We often rate the players, but I thought I’d rate some of the people around the team.
These are purely my personal impressions. Feel free to disagree.
Claude Noel – B+
I can’t give him an A. We didn’t get into the playoffs. However I think he is the right man to build a championship team with. This was definitely a better team as the season progressed. I never miss his press conferences if I can avoid it. Half of his funniest stuff seems to go right over the head of all the sports writers in the room.
Charlie Huddy – A+
Dustin Byfuglien and Zach Bogosian. All the explanation I need.
Pascal Vincent and Wade Flaherty - ?
I don’t know enough about them.
Mark Chipman and David Kenneth Roy Thomson, 3rd Baron Thomson of Fleet – A+
I can’t imagine anything but long term success with solid, passionate ownership like this. I hope owning the Jets makes them richer than they are now (Although I doubt it. I suspect owning an NHL team is about a break even proposition at best.)
Dennis Beyak – A
I was in the group that wanted Curt Keilback to get the gig, but I have no complaints about how Dennis has performed this year.
Brian Munz – B
Acceptable radio play by play man.
Shane Hnidy – C+
I like him. He just needs to grow into his job as a colour man.
Brian Engblom – A
I really enjoy his colour commentary
Mike Johnson – C
Kelly Moore – A
I try to always hear his morning commentary on the Jets. He knows what he is talking about.
Jim Toth – D-
Sarah Orlesky – B
I have no big problem with her. She asks some good questions, but needs seasoning.
Gary Lawless – F
Makes me pine for the fine reporting of Jim Toth. What a shame he is the lead man on the Jets beat.
TSN Jets – A
After a couple of technical hiccups, they have done a fine job of broadcasting Jets games.
CBC – F-
Awful, just awful
TSN 1290 – C+
Okay, but please dump the call-in segment after the games.
CJOB – B
Much better post-game coverage than the rights-holder. I’m glad they didn’t turn their back on the team when they didn’t land the broadcasting rights.
The Winnipeg Fans – A+++++++++
Unbelievable. Smart, raucous, funny, supportive, knowledgeable. The return of Selanne was incredible. The fans had the chance to tell him how much they loved him, after missing the chance when he was traded and the team was taken away from us. “Boo – Yay – Boo – Yay – Boo – Yay – Boo”, I still laugh when I think about it. The people in the seats have become an important part of the whole experience.
1. How the hell can anything be rated lower than Lawless!? Granted, I know nothing about the man, other than that he's a real looker, but you guys really don't seem to like him very much.
2. Don't really agree about your reasoning for the A+ on Huddy. I don't think Buff has made big enough strides for that. And you have to remember that Enström had a relatively weak year under him.
3. Pretty much agree with your grade on Noel, though I would rate him a bit lower, since we still was pretty weak on the road towards the end of the season, and he never really tried breaking up Buff and Enström.
I agree with most of it. My two biggest peeves were addressed with the grading of Gary Lawless (I'm really NOT a fan) and CBC when I'm forced to watch their horrible standard definition broadcast and listen to their commentary drone on about garbage when play is going on.
It's funny you noted Vincent and Flaherty as mysteries. As far as their results go I'm not totally pleased.
Vincent is in charge of the special teams and that was possibly one of this teams glaring weaknesses. Both on the PK and PP. I can understand the PP as we don't have very strong units to roll out there and when teams key in to shut down the point it often shuts down our PP and leads to chances the other way. Either way he's in charge of that and the results were poor.
Admittedly he didn't have a lot of skill to work with on the PP and Noel had made a note of that in press conferences. So I can agree with that and give him a pass.
The PK on the other hand should and HAS to be better. Under 80% is not going to work. Especially given that the system we use does not pressure the other team in a way the Pittsburgh system for example does. Some teams have sub-PK numbers, but they try and put pressure and get offense out of their PK, which keeps some teams honest. With all the 3rd/4th line depth this team has we should be able to get the job done. When watching, I like what the penalty kill is doing but it can still use some work. This team, did take too many penalties this year, but regardless they have to be better, bottom-line.
I can't say too much about Flaherty, but if I've noticed anything, his coaching has the goaltenders playing aggressive out of the crease. Mason's last game saw him doing so and he clearly looked out of his comfort zone. Pav's has been playing that way for nearly the whole year and hasn't looked bad at it. However, rebound control is still a clear problem, especially if you are going to play that style. That problem was sometimes cancelled out with Pavs' ability to make miraculous desperation saves. Mason, was not so lucky however.
His team showed very solid progression from last year. The players on the team were near identical to those of last year.
Even as a spectator I noticed a very likeable difference between the teams play this year than that of last year.
I think that merits a B+ in my opinion.
When he starts getting better pieces to work with then you can start being critical. Some coaches can turn lead to gold sometimes (Trotz), but when you really don't have much, it's reeeaaally difficult. We may have Enstrom and Byfuglien, but defensively they sit in the shadows of Weber and Suter.