November 18 2013 12:33PM
The Calgary Flames come to town today, and it offers Jets fans a chance for some perspective. As frustrating as it is to be 11th in the West, taking two steps forward and two steps back every week, and having to play the Wild and Blackhawks seemingly constantly, the Flames have just a single point in 6 games and sit above only the Oilers for 13th in the Conference.
Calgary came into the season as pundit punching bags, but started the year with points in each of their first fiive games. The 8 points from those 5 games has been followed by 7 points in the last 15 games. Since top defender Mark Giordano was injured on against the Kings October 21st, the team has gone 2-9-1. Season, meet cliff.
The truth of their team still holds true, however. A gritty mashup of speedy third liners every team would drool to have and a few dynamic scorers managed by a competent coach means the Flames could play spoiler in Winnipeg's desperate need for two more points.
November 18 2013 10:58AM
The Jets lost a game Sunday night that saw them get into a few old habits, repeat some typical mistakes, but manage to do something they usually don’t do in losses: compete quite evenly in the neutral zone. Pavelec was excellent once again and gave the Jets the chance to fight back after the first, and the team responded well. Unfortunately though, a couple bad decisions by Coach Noel ultimately cost them at least one, if not two points.
November 18 2013 01:12AM
Fenwick Chart courtesy of extraskater.com
On Sunday night we all saw what a team who plays well within their system, and focuses hard on puck possession can do. The Wild vastly out chanced the Jets and were finally able to break through for a win against a Jet team that seemed quite comfortable with going into overtime.
November 17 2013 10:25PM
The Jets' winning streak ended in St Paul despite an effortful 40 minutes and 60 minutes of heroism from Ondrej Pavelec. Many of the Jets more common mistakes were on display in the game - a blanked powerplay, turnovers, and a miserable night on faceoffs.
It will be hard to talk about this game without blaming it on faceoffs. A late third period loss by Scheifele led to the Wild's second and winning goal, and the team as a whole managed just 19 wins on 52 attempts.
While faceoffs contributed to the problem, a first period with two shots, a number of 5-alarm chances against through 40 minutes, and a lack of control in zone entry meant the Jets were lucky to be down 1-0 entering the third.
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?