November 16 2011 12:16PM
Call it what you will, but the Winnipeg Jets brought their "A" game to the hangar on Monday night against a very difficult and stingy opponent.
At the end of the night, they had their sixth win of the season and two points in the bag.
The best part of the game was not the fact that the Jets had goals from five different players, but that it was a complete 60 minute effort from start to finish.
As a sort of reward, the Jets Skills Competition added to a seemingly relaxed and calmed team - a team that has finally shown what it is capable of on it's best days.
To that point is the emergence and necessity of a good game via defenseman Dustin Byfuglien.
Without his "A" game, the Jets are not a good team.
With it, they are almost unstoppable.
Every team has that lightning rod that sparks the offense and drives a team to win and the Jets lighting rod is #33 on the blueline.
The upstart of Evander Kane, who leads the team with six goals this season - the sixth one coming Monday night - is another positive step.
Watching the Skills Competition gave fans and possibly coaches and players a possibility to take a step back and really see what we have here in Winnipeg.
The Jets have a young core that needs to stay intact for the long haul if they are to be competitive.
This is a team of the future, not the present (as of yet), and the fans and organization is and must continue to treat the team as such.
From Kane, Bryan Little, and Byfuglien to Alexander Burmistrov, Andrew Ladd, Zach Bogosian, and Ondrej Pavelec, this team has the essentials to create a winning franchise that is capable of winning in the season and the playoffs once there.
Experience and leadership comes from the likes of Ladd and Byfulgien (two Stanley Cup rings), while the speed, skill, and size comes from the crew supporting the rest - Bogosian, Burmistrov, Little, etc.
If the Skills Competition showed Jets fans and brass anything it's this: We have one good hockey team.