Nation World HQ
January 12 2012 09:25PM
Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel does not like to make excuses. You either win games or lose them based on your efforts on the ice in each particular outing. You either win or you don't and that's that.
However, the Winnipeg Jets team that lost 2-0 to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night played as hard as it could and as well as it could against the best team in the Pacific Division, but without its two biggest and, most would argue, its best defensemen, Zach Bogosian and Dustin Byfuglien, the Jets were no match for a Sharks club that came into the game with a record of 23-11-5 (the Jets have lost 11 on the road this season). They are now 3-0-3 in their last six games away from the HP Pavilion in San Jose.
January 12 2012 03:00PM
Claude Noel has the Winnipeg Jets on pace to do something that no team in the post-lockout NHL has accomplished.
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.
January 11 2012 02:40AM
It’s a scene anyone who watches NHL hockey has seen: two players squaring off, dropping the gloves, and going at it. One player might dominate the other, the two players might draw more or less even, but after the fight the teams will generally get back to playing 5-on-5 hockey (barring an instigator penalty to one player.)
Usually, one team will come out playing better after the fight. And usually, the commentator that evening will make a point of mentioning that Player X’s big fight win and/or willingness to go toe-to-toe with a beast like Player Y has given his team momentum.
Is there any truth to that story?
Nation World HQ
January 10 2012 08:38PM
For awhile, the Winnipeg Jets were a team with a legitimate chance to do what the Vancouver Canucks did earlier this week. They had a chance to beat the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins at the TD Garden.
But even though the Jets had a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes, they were in big trouble. You could see it. Tanner Glass was injured in the first period when he suffered a huge, ugly gash on his face. Then, No. 2 defenseman Zach Bogosian suffered a "lower-body injury" (I love that terminology) in the second period and didn't return and while the Jets refused to use the loss of a checker and maybe the team's best defensive defenseman as an excuse, it was obvious that Bogosian's absence, at least, was a blow to the team's fortunes.