January 06 2012 08:11PM
(Updated at 9:01 p.m. CST)
This one is personal. I am in love with the National Hockey League Players Association tonight. Even though I still believe that the NHLPA and the league's owners will eventually agree on realignment for next season, I'm in heaven on this beautiful Friday night.
Now, as I said, this one is personal. Later this month, I will once again head to Tampa and Sunrise to follow the Winnipeg Jets through sunny Florida. My daughter -- suddenly a huge Jets fan again -- lives in Orlando, about 57 minutes down Hwy. 4 from the front door of the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa. When I'm in Florida, I feel at home. I'm in love with the beaches, the restaurants, the smooth jazz, the Orlando Airport, the warm breezes, the ballparks, the three NFL teams, the House of Blues, the occasional hurricane and even ol' Mickey Mouse himself.
I was in heaven this year when the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg, not just because Winnipeg got an NHL team back, but because the league said it would keep the Jets in the Southeast Division for one more season.
Nation World HQ
January 05 2012 08:36PM
The Winnipeg Jets had a wonderful December. The team went 10-3-1 and got as high as sixth place in the East.
Last night, however, the Jets were beaten 4-0 by the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre and now Winnipeg has lost two straight on the road, fallen behind Toronto into 10th place in the East and watched their road record fall to 5-10-4 on the season.
It's January. It's the time in an 82-game National Hockey League season when the good teams start to make some noise and the mediocre teams fall by the wayside. Winnipeg head coach Claude Noel knows that now is the time for his players to step up.
Unfortunately for the Jets, all the things that coach Noel, the Winnipeg media and the Jets' staunchest supporters feared before the start of a very difficult January have already come to pass in just two road games.
January 05 2012 08:58AM
The other night undoubtedly registered a wide range of emotions amongst fans. From the shock at the Russian start; the anger of the Canadian’s undisciplined play; the dismay of a five goal deficit; the elation of a four goal comeback; the heartbreak of a one goal loss and finally to the agony that for the first time in eleven years, we will not be watching Canada play in the Gold medal game.
However, it’s not over just yet for the Canadian Juniors. They can still come out of the tournament with a medal. It may not be Gold, but there is something to be said about the fact that you have to lose the game to get the silver; you have to win the bronze. Canada can still end this tournament on their terms and walk away with their heads held high.
Nation World HQ
January 04 2012 10:44PM
Claude Noel refused to blame his goaltender or the fact his team doesn't play very well on the road. Instead, the head coach of the Winnipeg Jets simply said his defense was shaky and his team "didn't check very well."
Well, that's certainly one way to look at it.
Wednesday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Lars Eller (that's right, Lars Eller) scored four goals including one on a penalty shot and dished out an assist as the Montreal Canadiens scored four times in the third period and whipped Noel's Jets 7-3. Eller had four goals going in and he doubled that output against the Jets. Ouch.
January 03 2012 12:46PM
For the sixth time in the last eight years Canada will face off against the Russians in the medal round of the World Junior Championship. Canada is 15-11-2 vs. Russia/USSR going back to 1982 (the first year for the Canadian National Junior Team) but the only thing that matters right now avenging a 5-3 loss to the Ruskies from one year ago.
The Russians squeaked into this one with a 2-1 OT win over the Czech’s while Canada won Group B, and had the quarterfinal bye. Game time is 8:30 pm EST / 6:30 MST