The Axe

Ross Smith
January 19 2014 01:48PM

Last Sunday the axe fell on Claude Noel, lopping his weary coaching head from his would-rather-be-golfing body. It was the execution that capped weeks of frustration from both the team and the fan base with the suggested remedies ranging from “trade all our best players” to “force members of ownership and management into a Battle Royale to the death where the victor will win not only his precious freedom but the confidence of season ticket holders”. (The latter may have just been a dream I had.) The flurry of online reaction, both snark and relief with a soupcon of speculation about what Paul Maurice will bring to the table, gave me pause to consider what is one of the more humiliating experiences of our daily humdrum: getting fired.

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Jets Post-Game 50: Trouba for Mayor

Kevin McCartney
January 18 2014 04:14PM

The Cold War in hockey stills

For Jets fans, this contest had a charming effect. Goals exclusively by rookies and time spent in the zone furthest from their struggling netminder were enough to push the mistakes to the back burner on Paul Maurice's continued campaign for the hearts and minds of Jets fans. For Oilers fans, it was another frustrating afternoon with more promise than delivery.

In either case, these old rivals brightened an afternoon in January with big hits, crazy chances, and a few bonus minutes for the hoarse fans at the MTS Centre.

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Game 49 at Calgary: Pavelec Performance and Neutral Zone Play

Travis Hrubeniuk
January 18 2014 01:05PM

Trouba making people look silly.

In his first game following the opportunity to take the Jets through a couple practices, we saw something out of the Jets with Paul Maurice that we haven’t seen too often lately. It was only a single game, but it was a sign of hope. Hopefully more is on the way.

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JGD 50: Lasers and Hot Tubs

Kevin McCartney
January 18 2014 11:24AM

 

In 50 games of NHL action, these teams haven't moved past the problems apparent on opening night. That game was a goaltender's dual straight from the professional Beach Ball Association, and sloppy defensive play at both ends made for a wild contest of turnovers and odd opportunities. 

Back of the CBC, there's no rhyme or reason to how this game will turn out between old rivals. The Oilers have changed both their goaltenders, added a host of bottom six players - from the developing in Roman Horak to the aging in Matt Hendricks - and are still at risk of falling to 30th. In all my years following the Oilers, I'm not sure things have ever been darker. 

One of their few recent evenings of joy came December 23rd against the Claude Noel Jets. That 6-2 win was part of back-to-back losses and moved the needle significantly on the decision to make a coaching change. It also moved the needle on fan patience, and we've heard boo's at the MTS Centre and read the twitter rage of fans who want the whole team traded. Maybe they just needed to think out side the box and add lasers and hot tubs to the arena, like any self-respecting city would. 

At this point for both clubs, it's about feeling better about the direction of things. Forget the content of the game - we'll all be watching the side show of Bryzgalov and Scrivens and Hendricks vs Paul Maurice for best new era. Susan Thompson gets it. Lasers before urban renewal, people. I want to see the future before it arrives!

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Game 49 @ Calgary: Scoring Chances & Observations

Travis Hrubeniuk
January 18 2014 09:37AM

Chart via Extraskater.com

As great as it was to see the Jets win and get Paul Maurice his second victory behind the bench, I can’t help but be a little nervous about all the positive vibes around the local media. The Jets were fortunate that this game was against the offensively-inept Flames. Possession numbers were close, but the Flames just were not able to generate the scoring chances or offense that the Jets could, and it ultimately cost them the game.

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