December 26 2013 02:58AM
The U-20 World Juniors Championship start today and the Jets have four players to watch. Matt Eichel wrote about them already here. Inside this article, we'll review some of the scouting reports written on this blog and elsewhere about those four and what to watch for.
December 26 2013 12:13AM
Kichton moves the puck while Pasquale and Chairot act out Wrestlemania 19. Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram
It's been a month since we looked at the progress of the Jets' many prospects.
As of the December break, St John's IceCaps of the AHL is a mixed bag with some considerable concern surrounding a few key prospects, but continued excitement around others. As well, the 2011 crop of NCAA players is looking unlikely to produce a pro player. But the team has started to sign some of its CHL players early, including Eric Comrie and Scott Kosmachuk this month, and there are an impressive number of would-be Jets making noise at every level.
December 25 2013 08:06AM
About this time last year we at the Nations were trying to figure out a way to make the seemingly endless lock-out interesting (and to keep the lights on as our advertisers fled in terror).
Flash forward 12 months and we're bigger than ever after adding Brian Sutherby, Daily Faceoff and getting JetsNation on its feet (with the help of some great new contributors). We have some big plans for the future and will likely be adding even more content, gear, features, contests and fantasy type games very soon.
Of course, none of this is possible without all of our readers. So thank you for sticking with us through the dark times and continuting to make writing and reading here interesting, challenging, fun and rewarding.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone.
December 24 2013 12:21AM
"Just let me lay here a while... I'm so tired."
Christmas is in the air, everyone, and it's a time for joy and peace! What a pleasurable game to watch, knowing our close friends and allies on the other side of Saskatchewan were there to celebrate with us.
And that's all the positivity I can muster spent in two sentences.
December 23 2013 06:58PM
The other day we looked at how the Jets' coaching staff uses their forwards. We found a lot of what we already knew - that line matching is inconsistent or missing, that Matt Halischuk is not a top-9 quality forward in that environment, and that the fourth line is both a mess and comes with an opportunity cost when Noel gives that group offensive zone starts to shelter them further. We also looked at a chart by Tyler Dellow that found the bottom-6 forwards and bottom-3 defence dragged down anyone they played with.
I spend a lot of time talking about the end of the roster in my work. You might think that I believe they're more important than the big minute players. Instead, I hope you'll see it as a balance to a lot of what I hear in the mainstream press, in the comments sections of various online sources, and on twitter.
One of the most prominent messages taken on by Jets fans is that the team should trade star defender Dustin Byfuglien. He makes too many mistakes, he's not engaged enough, they'll say. But there is a whole stream of criticism that goes 'Buf can do anything he wants on the ice because of his size, strength, speed, and puck control. So why doesn't he just score every shift!? Trade the bum!' (Some editorial license taken.)
Below we'll look at what Dustin Byfuglien is and I hope it's obvious just how completely irreplaceable he is to this team. He's not perfect - far from it - but he is far and away the best defender this team has. I contend that he's PK Subban with less help, Erik Karlsson with less fanfare, or at worst a rich man's James Wisniewski. His only crime is not being Chris Pronger or Ray Bourque.