JN AirMail: TFW You Wonder About How A Team Is Feeling

The concern Jets fans have over this team one month into the season is palpable and this week’s questions to us reflect the concern Jets fans have over roster decisions and possible emotions running high with this club, especially after their second blown third period lead of the season this past Saturday.

This week KyleSean, Cam as well as yours truly answer your questions about Nic Petan, Laine (because of course) and the overall mood of the team.

JetsNation AirMail is where we ask for your questions, you either @ them to us on Twitter, send them to us on Facebook or even old school electronic mail them to us and then we answer them here!

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Kyle: This is a team that is learning to manage expectations. They have never been a contender before and the team has to figure out how to play while the fans and media expect strong results. Sometimes it’s easier when there are no expectations because a team can go out and be happy with whatever happens. I imagine the expectations make for a more serious locker room which might be cause for some of the problems.

Cam: I think the locker room atmosphere is fine. I imagine some of the guys are feeling a little frustrated with themselves and a little with each other. But, this group has been together long enough to know what is going to be detrimental to the locker room and what is going to push each other to take the next step and to be sharper.

Sean: The locker room is fine in my opinion. Probably a little frustration to start the year but Byfuglien along with Wheeler are the guys I want to hear from. This team has great chemistry but is still young, its good to have some veteran guys stand up and speak when it is needed.

Art: The mood in the dressing room is really the last thing I think fans need to worry about with this team, I’m sure it’s fine. yes they may be gripping the sticks a bit, yes there is a lot more pressure on this club than I think any of these guys – outside of Byfuglien perhaps – has dealt with before, but this team was together last season and knows what they can do. I already established that Laine was a “fourth line player” in concept only and played top six minutes in the game. Byfuglien yelling at Laine at the end of the Leafs game really isn’t that big a deal either. Buff has a bit of a bellowing voice and it’s not the first time we’ve heard him bark out commands.

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Kyle: I think it will be soon. Lemieux has been ok, but Petan deserves a shot. With the Jets struggling offensively, Petan is a great addition that could spark a line and get a few guys going.

Cam: I think Petan will be in the lineup during this overseas trip, or shortly after. The team has had a dense schedule and now has to fly overseas. Some of the guys will be tired and need to just take a break. As well, Petan will have practiced with the team enough to be up to speed with any system changes. On top of all of this, I think Petan is going to come in with something to prove and the team will rally around him after the tragic circumstances that saw him take time away from the team.

Sean: I don’t know if Petan has a time with this team. He may get a shot here in the next couple weeks but it will not be what he needs to succeed. Petan on the third or fourth line will not give him the chance he needs, and I doubt he will get that chance in Winnipeg.

Art: I’m with Cam, I assume it’ll be after the Finland trip. The real question is how much leeway is Paul Maurice going to give him? Paul had demonstrated before that he hasn’t trusted his overall game and there really isn’t anywhere in the top six forward group to put him. Can Petan make anything happen on a line with say Roslovic and Lemieux? Does Vesalainen get brought up again and will they try a line with Petan, Roslovic and Vesalainen? Petan will get some time soon, I just don’t know if it will be much of a chance given to him.

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Kyle: Unfortunately Laine is going to command a crazy contract regardless of his performance this season. He already has two seasons under his belt with strong results. Don’t forget that Laine is shooting an extremely low percentage so far (compared to his career norm) so his goal totals will likely bounce back throughout the course of the season. He still leads the team in shots so it’s not like he isn’t getting his chances. The goals will come, and so will the large contract.

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Cam: If the Jets are smart, they sign Laine to a long-term contract and offer a contract with a cap hit that reflects the performance of this season – so slightly lower than expected. Now, I say this and Laine is going to go on a tear now. If Laine’s camp is smart, Laine signs a bridge deal so that Laine can bet on himself and maybe earn an extra million or 2 per year.

Sean: Laine is going to get his money, that said, this would be an opportune time for the Jets to really start pushing because yeah, maybe they could save a million here or there. On the other end however if Laine puts up 5 in the two Finland games now do the Jets owe him 11? Everyone knows his worth, he’s going to get paid.

Art: I don’t see him commanding anything more than eight million a season right now and Cam may be on the right track with a cheaper bridge deal although the Jets will want to lock him up a little longer than that. Right now though Laine’s overall game doesn’t suggest to me that he should be the highest paid player on the team. Of course, if he somehow gets on track and scores 50 goals this season, all bets are likely off.

Kyle: I think we all know the feeling too well…

Cam: It is our lot in life.

Sean: It’s a right of passage for anyone that wants to cheer for Winnipeg sports team.

Art: Oh c’mon, we’re not even a month into the season! Let’s at least go one more month or somewhat disappointing results and a few more blown third period leads before we label this team a heartbreaker.