This is a tough time of year for Jets’ fans, mostly because there’s nothing to do. Sure, we all (well, certainly not our own Travis Hrubeniuk) got our kicks watching the Leafs and Canucks flame out spectacularly from this year’s playoffs. That was fun. And for those of us playing StreakCred or some other kind of playoff pool, there’s still fun to be had and money to won – or in my case, fun to be had while hoping to climb out of what must be last place.
But no matter – this time of year just isn’t the same without your team in the race. The Draft is still far away. Free Agency is even further. Teemu has already been eliminated from Cup contention. What to do?
There’s some obvious answers. Drink! Cheer for the Bombers! Forget the pleasant distraction that is professional sports and actually get some productive work done in our own lives!
But, if you’re like me, these options don’t really fill the void. Luckily, there is still something – the World Championships. Phew. Yes, there’s still some WInnipeg Jets out there fighting the good fight, trying to help their country attain (small levels) of glory in what is, at best, the 3rd most important international event on the Hockey calender. So, to help you with your Jets withdrawals, here’s a look at how the Jets in the Tournament are doing.
Photo by Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images
Andrew Ladd – Canada
That’s him, all sad on the bench!! Named Assisitant of Team Canada, Ladd was his normal productive self with 3G and 3A for 6 points (in case you were bad at math) in 8 games, which placed him behind only Steven Stamkos and Claude Giroux in the team scoring. Not too shabby. He was also named Player of the Game in their quarterfinal match against Sweden. What was rather shabby, however, was Canada’s inability to advance to the Medal round, losing to host Sweden in a shootout in the Quarterfinals. The World Championships are not Canada’s tournament, but at least Andrew Ladd didn’t suffer some kind of catastrophic injury like Eric Staal might have, so we’ll have to consider Ladd’s effort a mild success.
Photo by Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images
Ondrej Pavelec – Czech Republic
That’s him sitting on his butt!! When I looked at Pavelec’s numbers, my eyes did a double take. A .937sv%? A 1.42GAA? Named player of the game in a battle against their bitter rival Slovakia? What the hell?! Where were these numbers in the NHL? My anger turned into investigative googling. And then everything began to make sense again. Pavelec was the teams ‘starter’ but only played 5 of their 8 games. The Czechs finished 4th in their pool, and like Canada, lost in the Quarterfinals, with Pavelec in net, to the surprisingly powerhouse Swiss team. Hopefully Pavelec can glean some kind of positive from taking his team to the Medal round and not having a ghastly SV%
photo courtesy Chapin Landvog/HF
Jacob Trouba – USA
That’s him smiling at the World Jr’s earlier this year!! Young Mr. Trouba has made his way into 5 games so far with Team America, and has faired rather well with a goal and an assist so far. His +/- is Even, and he also had 0 PIM, all while averaging 12:47 icetime per game. Next up for Trouba is a matchup against Switzerland in the Semi Finals. Let’s hope the US has some common sense and plays Trouba, allowing me a chance to watch him play live at 4am.
Photo by Richard Wolowicz/HHOF-IIHF Images
Arturs Kulda – Latvia
That’s him, boxing out a Finn!! The on again, off again Jet suited up Team Latvia at the Championships, a team that finished tied with France in their pool, and ahead of noted non-heavyweight Austria. Tied with France? Latvia has some way to go. Anyways, Kulda held his own somewhat, playing 7 games, getting a goal and an assist, all while registering a shocking 23:15/game. Jets fans can rest well knowing than one of Latvia’s best players is Jets property. Perhaps Kulda’s greatest accomplishment with Team Lativa was helping them avoid relegation, as they finished a strudy 11th in the Tournament.
So, that’s that. There would have been more Jets in the Tournament, but Kane, Enstrom, Bogosian and Slater were/are all nursing injuries. My advice to serious Jets fans is drink a whole lot of coffee, stay up late, and hope to watch Jacob Trouba kick some Swiss ass in the Semi Finals. Enjoy!