JGD 82: Last Hurrah

Kevin McCartney
April 11 2014 04:16PM

It's been a frustrating season for Jets fans. A confounded coach and the league's worst starting netminder are all that stood in the way of hosting playoff hockey at the MTS Centre. Again. The lines were maddening, the AHL call-ups confusing, and the injuries seemingly ill-timed. And James Wright never did get that first goal of the year. Aww shucks.

But it's always hard to say goodbye to another season of Jets hockey. Just five months until training camp.

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Hockey's Forward Linkages: The predicted failure of the Leafs in perspective

Kevin McCartney
April 09 2014 03:35PM

WPG at PHX

Photo by Shahid Bhinder

The hockey world is in spasm at the moment. It is moving in many directions at once, with those invested in any given direction actively claiming theirs should be called ‘forward.’ It can feel at times as though movements are connected - that the future of violence in hockey, for instance, rests within the larger presumed paradigm shift from positional, body-focused hockey to possession-based, puck-focused hockey. More often than not, however, those connections are more personal than real, hanging together by the nature of having electrified meat to do our thinking.

In fact, insofar as a paradigm shift is underway at all (we’ll unpack that later), it’s neither clear which analytics will change how the game is played, nor what will happen to the honoured method of personal accounts to evaluate players. More prominently, we can’t know what hockey will look like for our children or grandchildren. It’s not the coordinated movement of a dance troupe of Excel users. It’s a spasm.  

In these moments, it’s important to study the process of change: how we get from here to there.

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JGD 76: The Tour of Respect

Kevin McCartney
March 31 2014 03:57PM

Donald Duck flies a plane

Jets fans had their chance to say good bye to Teemu at the MTS Centre back on October 6th. But this will be his last game against the Jets. His 76 goals with that white Titan won't be forgotten for fans of a certain generation, and it seems Winnipeg left an impression on him as well. It's your last chance to see the Finnish sniper ply his trade against the Jets and reminisce about when he came over the Atlantic as a teenager.

But this game isn't just about Teemu. 

The Jets have had a wild season. They've had deep lows, like the 9 losses in October with Scheifele falling all over the ice, or the 7 games Pavelec lost in December on the back of a stunningly bad .863 save percentage. But there have been times when the team looked next to unstoppable instead, even beating Anaheim and Chicago five days apart during the Paul Maurice honey moon where the team went 9-3-1 heading into the Olympic break. 

Now 9 points back of Phoenix for the Wildcard playoff spot with just 7 games remaining, the Jets are playing out the string. A swing through California means playing the top three teams of the Pacific Division. They enter tonight's game with the chance to win some respect as a team with upward momentum.

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JGD 74: "Watazombieataku!"

Kevin McCartney
March 27 2014 03:45PM

this-is-a-cat-in-a-shark-costume-sitting-on-a-rumba-and-chasing-a-duckling-youre-welcome

With Carolina and Dallas already in the "L" column, the Jets are on the left coast to play the league's third place team and the current leaders of the vaunted Pacific Division. 

A cat in a shark costume riding a zoomba while hunting a duckling has nothing to do with that. I just thought we all needed a little cheering up.

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Are the Jets Building for the Future?

Kevin McCartney
March 26 2014 11:50AM

Yesterday we had a terrific article by Dave Wheeler from Wheeler In the Morning about the Jets making strides over the past three seasons. No doubt, a 10th place finish in the West is better than a 10th place finish in the Southeast, and the Jets logged more travel miles this season than in their first thanks to the geographic spread of Western cities. The circumstances are harder, so running in place is actually a sign of improvement.

Still, it's slow improvement and has a low ceiling so far. The GM claims to be building from within and building toward a long-term, renewable success - something we can all get behind in principle. 

However, I’m on record as being more cynical about this plan. Do we really have to wait 5 more years for the Jets to make the playoffs? When does this GM intend to compete for the serious hardware? Are the Jets really growing players who will be better than what they have right now?

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