JN AirMail: Janurary 11, 2016

JNAirMail

A light week as far as the mail bag goes. Don’t hesitate to ask
questions related to the Jets, the league or even about Jets Nation and
us writers! How do you do that you ask? Simply send us an @ mention to JetsNation on Twitter with the tag #JNAirMail. You can also send us a DM on that same Twitter account, you can leave a message on our Facebook page, or you can send an e-mail to JNAirMail@shaw.ca.

On to the questions!

Erin asks: Is the NHL kidding us not making Blake Wheeler an all-star? Why Buff?

You have to understand that there was limited space with each division team being a 3 on 3 group and in the Central division there is such a deep talent pool of forwards to fill six spots that there was no way Wheeler was going to break through when four of those forwards represent two teams and the NHL has this rule of every member team needing an all-star rep.

Would you put Blake over Kane and Toews in Chicago or Benn and Seguin in Dallas? Tarasenko has been lights out in St. Louis and while you can make the argument he should get in over Matt Duchene the issue then becomes who goes from the Avalanche? Tyson Barrie?

I’m almost willing to bet Wheeler will be an un-official “first alternate” should the Central team need an injury replacement, but in the meantime enjoy the fact that Buff has been recognized and if nothing else, being a two-time All-Star defenseman ups his trade value should the Jets decide to go that way.

Michael asks: Did the Jets rush Nik Ehlers?

Part of me wonders if the Jets didn’t panic a little bit for whatever reason when Ehlers came out before the season and said he didn’t want to report to the Manitoba Moose and wanted to instead go overseas if the Jets didn’t have him on the opening day roster. Ideally Nik would have spent a season in the AHL where the Jets could still keep a close eye on his development, have him play at a somewhat higher level of play than what junior or European hockey could offer, but not expose him to a level where pro teams quickly figure out how to shut you down and frustrate you on a nightly basis.

It also doesn’t help that Ehlers’ linemate for a good chunk of the season has been Chris Thorburn.

I wouldn’t be that worried about Ehlers at this point as the Jets seem to know what they have in him and aren’t expecting him to put up greater numbers than what he has had so far this season. His shooting percentage will eventually end up better than 5.8% and he can still end the season with a very respectable 10 to 15 goals on the season.

Did they rush him? Perhaps a bit, but I tend to think in the coming seasons once he gains more experience and a bit more size, he’ll be better for being ‘rushed.’

Joel asks: Midway through the season, who are your picks to make the Stanley Cup and win it?

I really like the Capitals out of the east. They have depth everywhere and Braden Holtby is one of the best goalies in the NHL. The west is a bit more of a crapshoot but if I had to make a pick, I’d say Los Angeles makes another run as they are the class of their own division and should at the very least get to the West finals. The Central division will be a meat grinder of a playoff run and could be easy pickings for the Kings by then.

But this year belongs to the Caps in my opinion, although that simply could be because I want to see Alex Ovechkin finally get a ring.

Of course they should! Why haven’t they yet?


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  • #12MorrisLukowich

    Ehlers is not eligible to play in the AHL this season. It had nothing to do with him “not wanting to report to the Moose.” His options for this season were Jets, Europe or back to juniors.

    • #12MorrisLukowich

      No kidding…what ?…Mr. Middleton do you do all your research on a napkin at “The Pint” ?…or are you a professional and write from the “King’s Head” ?..you only post the bleedin obvious questions…it’s becoming apparent the guys sitting next to you are running out of new material…

      • You seem like a very pleasant fellow Mr Mo. I’ll firstly have you know that since I am a blogger I don’t go out at all as social situations are very awkward for me.

        I’d also like to point out that if you feel these questions are too “pedestrian” that you’re more than welcome to submit questions of your own to the various methods outlined. Fire away!

  • For the sharks disallowed goal, it’s hard to tell but it seems possible that Wheeler’s leg actually only hit Pavelski’s leg, which was up against Stalock’s.

    IF this is true, which I’m definitely not sure of, is that still incidental contact, by means of another player, the same way you can have goaltender interference by pushing a defender into the goalie?

    Again, IF Wheeler never made direct contact, is it still possible to incur a tripping penalty?