The Winnipeg Jets are certainly not where they want to be in the NHL standings right now.
And with a record of 4-5-0, it’s understandable for head coach Claude Noel and his team to be frustrated. Players on a team that has one of the highest goals against averages at two-per-game - 25 total - should expect some criticism.
Especially when considering that the team has only scored 19 goals. I believe Noel summed up all the issues and challenges quite professionally in his latest interview with the media.
I expected him to be yelling and ripping into specific players or the officials. But instead, he was very calm, stated the facts and promised to continue doing his job as coach of the team. Obviously, no one is going to be happy with the team’s current record, but I believe that some of these issues can’t be helped.
For example, there is very little depth or flexibility within the Jets current roster. Most of the players on the team are very young and inexperienced as well. So finding the required level of consistency from game to game or line to line is a huge challenge.
Yes, this team does have great players like Dustin Byfuglien, Evander Kane, and Brian Little but the team can’t win games with only three players. One of the major reasons Byfuglien did so well in Chicago is because he was able to play off guys like Patrick Kane and Jonathan Teows.
The Jets don’t have players of that calibre on their roster at present. And the only way they’re going to have a shot at getting a player as good as Kane is if they trade one of the players mentioned above and a draft pick. However, I don’t believe the team is in a position to do that right now. But it could help them if they were to get a few more experienced players.
At any rate, this is a nasty dilemma for the Jets to be in. Right now, it seems that the only way the team can win a game is if goaltender Ondrej Pavelec steals the win for his team. It’s clearly not a good situation.
However, it is still quite early in the season. I really hope Noel’s statements to the players have a positive impact which allows the players to snap out of this slump and play better.
Otherwise, it’s going to be a very long, depressing season for the Jets organisation and the fans.
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