Week of January 28th - February 3rd: Audio from MTS (Coach, Pav, Wheeler, Thor, Post)
Talking about player updates. Buff rumours addressed. Making changes. Penalty Kill talk. Team confidence level. Helping team by looking forward. His reaction to the losses. Negativity in situation. Trying to keep a balance. When adversity strikes. Play of Kris Versteeg against the Jets. Updates on Miettinen and Bogosian.
Illegal Curve: Coach Noel pre road trip presser. PK improvement. Accountability due to leadership group. Improvements team needed to make for this season. Why is his team better able to handle things this year? Not looking too far ahead. Development of Burmistrov. Keeping team in-balance. Reluctance to put too much into 5 games. Shortened season impacts his interaction with team. Assessment of the upcoming game against the Canadiens. Needing to have consistency in the group.
CBC: Scheifele - Should he stay or should he go now? The debate continues as to whether or not Scheifele should be sent down. It seems highly unlikely that coach Noel will tinker with his chemistry for tomorrow's game against the Habs, and that would mean that if Scheifele gets into the next game following (vs. Panthers on 31st), he will not have played for 9 days. Is the off-ice experience he is gaining being around NHL players worth the lack of on-ice experience. Especially in light of fact that he would be playing big minutes in Barrie.
Winnipeg Free Press: Victory was no Picasso, but a decent Montoya. Considering that Montoya hasn’t played a meaningful game in almost a year his game was decent.
Winnipeg Free Press: Spotlight on Dustin Byfuglien. Ed looks at Big Buff, by the numbers.
TSN: Jets show their emotion in win over Islanders. As did the fans who wouldn’t let up despite the fact that this team was down by 2 goals with just over 7 minutes to go in the 3rd period. A gutsy effort from the Jets who out chanced the Islanders but couldn’t solve Nabokov.
Winnipeg Sun: Two of Jets’ demons slayed — but did they take Islanders seriously enough? These guys are becoming cardiac kids as they give their fans heart palpitations falling behind before rallying for the win.
Winnipeg Sun: Dancin’ Gabe turns 50. The Manitoba sports icon turned 5o yesterday and appropriately enough was celebrating with 15,003 of his closest friends. The Jets honoured him with a Dancin Gabe 50 framed jersey.
Jets on a Deadline – Winnipeg 5 New York 4 in OT:
Winnipeg Jets: Evander Kane, Al Montoya, Andrew Ladd, Alexander Burmistrov and Alexi Ponikarovsky.
Arizona Republic: Clock ticks down for Phoenix Coyotes deal. The deadline is now Thursday for Jamison to take advantage of the deal provided by the former city council. A deal he isn't likely to see from the new members of council if he allows it to expire.
Globe and Mail: Veto of Markham financing plan may torpedo arena’s private partner. This deal has more layers than an onion and the folks in Markham had best continue peeling away all the layers, no matter how much it makes them cry, before they agree to finance an arena. You would think the due diligence would be complete but that appears not to be the case.
San Jose Mercury News: San Jose Sharks stay perfect with 4-1 win over Vancouver Canucks. The Sharks were written off for dead by many but don’t look now they beat the Canucks and move to 5-0 on the season. Marleau failed to record his 5th consecutive 2 goal game, although he did end the game with 1 tally.
Chicago Tribune: Leddy’s OT goal gives Hawks win over Red Wings. Perhaps more people would be talking about the 5-0 Sharks, if the Blackhawks weren’t off to the best start in franchise history, currently sitting at 6 wins and 0 losses after taking out arch-rival Detroit yesterday.
ESPN: Jason Arnott won’t join Rangers. The 38 year old Arnott reportedly failed the physical. Will he rectify whatever is wrong and sign with anyone team? Stay tuned.
Part 1: Friday night recap, Jets win vs. Pittsburgh at MTS Centre. Jets week in review. (@BOS, @WSH, vs.PIT). Interview with Ken Holland, General Manager of the Detroit Red Wings. Jets/Islanders preview. Contracts signed this week (Joffrey Lupul, Jamie Benn).
Part 2: Interview with Anthony SanFilippo of PhiladelphiaFlyers.com. RFAs that have yet to sign contracts. (PK Subban, Ryan O’Reilly). Interview with Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province. NHL News & Notes. Injuries this week. Rapid Fire, Cheers & Jeers.
Interview with GM Ken Holland: The increase in scoring coming out of this seasons lockout. The similarities of the retirements of Yzerman and Lidstrom and how they effected the team. How the recently retired Tomas Holmstrom was such an effective player. Taking the time to fully develop a player. The evolution of Mike Babcock as a coach. Lengthening overtime. Playing games outside of their own time zone.
Note: Be sure to stay tuned to @illegalcurve as we will be bringing you all the latest from tonight’s Jets and Habs game which begins at 6:30 pm cst. During the game you can win IC Gear by participating in our twitter Game Winning Goal contest Remember that for your vote to qualify you must send in your guess by hashtaging (#) the Game Winning Goal (GWG) contest. (i.e. #ICGWG Kane.)
Winnipeg Free Press: Growing up before our eyes. Just one year removed from the first season in Winnipeg and already so many improvements. Fans will have to hope they don’t see any relapses back to last year.
Winnipeg Free Press: Notebook. Ed Tait look at the Jets road trip including another back-to-back, the Jets discipline, high praise for Burmistrov and Big Buff quotes.
Winnipeg Free Press: East is no Eden. While the Jets are centrally located playing in the Southeast division just doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Winnipeg Free Press: This just in – He loves the Jets. Peter Mansbridge is a big fan of the Jets.
Winnipeg Sun: Discipline sure sign of growing maturity. One sure fire way to ensure the puck has less of a chance of ending up in your net is to play smart hockey. The Jets have done that this season, currently with the least number of shothanded opportunities in the NHL.
Winnipeg Sun: Coach Claude Noel keeping things in perspective. Coach Noel has his lasso ready to rein in the fans and the media from getting too far ahead with planning a Stanley Cup parade down Portage Avenue. While he is clearly pleased with where his team currently sits, there are still a number of areas in which they have to continue to progress if they want to have continued success.
Winnipeg Sun: Alex Burmistrov playing hard-nosed game. Burmistrov has continued to develop his physical play this season. He isn’t afraid to mix it up with the biggest players on the opposition (i.e. the Bruins Chara, who if you recall he also took on last season) or take on similar sized forwards. He has played with an edge this season and his team mates and coach have taken notice.
ESPN: NHL hockey power rankings. Looks like Pierre LeBrun has shot the Jets up 14 spots on the list. Not surprisingly, it appears the atmosphere at the MTS Centre has played a part.
Illegal Curve: Coach Noel off-day presser. PK improvement. Accountability due to leadership group. Improvements team needed to make for this season. Why is his team better able to handle things this year? Not looking too far ahead. Development of Burmistrov. Keeping team in-balance. Reluctance to put too much into 5 games. Shortened season impacts his interaction with team. Assessment of the upcoming game against the Canadiens. Needing to have consistency in the group.
Toronto Sun: Wayne Gretzky in no hurry to return to the NHL. After all he has given to the game of hockey, he can pretty much do whatever he would like and not many are going to make a peep.
TSN: Underage players proving their worth around NHL. From what we have seen from the Jets Scheifele it would appear he will be sent back down to Barrie after a little more seasoning with the big club. Lots of young players however will be sticking around for the shortened NHL season.
ESPN: Did Habs GM win Subban signing? Consensus appears to be that rookie Montreal GM Marc Bergevin faced his first big challenge and passed with flying colours as he managed to sign the dynamic Subban for a total of 5.75 million for two years. Now the good news for Subban is he will get the lions share of the contract dollars (3.75 million) next season. This gives the Canadiens GM 2 years in which to determine how much his asset is worth but at the same time he could pay through the roof when it comes time to negotiate the next Subban contract.
Illegal Curve: Coach Noel audio as team leaves for Florida this morning. Making changes to his lineup? Team taking penalties, reversion to last season’s tendencies or anomaly? Mark Scheifele watch continues. Thoughts on getting Zach Redmond into lineup? Does Jokinen need to be shooting more? Talking about the Florida Panthers. Jets poor start to games.
Winnipeg Free Press: Discipline an issue in loss to the Montreal Canadiens. The woes of the penalty kill were exposed last night. The Jets had escaped this for the most part this season as they had avoided taking a lot of penalties but they could not escape the zebras last night.
Winnipeg Free Press: Noel laments costly mistakes. You could see it in his prickly post-game interview that he was not a happy camper with the effort his team put forth.
Winnipeg Sun: Burned by bad habits. I would hate to be in the room when coach Noel got done with his troops. He could not have been happy with the effort the team put forth last night. Despite temporarily taking the lead the Jets did not play a complete 60 minutes and it cost them. Paul also focuses on Antropov’s goal, Thorburn’s mistake, Pavelec’s posts, Scheifele watch and a coaching theory.
Winnipeg Sun: Perry Pearn on the defensive in Montreal. Pearn was quite funny when he was talking to the Montreal media yesterday. Especially when he said he was nervous around the 5 or 6 game mark (although technically he was, in fact, let go after 7 games last season by Montreal).
Illegal Curve: Jets on a Deadline – Canadiens 4 Jets 3. Game recaps, video highlights and the NHL.com 3 Stars of the night.
CBC: Ex-NHLPA boss calls Quebec City, Toronto expansion spots. Former head of the NHLPA Paul Kelly confirms that the NHL would like to see the league sitting at 32 teams. The NHLPA might be happy with another 50 new members and just think of the added revenue another Toronto area team would bring.
Toronto Star: Markham arena risky proposition without guarantee of NHL team. The Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri is an example of a successful arena that is run without a major anchor tenant (unless you consider the Kansas City Command of the Arena Football League a major tenant). As the above article suggests, the NHL is clearly interested in continuing to mine the GTA region but without a new arena this obviously will never take place.
Grantland: Who has the best goalie mask in hockey this season? The mask art of goaltenders is really an interesting story. Many personalize it with references to family or some event. Jets fans will recall Chris Mason’s Iron Maiden mask (a look he continued in Nashville), Chris Carrozzi’s Puffin mask, Mark Dekanich’s Happy Bombs mask, Al Montoya’s Big Cubano mask and Ondrej Pavelec continues the air force theme on his mask.
Globe and Mail: Is Canada’s hockey obsession getting out of hand? If being obsessed with hockey is wrong, I don’t want to know what is right.
Note: Be sure to stay tuned to @illegalcurve as we will be bringing you all the latest from tonight’s Jets and Panthers game which begins at 6:30 pm cst. During the game you can win IC Gear by participating in our twitter Game Winning Goal contest Remember that for your vote to qualify you must send in your guess by hashtaging (#) the Game Winning Goal (GWG) contest. (i.e. #ICGWG Kane.)
Coach Noel - Zach Redmond possibly in lineup. Status of Dustin Byfuglien (game time decision). Could Redmond play if Byfuglien play? Has he let Tuesday night’s game go? Team needs to get a better start. Advice for someone making their 1st NHL start.
Winnipeg Free Press: Scheifele still riding the pine. While fans might question the decision making end of the day the Jets want to do what is best for Mark Scheifele. He is an asset they want to develop properly and you have to believe they are doing what is in his best interest. Of course what a coach who wants to win in the present and a GM who needs to think more long term believe is the right development path might be two very different things..
Winnipeg Free Press: Shaking off the rust. It is interesting to note the difference in conditioning between those players who simply scrimmaged with other NHLers and those that were playing in other professional leagues.
Winnipeg Free Press: Sin-bin visits down, but Jets still struggling with kill rate. It is during the special teams play when you most notice the absence of a Zach Bogosian.
Winnipeg Sun: Finding their own identity. Fans in Winnipeg are only too happy to watch this team shed the old image they brought from Atlanta and hopefully embrace a new one in which they can adopt coach Noel’s mantra (no word if it is jai-ya). Along the way there will be relapses but the test will be to see how they learn from the mistakes and avoid making them in the future.
Winnipeg Sun: Everything sunny for Jets. While you certainly cannot afford to take any NHL team lightly, the Jets know that the Panthers are not the same team they were last season and you have to take advantage of the fact that they are off to such a poor start. Especially important to get a clean two points when you consider how essential it is to take as many points from a division rival as possible.
Winnipeg Sun: Wellwood still shaking his head after going wide on Price. Sometimes you wish a cerebral player like Wellwood would be a tad more instinctual, but then again, he has gotten to this level of professional hockey by being this type of player.
Winnipeg Sun: Wright Jets back to show after Lightning-fast road to NHL. It is a tale as old as time, a young prospect rushed to the NHL, gets an opportunity to play in a lot of games early in his career but this tails off and suddenly he is sent to the minors and is unable to get back to the pros. Wright seems desperate to make the most of this opportunity with the Jets.
Jets official site: Jets vs. Panthers preview. Taking a look at tonight's contest between the division rivals.
Jets affiliate and prospect news:
IceCaps official site: The Rock Report. The Caps’ are just four points back of a playoff spot as the team gets ready to head into action on Friday against the Binghamton Senators. Hopefully they had a restful All-Star break. Here is the week in review.
Calgary Herald: Late goal stuns Hitmen, gives Swift Current 5-4 win. Adam Lowry continues to dominate in the WHL as he had a big night yesterday with a goal and three assists. He remains 4th overall in the WHL scoring with 33 goals and 37 assists for 70 points in 51 games.
Michigan Daily: Wolverines struggle to maintain consistent lineup. A couple of comments about Jacob Trouba.
ESPN: Coyotes’ sale in question. Is this the end of the Howl in the desert? (Seriously, I love the Howl sound when the Coyotes score at Jobing.com Arena). Things are not looking good in Arizona for Greg Jamison to get the lease deal signed with the city of Glendale. If this deals falls through (which seems inevitable at this point) the new Mayor and new city council will almost certainly push for a better deal for the city. While the NHL clearly wants the Coyotes to stay in Glendale how many more ownership groups must fail before they pull the plug?
Globe and Mail: White-elephant alert to Markham and arena developers. It is a massive risk to build an arena without assurance that the NHL will eventually become a tenant. As Eric points out, Gary Bettman doesn’t like being backed into a corner, so these developers need to be wary.
TSN: Daly refutes Kelly’s comments about NHL expansion plans. Well we know that whenever the NHL denies a rumour they are always telling the truth.
Note: Be sure to stay tuned to @illegalcurve as we will be bringing you all the latest from tonight’s Jets and Lightning game which begins at 6:30 pm cst. During the game you can win IC Gear by participating in our twitter Game Winning Goal contest Remember that for your vote to qualify you must send in your guess by hashtaging (#) the Game Winning Goal (GWG) contest. (i.e. #ICGWG Wheeler)
Note II: Tune into the Illegal Curve Hockey Show on TSN Radio 1290 from noon to 3 pm on Saturday as the guys discuss all the latest Winnipeg Jets and NHL news. Guests: Sean Fitz-Gerald (National Post) and Jesse Rogers (ESPN Chicago).
Winnipeg Free Press: One messy meltdown. Five goals in the 3rd period probably qualifies as a meltdown. Of course similar to fans not getting too high after three wins in a row, perhaps a couple of losses shouldn’t send anyone into panic mode, just yet.
Winnipeg Free Press: Spotlight on Pavelec. He looked great in the 1st period as he held his team in a game that they looked lackluster in. Unfortunately his rebound control was not great in the latter half of the game and it burnt the Jets.
Winnipeg Free Press: Scheifele sits again. The last thing the Jets need right now is their 2011 first round pick to lose confidence in his game. This is the problem with bringing him along for the ride but sitting him, he starts to question his ability.
TSN: Special teams do Jets in against Panthers in Florida. There was nothing special about the Jets special team efforts last night. The PP looked less than spectacular and you already know about the PK.
CBC: Road woes resurface. Losing Buff exposes what fans knew and that is this team cannot afford any injuries if they hope to compete. A major injury to a Dustin Byfuglien and the tailspin might be too significant for the Jets to pull out of.
Winnipeg Sun: Zach Redmond comes on strong in debut. It was difficult to take any positives from last night’s contest. Redmond gained confidence as the game progressed and you could see why Robin Short of the Telegraph in St. John’s told us back in December that he was the number one defenceman for the IceCaps this season. Finished third on the Jets in total ice time (20:56).
Winnipeg Sun: Lack of discipline does in Winnipeg again. It was simply ugly. After 5 games being one of the least penalized team in the NHL, the Jets have fallen off the wagon (or is it on the wagon?). They have done a 180 and in the last two games have started taking penalties like it is going out of style. Based on the poor penalty kill, this pattern of losing will continue if the Jets continue to play undisciplined hockey.
USA Today: Greg Jamison misses Coyotes deadline; what’s next? Essentially he missed a deadline with the City of Glendale but not with the NHL. Jamison can still attempt to move forward but the sweetheart deal that the old administration was offering him appears to have passed with the 11:59 MT deadline he missed last night.
National Post: Canucks’ decision to play Roberto Luongo over Cory Schneider sensible but complicated. This situation is just too bizarre. If you are in the trade Luongo camp, the good news is he is increasing his worth as trade bait. The problem is he is proving invaluable to Vancouver right now which could hamper the development of the prospective number one tender Cory Schneider.
CBC: NHL not ready to expand to Ontario, Quebec Bill Daly says on HNIC Radio. Regardless of whether you believe this is the position held by the NHL or not, Bill Daly always is an interesting interview. He also touches on the problems in Phoenix and his relationship with Commissioner Bettman who is celebrating his 20th anniversary as NHL commish today.
Toronto Star: A new arena for Markham would dash Hamilton’s NHL hopes. With all those advantages for Markham, it would appear that if the arena does get built, Hamiltonians are going to continue having to get their NHL fix in other cities.
Sportsnet: Top 10 NHL tweets of the Month. Kudos to the Kings and Stars official twitter accounts for using levity in their tweeting. Also a fan of Luongo’s “secret” account.
Note: While I don’t usually use these pages to make birthday announcements, it isn’t everyday that your baba (grandmother) turns 91. A very happy and healthy birthday wish to mine and Richard’s baba who turns 91 today.
Note II: Tune into the Illegal Curve Hockey Show on TSN Radio 1290 from noon to 3 pm on today as the guys discuss all the latest Winnipeg Jets and NHL news. Guests: Chuck Gormley (CSN Washington), Sean Fitz-Gerald (National Post) and Jesse Rogers (ESPN Chicago).
Winnipeg Free Press: Jets put on sorry exhibition. It was easily the worst game of the season for Winnipeg, who ended this road trip in disastrous fashion.
Winnipeg Free Press: Fried like bacon. About the only time the Jets weren’t having their butts handed to them was for a brief moment in the 3rd period. Other than that it felt like they were killing penalties all game long (which they were).
TSN: Penalty kill hits rock bottom against Lightning. The road trip which began with so much promise but ended in pretty much the worst way possible, an embarrassing loss to a division rival.
Winnipeg Sun: Jets in a serious rut after shellacking. When folks heard Big Buff was out of the lineup for a second consecutive game, the collective groan was practically audible from Jets nation. It was not a pretty effort and coach Noel’s subdued attitude following the game is almost worse than the anger he displayed after the Panthers game on Thursday. Ken also looks at Pavelec by the numbers, Scheifele being back in the lineup, Postma’s first goal, Enstrom’s production, Burmi’s sneaky play and a surprising Bolts rookie.
Winnipeg Sun: Paul Postma’s first goal a mixed blessing. He will no longer be known as Paul Post-ma after he finally buried his first NHL goal. He also added 2 assists in the game and continued to showcase his offensive touch. Coach Noel said the following about his game “I thought Postma played fairly well in the game. He is getting experience and that is probably a good thing”.
Illegal Curve: Jets on a Deadline – Lightning 8 Jets 3. Game recaps, coach Noel post-game comments, video highlights and the NHL.com 3 Stars of the night.
Jets official site: Super Bowl predictions (video). Mark Stuart, Evander Kane, Jim Slater, Mark Scheifele and Ron Hainsey make their best attempts at prognosticating the winner on Sunday.
Jets affiliate and prospect news:
TSN: Eric O’Dell’s two goals lead IceCaps past Senators. Unlike their parent organization, the IceCaps were less penalized than their opponent and capitalized on the opportunities they were given by Binghamton.
- Adam Lowry and the Swift Current Broncos were shut out last night by the Edmonton Oil Kings while Jacob Trouba and his University of Michigan Wolverines beat arch-rival Michigan State Spartans 3-2 in front of a sold out Yost Ice Arena. Trouba didn’t have any points, but the game was televised and from what I saw before the Jets game started, his cannon from the point continues to be lights out.
Arizona Republic: Coyotes saga drags on. Seems like the Drama in the Desert has finally reached its conclusion as it appears that another prospective owner has failed to rally investors interest in preserving hockey in Glendale.
CBC: Keeping Coyotes in Phoenix is proving to be a tough sell. If this deal was so palatable the money men would snatch it up. Instead as Elliotte Friedman contends, it continues to prove itself to be too tough a pill to swallow.
Globe and Mail: Saving hockey players from themselves. Sounds like quite a drag being on the road.
ESPN: Gary Bettman’s 20 years as commissioner have been full of ups and downs. To Jets fans he is both a villain and hero. While many in these parts will never forgive him for his role in not preventing the Jets departure in the mid 90s, he was also cheered at the Home Opener of the Jets 2.0, a return of NHL to Winnipeg which many said would not have happened unless given his blessing. Whatever you think of Gary Bettman he has led the NHL for over two decades and has left an indelible mark on the game.
Note: As always be sure to stay tuned to the @illegalcurve twitter account which will be bringing you all the latest from Jets practice today at the MTS Centre this morning.
Winnipeg Free Press: Penalty-kill unit sending out an SOS. While the Jets won't use this as an excuse being without two heavies as coach Noel would call them in Byfuglien and Bogosian doesn't make the business of killing penalties a very easy prospect.
Winnipeg Free Press: Scheifele’s fate anyone’s guess. While the Jets may not be voicing their intent, their actions appear to speak louder than anything coach Noel has said during a presser. Would be shocked to see him past the next game he plays.
Winnipeg Sun: Scheifele has extra pep in his step. Scheifele has to be wondering if the game against the Panthers on Tuesday will be his last in the NHL for the 2013 season. It would appear that he will be sent back to Barrie following his next game.
Winnipeg Sun: Stuart is all hockey player. An in-depth look at the Jets rugged defenceman and some of the things that make him tick.
Winnipeg Sun: Team need a boost after disastrous road trip. It was a road trip to forget. After many declared the Jets road warriors when they beat Washington and lost of Boston in a shootout during the first road excursion, there was a collective shock when the Jets went o for 3 on the most recent road trip. The numbers were atrocious and coach Noel and his fellow assistant coaches are going to have their work cut out for themselves over the next couple of days.
Jets affiliate and prospect news:
The Telegram: Pasquale, O’Dell lead IceCaps to 1-0 win over Binghamton. Don’t look now but the Jets farm team may be turning things around. They enjoyed their first 2 game sweep of the season at Mile One Centre, as they swept the Senators on the strength of Eddie Pasquale’s netminding.
Star Phoenix: Blades win fourth straight. Two Jets prospects went to battle last night as 2011 3rd round pick Adam Lowry and his Swift Current Broncos took on and lost to 2012 2nd round pick Lukas Sutter and his Saskatoon Blades 4-1. The Blades held Lowry off the scoreboard and he finished the night -3. Sutter was named Blades player of the month for January after recording eight goals and 30 penalty minutes in 11 games.
CBC: Hotstove Tonight. The panel talked about the goalie situation in Vancouver and ongoing drama in the Coyotes search for ownership.
Toronto Sun: Short season an evaluation nightmare. It is why 3 game losing streaks are a lot more significant than if this was the regular season. Of course since only a few teams are overachieving, the hope for the teams currently on the bottom of the pile, is that they still have time to catch up.
NHL.com: Lebron’s first NHL game (video). King James took in the action between the Bruins and Leafs. Considering his history with the Celtics, you would have to think he was cheering for Toronto.
Washington Post: John Erskine suspended three games for elbowing. It was a pretty vicious hit that he threw on the Flyers Wayne Simmonds.