February 12 2014 03:07PM
Ryan Lambert wrote about the Pavelec snub just today on Puck Daddy. To him, that Pavelec has been listed as the third string goalie of the opening contest is a sign that the decisions makers on the Czech team are more willing to face reality than the Winnipeg Jets about the ability level of the leaky netminder.
Elliotte Friedman had a different take, and one that Pav supporters and bright-side Jets fans will no doubt cite often. It's just game one of the round robin. No one knows who the real starter will be when things get more competitive.
Lambert cites Pavelec's NHL struggles. Friedman cites Pavelec's bronze medal performance at the 2011 World Championships. But what about his lockout appearance with Bili Tygri HC of Liberec?
February 06 2014 03:28PM
The Jets 2.1 are 9-2 since the fateful day between games against Columbus and Phoenix. Major problems on the team remain. Thorburn is playing up the lineup. The defence has limited depth and Mark Stuart is playing over his head. The goalie is putting up wins for the first time in his career, but career back-up and draft-bust Al Montoya continues to post the better individual numbers. Setoguchi is still awkward on the left wing and Dustin Byfuglien is half the forward that he is a defender.
In spite of confusing lines and sub-optimal team utilization, the Jets are genuinely, truly a much better hockey club than they were this time last month. Tighter formations in the breakout were obvious by game 3, and have now been referenced by the players publicly. High forward support in defensive transition has made for neutral zone pressure, let the defence close their gaps, and cut down on the 5-alarm 3-on-2's and 2-on-1's. A forecheck pressure point that doesn't require two forwards below the goal line has tightened the spacing of the 5-man unit and suddenly players who looked like problems playing on their tiny island are looking capable as part of a team effort.
February 03 2014 03:14PM
Photo by clydeorama
I’m back! I had to step aside to focus on my day job, but I’ve got a fresh bag of doritos and my writing jockeys on, so this is happening.
I haven’t had a chance to watch much of the Jets 2.1 under Paul Maurice, but I did witness a bizarre twitter battle after the game in Montreal, in which the supporters of Mark Stuart and those who want to just feel good about the Jets (no one blames those people, the team is 8-2 under the new coach) were vicious in lashing out against those who had spoken about Stuart as a barrier to the team’s success in the past. After two strong games in a row, supporters were vociferous about the value of the rugged blue liner. He took home second star, after all, and won the locker room 'Player of the Game' fighter pilot helmet. His team mates like him, and he's playing well.
With the deadline coming up, how do we evaluate the value of UFA Mark Stuart to the Jets? Is he turning a corner under Paul Maurice? What does he add to the club?
January 25 2014 09:35PM
The Jets put on a terrific performance for a national audience, showing their speed down the wings, their size along the boards, and their top-6 talent on the scoresheet. A couple bad goals that will send Travis over the moon in his Pavelec Performance Tracker put the contest into overtime, but it didn't take away from the dizzying joy of beating the Leafs.
January 18 2014 04:14PM
The Cold War in hockey stills
For Jets fans, this contest had a charming effect. Goals exclusively by rookies and time spent in the zone furthest from their struggling netminder were enough to push the mistakes to the back burner on Paul Maurice's continued campaign for the hearts and minds of Jets fans. For Oilers fans, it was another frustrating afternoon with more promise than delivery.
In either case, these old rivals brightened an afternoon in January with big hits, crazy chances, and a few bonus minutes for the hoarse fans at the MTS Centre.