March 06 2013 09:29PM
How lucky are the Jets? As they scuttle around simultaneously winning and losing games you think they possibly couldn't, their division rivals are dropping like flies. With every rivals' torn groin, broken wrist and damaged MCL, the Jets find themselves in increasingly better shape to make some noise in the this shortened season.
The list of fallen foes reads like a "who's who's" of those you'd want to see injured on rival teams in a dogged sprint/limp to a Divison Title. In a matter of days, key pieces like Cam Ward, Jose Theodore and Stephen Weiss have all gone down for extended periods of time.The barely waist high bar that is the soon-to-be retired Southeast Division Title just became signifigantly lower.
As Jets fans, there's a few ways to look at this:
1) Joy! If there's one thing I've learned in my life long career as a Sports fan, it's that the breaks most often don't go your way. For every Chicago Blackhawks juggernaut that exists, there's hundreds - hundreds! - of franchises victimized by things like awful officiating, horrific management, entertaining yet insane ownership, viral quarantines, and more. Sometimes it's ok to crack a smile at the bad luck your rivals are facing.
2) Justice served. Cry me a river. The Jets are without their early season MVP Tobias Enstrom, and only recently got Zach Bogosian back. Zach Redmond is gone. Hell, they even lost Al Montoya for a few games. How do those apples taste, rivals? How do they taste, indeed.
3) We should hope for more! Now, I wish no one any harm, and hope for the best health and safety for everybody, but why can't Steven Stamkos get a really serious case of stage fright? Is it too much to ask for the Carolina Staal brothers to get mandatory jury duty? Gout's not that bad - can't some opposing All-Star get it, just for April? We mean you no harm, but please miss games, somehow, Mr. Ovechkin.
All these lucky breaks, along with Winnipeg's relatively steady play, seem to indicate that this is lining up to be the Jets chance. A Division Title has never been so in reach for both Team and Fans. As of this writing, the Jets sit 6 points behind a first place team that just lost their #1 goalie for 6-8 weeks. They're tied with a Tampa team that can't get into rhythm, and behind them sit Washington and Florida, two teams not exactly lighting the world on fire. With the Jets soon enetering a division with the Blackhawks and Blues, if there's a year for a Banner in Winnipeg anytime in the near future, this is it.
Fans must hope for the stars to contine to align - or in this case, succumb to some kind injury. Because quite frankly, after all these years of bad luck - from losing the original Jets to dealing Selanne for nothing; from Jamie Macoun breaking Dale Hawrchuks ribs in the playoffs to Zach Redmond emerging, then almost dying in practice; from missing out on Dougie Hamilton to drafting Sergei Bautin - the Winnipeg Jets have been through it all, and them some. And now, at long last, it seems like things just might be begining to go our way.