Winnipeg Jets: Some Questions With Answers

Well, the blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda season is finally over and I’m quite grateful for that — 

expertsI mean, the so-called experts have prattled on about the Winnipeg Jets powerplay, their penalty killing, their rookies, their goaltending, their woeful exhibition record, their team bonding in Banff and what have they told us?  Nothing we didn’t already know.

My favorite pre-season analysis was provided by the Winnipeg Free Press, whereby a scribe advised us that there are more questions than answers heading into the Winnipeg Jets third National Hockey League journey.  Imagine that.  More questions than answers before the puck is dropped.  What was your first clue, Sherlock?  But fear not, faithful flock.  The writer also assured us that the answers to most of those questions shall be revealed by about Game 80.  Well, duh.

Yes, kids, I’m picking on the media again.  But holy five-hole, Batman, they’re such easy targets.

Seriously, a dissection of the Winnipeg Jets that tells us there are more questions than answers?  That’s as lame as a peg-legged pirate.

So here are some questions with answers:

Question:  Are Devin Setoguchi and Michael Frolik an upgrade over Nik Antropov and Kyle Wellwood?

Answer:  Yes.  A lamp post would be an upgrade over Antropov.  I certainly liked what I saw in Frolik in the Chicago Blackhawks’ run to the Stanley Cup last spring.  He did a lot of little things very well. 

Question:  Is Claude Noel the right man to be coaching this club?

Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel. SHAWN COATES PHOTO

(photo by Shawn Coates)

Answer:  No. He doesn’t know how to properly handle his players re ice time, line combinations and emotional makeup.  Someone always seems to be in his doghouse and young players don’t respond well to public floggings.

Question:  Is Ondrej Pavelec capable of raising his game to an elite goaltender level?


Ondrej Pavelec. (Photo by Shawn Coates)

(photo by Shawn Coates)

 Answer:  No.  What you see is what you get with Pavelec.

Question:  Should the Jets keep both Mark Scheifele and Jacob Trouba up with the big club the entire season?


Answer:  Absolutely.  Yes, the rookies will trip, stumble and fall on occasion, but their time has come.  My main concern with Scheifele is how Coach Claude handles him.  He can’t keep jerking the kid around by playing musical linemates.  He better not mess with Trouba, either, because the freshman blueliner plays with a nasty edge.  The Jets didn’t have enough players who went into the corners with flared nostrils in the past two seasons (see Antropov, Nik).

Question:  Is Dustin Byfuglien’s conditioning still an issue?

Answers:  Yes.  The early returns are favorable, but until Big Buff gets through the back half of a season without running on fumes, it will always be an issue.

Question:  Will the Jets miss Alexander Burmistrov?

Answer:  Based on the way he was utilized by Coach Claude, no.  Burmistrov is an example of a young guy who doesn’t deal well with brow-beating. Noel should have clued in to that.

Question: Can Olli Jokinen have a bounce-back year?

Answer:  No.  He’s spent.  I can see the Jets trading him for draft picks.

Question:  Will the Jets make the playoffs?

Answer:  No.  Sorry, but they just don’t have enough guys who are difficult to play against.  They’ll finish fifth in the Central Division, behind Chicago, St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators and Minnesota Wild.

Question:  Have I told you anything you didn’t already know?

Answer:  Probably not, but at least I gave you some questions with answers.



  1. Mitch Kasprick says

    The MSM in Winnipeg does more flip-flopping and back peddling than you’d believe. The blogging websites in this city are light years ahead of these guys when it comes to analyzing and evaluating MOST situations honestly. Lots of kool-aid being sipped in “River City”

    • Darryl Manchulenko says

      Agreed Mitch… Good read Patti. A little levity and smack of reality all in one. Well done.

    • Patti Dawn Swansson says

      Lawless drinks more Kool-Aid than anyone else. Some of the stuff he’s written since the Jets arrived in town has been shameless promotion for TNSE. He comes across as Chipman’s lap dog. At one point he told fans what to wear and who to cheer for. He figured Winnipeg hockey fans should never wear a Habs sweater, or that of any other visiting team. As if. A supposedly impartial journalist has totally lost the plot when he tells Winnipeg hockey fans they can’t wear their favorite team’s colors and they can only cheer for the home side.

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