March 01 2012 02:36PM
When the schedule was drawn up last summer, tonight's Winnipeg-Florida game seemed an unlikely candidate to be a meaningful affair, with the ex-Thrashers and still-Panthers having spent last year wallowing in the depths of the Eastern Conference's second tier. Washington and Tampa were the clear heavyweights starting the season, and by this point in the year, the night seemed certain to just be another dreary encounter between two teams that would once again be relegated to playing out the string.
Of course, that's not quite how the year has unfolded, and as a result this evening's match at the Arena That Elbow Room Forgot has all the appearance of a game with actual playoff implications. With all caveats about the horrid level of the East this year noted, that's a surprising, and welcome, development.
February 27 2012 12:39PM
The Jets made their first deadline trade in the last hour by making a move expected by most, as Johnny Oduya was traded this afternoon to the Hawks in exchange for Chicago's 2nd and 3rd round picks in 2013. The Jets' rearguard was in the final year of a deal paying him an average of 3.5M a season.
February 27 2012 09:08AM
You know that Bob Cole line from last year's playoff, "Everything is happening"? Today, on the most over-hyped occasion of the year, someone should pull the esteemed gent away from his afternoon rum to declare the opposite, because if there was ever a day that seemed likely to leave people wondering where the time went, it will be this one. Thankfully, after the Jets, and most other teams, do absolutely nothing of consequence by 2 PM, we'll have a game to watch featuring the return of Jets 1.0's historic nemesis.
February 15 2012 11:23PM
Tuesday's dispiriting effort against a mediocre Islanders' team likely signified the end of Winnipeg's aspirations for the post-season, and the inability of the team to generate any offence was again at the heart of the failure. The Jets' paucity of scoring in all situations is fairly evident when you watch them, but one part of the club's endeavors that seems to be even more laden with ineptitude is their work when playing 5 v 4.
The Jets' failings on the powerplay have been a fairly common topic since late January, one that's been mentioned in virtually every postgame over the last few weeks, and unfortunately, when looking at the underlying numbers, the absence of 5 v 4 scoring isn't merely a percentage-driven lull.
January 12 2012 12:51PM
As someone that's worked the mathier side of hockey analysis for a few years, I've become inured to seeing players with shiny boxcar numbers get lauded while players labouring under difficult circumstances get ignored. It's the way things have always worked in the hockey media, and despite the occasional mention of underlying numbers from guys like Elliotte Friedman, the use of advanced stats still is out there on the fringes.
With that in mind, this morning's column from Gary Lawless mentioning, amongst other things, that Jonathan Toews was his pick from the Selke was pretty much exactly what I expected. I realize that the Selke has evolved into an award given to really good offensive players that can find their own end without the aid of a GPS, so the fact that players in the recent past like Frans Nielsen have received the bum's rush is unfortunate, but unsurprising.