December 10 2013 02:29PM
You might have heard that the Jets ended their road trip with a 4-2 record. It's the phrase being used to compartmentalize the shame of losses to Florida and Philadelphia, and swaths of poor play from all over the roster.
We went into the road trip as fans expecting to be vaulted back into contention for a playoff spot (which really required 10 or 12 points). We come out of the road trip with deepening concerns that the organization is not aware of the problems, or not capable of the solutions, and this season is following a familiar script that ends in disappointment.
Tonight’s matchup against St Louis comes with all the emotion of Dorothy tapping her ruby shoes together and wishing for home. Nothing has fundamentally changed about the place they so badly wanted to escape two weeks ago, but just being away is enough to foster some hope to the contrary.
December 10 2013 02:05PM
Chris Thorburn has spent three games in the Jets' top six, and garnered some contentious praise. On the surface, the idea is laughable. He's been among the Jets' worst players for three seasons, and has never risen above the third line of a horrid Atlanta team in all his career. He's the enforcer of a team that doesn't employ a nuclear option like a John Scott.
Yet his performance has slowly quieted critics, who are now left to grasp at bits of evidence while they wait in cover for their 'I told you so!' moment. Small sample size can disrupt almost any analytical framework, just as Chris Thorburn has gone bull-in-a-corsi-shop and defeated logic with his magical under-helmet flow.
I'm going to put my analysis to the test by predicting that the Chris Thorburn experiment ends early in the second period tonight. Let me tell you why.
December 07 2013 03:58PM
Yeah, this is a real tesla coil engineered for the above tableau from the PC Game Command and Conquer: Red Alert.
The Jets are wrapping up their extrended road trip against a battered Tampa Bay squad. When healthy, the Lightning are the toughest competition on this Eastern Conference trip, but without Steven Stamkos, and now Victor Hedman, as well as 4 other starters, the Lightning are vulnerable.
Expectations were high for this road trip. Six winnable games were intended to put the team back in the playoff hunt. Instead, they're at risk of going .500 on one the easiest stretches in their schedule. The team structure has fallen apart on the road, and coaching decisions have brought us back to the usual frustrations of prioritizing results over process. The Jets have faced the backup goalie in 4 of the 6 matchups on this trip, showing just how much respect the rest of the league has for Winnipeg.
Currently 9 points back of Minnesota for the final Divisional playoff spot, the Jets are miles from competitive despite considerable top end talent. It should be Red Alert for this club, and the manager should be making some of the simple changes required to be commanding on the ice, and be conquerors in the East. Instead, we live in fear of the Tesla Coil.
December 05 2013 09:55PM
Speaking of Eastern Conference swings
The Jets looked an awful lot like a beer league squad tonight, from a lack of awareness is transition to extremely poor puck support to a wild two-hand chop of frustration on the final goal. It was every man for himself to the point of making a very young Florida team on its second coach look like the more structured club.
The Jets badly missed having a third line (AKA Michael Frolik), but even shortening the bench to roughly two lines made very little difference.
December 05 2013 02:51PM
Photo from Winnipeg White Out
A return to Atlanta’s old stomping grounds seems like the perfect setting for a film about coming of age in a world of high expectations and delayed maturity. The Jets turn 30 today (sort of), and despite recent additions to the ‘W’ column, questions persist about whether the Jets are really turning a corner. I picture Maggie Gyllenhaal telling The Jet (the adapted Thrasher from the awful Guardian Project, obviously) that he needs to grow up at the very moment he is most confused about how. Cue the montage.
The pressing question for the Jets is one of process over results. This coach called a 15-shot game of give-away a ‘success’ in a game 3 loss to Minnesota. In game 29, the Jets’ coach was once again happy enough with the score that he didn’t want to pry into the process too much. An unlikely performance by a second line with Chris Thorburn on his off-wing overshadowed another tough game for Mark Stuart and Mark Scheifele, and created hope where it shouldn’t otherwise be.
Our protagonist is facing the ghosts of his past with an uncertain future. Will The Jet stop measuring himself against others and start trying to be his best version of himself??