© Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Playoffs?! You wanna talk about playoffs?!
No one should have been surprised that the Jets lone move of the Trade Deadline was to take pending UFA Drew Stafford and go shipping him up to Boston under the wire, but GM Kevin Cheveldayoff stating in his subsequent press conference that the team was still in a playoff race was maybe not expected as much.
Insert that blinking surprised man GIF that’s all the rage on Twitter here.
I know some Jets fans loathe the idea write this team off a mere five points out of a playoff spot with 18 games left in the season, but as much as all of us would love to see a miracle playoff run out of nowhere, you don’t need fancy stats to tell you that jumping over three or maybe even four teams by winning about three more games (if not more) than the Kings, Stars, Flames and Blues is asking far too much.
That’s asking the Blues to play sub .500 hockey over their last 20 games, but for funsies in this situation let’s say they go something like 6-11-3. It’s also asking the Kings to go no better than say a record of 6-9-3. Don’t kid yourself, neither of those things will probably happen, but the Blues have lost four in a row and the Kings last three games have been OTL, OTL and W (in OT granted), so this isn’t “impossible” per say, but now we’re not only asking the Jets go true .500 hockey – something they haven’t been able to do all season – but we’re hoping that the two teams directly ahead to outright colapse at the same time.
But it doesn’t matter what any of the other teams do becaise ALL of this is based on a premise that the Jets go on a run unlike any that they have been on since they came to Winnipeg.
Good on Chevy and the coaches and the players for spinning positivity and right now of course they should. It’s one thing for lowly bloggers to give up on the season but you’d hate to hear the actual team pack it in themselves.
Is it the salary cap? Perhaps, but that’s not going anywhere any time soon obviously and it’s been more than a decade with it around so it can’t be like GMs have no idea how to work with it.
Is it because NHL general managers are “afraid” to pull the trigger on a big deal that may be all-or-nothing? Maybe a little, but I think if you hooked up a lie detector to Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher he would fully admit to a big overpay on guys like Martin Hanzal and Ryan White – he refered to the deal as “putting all our chips on the table” – with the idea that this was as good a time as any for the Wild to make a run at the Stanley Cup. Washington has taken a risk with the Shattenkirk deal as has Ottawa giving up a blue chip prospect for two years of a declining Alex Burrows. GMs are still taking risks, maybe just not on the same level as years past.
The other (and maybe biggest) throry I’ve read as to the reason behind a slow deadline is that so many teams – the Winnipeg Jets clearly included as we just discussed – feel they are still within reach of a playoff spot. Would that change if we had the “true three point” results where a regulation win is worth three points while a OT win is only worth two and an OTL is worth one? Our friends over at Flames Nation looked at the idea earlier this year and came to the conclusion that aside from a few slight differences there wouldn’t be much change and races would still be tight.
Maybe you no longer need to worry about taking the day off during the next deadline.
My biased pick for Calder made with my heart is still Laine, but my brain is wondering how Matt Murray isn’t a bigger part of the Calder conversation if not an outright walk away winner of this thing already.