Is It WYSIWYG With The Winnipeg Jets?

Happy Holiday Smells

WYSIWYG —  (What you see is what you get)

Tis the season to be jolly so acceptance of what this Winnipeg Jets team is all about might make for less up-and-down swings of emotion.  Peace on earth or at least while watching this group of players go through their Jekyll and Hyde routine.

While there is definitely an uneasiness overall, fans recognize that a road-trip where they won four of six games is a good thing.  Of course that Florida stinker sticks in our head, two very important, attainable points.   It was basically a total team failure but all teams throw those ones.

Also of concern to some is how the Winnipeg Jets are winning by playing a very conservative style when protecting a lead.  My first thought is that the way the team carries itself is not indicative of a group that believes in itself.  Or, maybe its a coaching staff that has little confidence in trying to win any other way with this group.  That brings up systems and players.  A whole topic by itself.

Today, though, I’m wondering if it could be something else entirely.  A group that is too often satisfied with itself and comfortable in what they do day-to-day.  

Satisfaction

On the “satisfied” part, I should mention that on a few occasions last season I was reminded of teams I had played on and coached that showed similar characteristics to the inconsistencies the Jets showed.  Those teams always had a “problem” in the dressing room. Players that didn’t take game preparation seriously was one of the types we dealt with.  Sometimes, there was a serious rift between players, or players and coaches as well.  These things shouldn’t affect a whole team but they can to various degrees.  Of particular importance is how much control those players had over the dressing room.  Make no mistake ~ leaders in that room control the preparation.

Anyways, I had put it to GM Kevin Cheveldayoff to “fix” that over the summer.  While Alexander Burmistrov was speculated, by some to be a problem,  that is obviously not the case.  The Winnipeg Jets are the same frustrating team without him.

Could Gary Lawless have it right when he identified the “Atlanta Association“, a core collection of former Atlanta Thrashers, as the problem? 

About That Dressing Room

I’ve asked about the preparation in the dressing room as I know well what worked and what didn’t.

Each player’s preparation starts the night before a game with proper sleep, eating, etc.  Good habits as they like to say.  Pre-game skate in morning, game meal, naps are usually habitual and only changed when things aren’t working for a particular player.  So each pro is expected to get to that rink ready to play his best hockey.

At the rink, they’re taping sticks, listening to music, joking around with teammates.  All this is part of getting ready for a game.

Get Serious

But when we’d get to a point, the music went off, talk turned to hockey-only, thinking about what we were going to do on the ice, against who, systems, etc., started.  You hit the ice serious and ready to play.

“We got this coach.”

I remember getting on a winning streak and sometimes pushing those rules; keeping music on longer, joking about anything but hockey.  And our performance invariably suffered.  Coaches would warn us, but we’d respond “yea, we got this coach”.  Usually coach was right.

I’m not in that Jets room and I’m just throwing this out there as another possibility.  To those that like to discount effort and preparation and say “get more good players”,  I agree to a point but disagree overall.

Good players prepare properly on a consistent basis (its why they’re good N.H.L. players).  So yes, that would obviously help.  But lesser players can be better, when the group is all prepared to play.  Lesser players NEED to have every detail done right to compete in the N.H.L. successfully.

Are the lesser Jets players getting that help from their more high-profile teammates?  

I don’t know.  Maybe we are just a .500 hockey team.  Maybe that is one solid, prepared dressing room every night.  But I’d sure like to know the “Atlanta Five” were doing everything to help the lesser players prepare for each game properly and making sure each other is ready as well.

Physically AND mentally.

Comments

  1. Soupy, in Florida last Thursday around 11 am the day the Jets stunk out the joint in Ft Lauderdale the wifey and I rsn into Ollie walking around the beach area. Optional game day skate that
    day.

    • Scott Campbell says

      very interesting Sawchy, as he’s been one of few hardliners on getting things right in that dressing room. I don’t know what to think.

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