Thrashers and still have currently low expectations but True North Sports and Entertainment has told its fans that the team will not survive or last long in Winnipeg financially unless every game is close to sold out.
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Winnipeg Jets Schedule & Key Dates
Opening Day / Winnipeg Jets First Game 2015
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Winnipeg Jets Past Games Schedule and Winnipeg Jets Scores
|Apr 22, 2015||Rd 1: Anaheim Ducks - Winnipeg Jets - Game 4||5 - 2|
|Apr 20, 2015||Rd 1: Anaheim Ducks - Winnipeg Jets - Game 3||5 - 4|
|Apr 11, 2015||Calgary Flames - Winnipeg Jets||1 - 5|
|Apr 9, 2015||Winnipeg Jets - Colorado Avalanche||0 - 1|
|Apr 7, 2015||Winnipeg Jets - St. Louis Blues||1 - 0|
|Apr 6, 2015||Winnipeg Jets - Minnesota Wild||2 - 0|
|Apr 4, 2015||Vancouver Canucks - Winnipeg Jets||4 - 5|
|Mar 31, 2015||New York Rangers - Winnipeg Jets||3 - 2|
|Mar 29, 2015||Chicago Blackhawks - Winnipeg Jets||4 - 3|
|Mar 26, 2015||Montreal Canadiens - Winnipeg Jets||2 - 5|
|Mar 24, 2015||Winnipeg Jets - Vancouver Canucks||2 - 5|
|Mar 23, 2015||Winnipeg Jets - Edmonton Oilers||4 - 1|
|Mar 21, 2015||Washington Capitals - Winnipeg Jets||0 - 3|
|Mar 19, 2015||St. Louis Blues - Winnipeg Jets||1 - 2|
|Mar 17, 2015||San Jose Sharks - Winnipeg Jets||2 - 5|
|Mar 14, 2015||Winnipeg Jets - Tampa Bay Lightning||2 - 1|