Has a City Turned on its Young Star?

Nation World HQ
January 22 2012 08:01AM

 

Evander Kane is a gifted hockey player. No question about it, he can play. He's 6-foot-2, 200 pounds and can skate and score. When he comes flying down the wing, he reminds some of the old-timers of Bobby Hull. He's considered by most NHL scouts as a 20-year-old with a tremendous future.

These days he's the Jets leading goal scorer with 18 and the second-leading scorer with 31 points. But he's now in a dreadful slump -- he hasn't scored a goal in 10 games, has only two points in the last 10 and is minus-eight.

He's also developing a horrible reputation and whether that's fair or not probably doesn't matter. Somehow, in a city that has embraced its hockey team with an enthusiasm never seen before in Winnipeg -- perhaps never seen in this country -- one player has upset the fans so completely that he's now the butt of jokes, the source of rumours and the target of large, homemade signs of derision.

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Noel: 'We Served Up Three Pizzas'

Nation World HQ
January 21 2012 08:31PM


 

A remarkable night for Florida's Scott Clemmensen

The way things are going in the Southeast Division, with a couple more wins, the Winnipeg Jets just might jump from 10th to third in the NHL's Eastern Conference.

Of course, the Jets have to corral those wins first and it would help if they didn't give away three goals.

Saturday night at the MTS Centre, the Jets skated the sluggish Florida Panthers right out the south exit, outshot them 44-23, and lost. That's right. They lost. 4-3 in a seven-round shootout. 

The Jets picked up a point and they're still 10th in the Eastern Conference, but Saturday night Winnipeg had a chance to move within a point of the first-place Panthers and second-place Washington Capitals. However, because of three giveaways and a shootout loss, the Jets have 50 points, Washington has 52 and Florida now has 54.

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Helpless: Kane Now Out With Concussion

Nation World HQ
January 21 2012 11:16AM

The $2,500 fine that was doled out to Nik Antropov on Friday, for boarding T.J. Brennan on Thursday night, says a lot about the state of today's NHL. 

Years ago, that kind of hit would have resulted in a penalty (which it did), but no further action. However, with the concussion "epidemic" in the game today, the NHL is fearful of its brand. If bigger players hit smaller players and the head is involved, especially if the bigger player leaves his feet, there will be disciplinary action. In today's NHL, the fine was warranted.

Ironically, the day after the fine was levied against Antropov came word that the Jets leading goal scorer, Evander Kane is now out of the lineup, indefinitely, with a concussion. Everyone believes something must be done, but what?

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'We Just Need to Find Some Consistency'

Scott Taylor
January 19 2012 10:15PM

 Andrew Ladd's 16th of the year.

 

Defenseman Ron Hainsey probably summed up the first three months of the "new" Winnipeg Jets existence in one sentence. As he spoke to the media on Thursday night, he said: "We just need to find some consistency."

No one in the organization could have put it more succinctly. When the Jets are good, as they were on Thursday, they are very good. When the Jets are bad, as they were in New Jersey on Tuesday, they are very frustrating. And not just frustrating for the fans and their head coach, but frustrating for the players themselves. When this team plays as it did in Thursday's 4-1 win over the struggling Buffalo Sabres, it's a solid hockey team that's easy to cheer. But as Hainsey suggested in a round-about way, "Why can't they do it more often?"

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Midseason Awards Part III: The Calder, Jack Adams, and Lady Byng

Jonathan Willis
January 19 2012 10:10AM

As the NHL moves past the midway mark of the season, it’s time to look back at which players deserve hardware, based on their performance over the first half. To answer that question, we polled writers from across the Nation Network, talking to writers at every site.

Today, we consider the third and final set of our midseason awards: our picks for the winners of the Calder, Jack Adams, and Lady Byng trophies.

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