Reality Bites – Decision Time For Winnipeg Jets

Decision Time For Winnipeg Jets — 

It’s My Time Of The Month

Well, my monthly blog is due and I started to do a player-by-player analysis of  the Winnipeg Jets.  A month is fair but I think a lot of you will understand that it became a long, winding story due to the inconsistencies in most of the players play thus far.

That’s right, MOST of the players.  5,000 word blogs are against the policies in place at this website so I deleted and started over.  Not much wonder the Jets are sitting at 5-8-2.

diceBut Our Last Road Trip ???

On Twitter, after the Jets completed their recent four game road trip, I speculated that maybe what we saw on that trip was exactly what the Winnipeg Jets are.  A team that grabbed 3 out of 8 points may be a true indication of their talent level as a team.  MAYBE …

Option 1:

If that speculation is correct, then it would seem to be simple.  GM Cheveldayoff said the goal is the playoffs and since this team is in dire need of an upgrade in talent should he just swing a big deal for better players?  But oops, not so fast.  It’s the five-year plan and the reliance on the draft that rebuts some of that.  Then we have the no-movement and no-trade clauses in some of the player’s contracts that would have to be thrown into any deal.  Those plush deals pass on to the receivers.  If you want quality, you have to give it up in return along with those warts.

Unless you give up big draft picks.  Since Chevy has smartly aligned himself with his picks developing into good NHL’ers when they come of age, why would he throw that security blanket out the door?  Keep the picks.  You’ll always have hope as long as a few drafts make it.  Just gotta know how to sell.  😛

So you tell me.  Can Chevy upgrade this talent while sticking with the plan?  It’s a tough one to pull off is all I’m saying.  And yes, he’s put us here.  He’s not off the hook ~ just very safe in his job.

Option 2:

Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel. SHAWN COATES PHOTOObviously Fire The Coach Scott !!!

This is something I’ve been hearing since before Noel got his extension this summer.  Remember all the speculation when Chevy didn’t clarify his intentions with Noel for quite a while after the season?  Ruff?  AV?  Torts?  Hawerchuck?  Arniel?  Oh we heard them all.  But once Chevy made his choice, I made a decision to give Claude Noel a clean slate and give him a fair shot.  The first two years were goofy, to say the least, so now a controlled start to the season seemed fair.  I didn’t know if he’s a good NHL coach or not but just that a decision was made and I’m a fan who wants it to work.  I still don’t know if he’s a good NHL coach but I don’t know if he’s a bad one either.

A lot of the “experts” point to his systems and the “dump-and-chase”.  I’m a possession oriented guy from the 70’s;  possession and zone-entry isn’t new but seems to have got lost in the “trap” years.  Having coached 15-21 year olds as well in the later years, it is something I have great faith in.


Systems need to be tailored to talent and every line might have an adjustment to make.  For a simple example, I’ll take my chances on Bryan Little stick-handling over the opposition blue line if the opposing defense-man has left a bit of a gap between them.  Most times he’ll get by with possession and likely a play towards the net. The times he doesn’t I’ll depend on his teammates to be ready.

However, I’d want more than a bit of a gap if Thorburn is going to try to gain that zone.  Smart, well-placed chips and shoot-ins with a good recovery program are important on his line.  At the same time, I’ve seen them dump it in with a clear path over the blue-line. 😥  And of course Little must dump at some points and a good recovery in place with line mates.  None of this works all the time.  It’s a fast-paced, error filled, game.  You want to be better more than 50% of the time to give yourself a chance to win.

Anyways, with Noel, it didn’t take long for the coyotes (Jets fans haha) to start howling.  Like at game 4 or 5.  But, I have been steadfast in my belief that unless we see the team quit on Noel he should be given at least 20 games.  I haven’t seen quit at all as the rest of this blog attests to.

I have asked for options from the “fire Noel” crew but so far haven’t been impressed.  Does trying another unproven NHL coach appeal to you?  Or a proven coach that turns the dressing room over to the players?  That scares me with the current players.  I’m just saying if they change the coach, have it make sense, not just for change.  We aren’t winning the Cup this year which might be a reason if we actually had a shot.

As many of you know, I have a bet with this site’s owner and need the Jets to beat the Coyotes in the standings.  Making the playoffs would help.  Ha ha ~ But, I don’t want the Winnipeg Jets to become some knee-jerk reactionary organization.  The extension that Chevy got this summer should ensure that.  And he does have one more option, but it’s arguable if it’s too late.

Option 3:


Never mind what I said in Option 1, let the balls hang out and swing the bat.  Chevy could go all out on landing 2014 and 2015 draft picks and trade the big guns.  After all, we hear its his best attribute.  *The Draft*   A big reset like getting opportunities at names like Draisaitl, Reinhart, Ekblad and the immortal McDavid.

Winnipeg Jets fans, YOU are definitely Fueled By Passion.  How would your tank be if it was fueled by REAL patience?  Serious question you can answer in comments or on Twitter.  😉


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