November 17 2013 03:59PM
Minnesota has a fine tradition of hockey at every level. But that's not all. As proud anti-federalist Americans, Minnesotans will tell you that their State Fair is the best State Fair. The Fair even has poutine, they'll tell a curious foreigner, sold from a stand decorated with a moose in a mountie costume.
What I'm trying to tell you is that they're just pretending to be Canadian. In keeping with that, the Xcel Energy Center also has the highest beer prices in the NHL at $9.50 a throw. You want to know what's Wild? When calculated by the ounce, that's the equivalent of a $35 six-pack. Of Budweiser.
That leads me to a single important question - how does anyone get through a Minnesota Wild game?
November 16 2013 04:09PM
Grant Clitsome signed his first one-way NHL contract in June 2011 for two years and $2.5M. A former 9th round pick by the permanently struggling Blue Jackets, Clitsome had not been a stand-out AHL player, with just 54 points in 169 games after four years at Clarkson University. But a January 9th call up in 2011 saw him unexpectedly post 19 points in the team's remaining 31 games while playing over 21 minutes a night for the beleaguered Scott Arniel.
Clitsome not only improved a poor powerplay, he earned the second most minutes of any Blue Jacket defender and was labeled as 'dependable.' Some even marked him as a potential 40-50 point defenceman at the time of the signing in June 2011.
By Febuary 2012 - still the first season of that two-year, one-way contract - Clitsome was waived for poor play by the Jackets and plucked by the Jets. He was a welcomed addition, and made his mark on the top pairing with Byfuglien when injuries forced him up the depth chart during the 2012/13 campaign. Just 56 games into his tenure with the Jets, the team rewarded Clitsome with a 3-year, $6.2M contract.
Twenty-one games into his new contract, Clitsome's season has included injury, healthy scratches, a multitude of partners, more turnovers than any human can count, and a team-worst -8 rating.
Is it possible that Grant Clitsome is in over his head by playing in the Jets' top-4?
November 15 2013 10:26PM
At one point this season, pundits were calling for this team to forge an identity. It seems the team is settling on 'shootout specialists.'
After an offensive onslaught, a come-from-behind shot parade, and a 41 save one-goalie show, the Jets rode faceoff wins, powerplay goals, and Dustin Byfuglien to victory to make it four in a row against the Flyers. What is this team?
November 15 2013 01:53PM
This season at Jets Nation, I've begun tracking zone entry data. In other words, the number of times and method by which the Jets enter the offensive zone.
Why? A study completed by Eric Tulsky and Broad Street Hockey has shown that teams who enter the offensive zone with control of the puck are the teams that create more offence through control of neutral zone play and maintaining possession.
I've been giving game-by-game updates, but this data is better used with larger sample sizes. Therefore, today we will take a look at the Jets' numbers through their first 20 games and see how they are performing as a group and individually.
November 15 2013 01:48PM
Discussing a new breakout formation to use against left-wing pinkos.
This weekly column looks to discuss a certain number of relevant Jets topics on a certain day of the week. That certain number? Five. That day of the week? Friday. Also, hole. This is the Friday Five-Hole.