No quick fix for Jets
Can't just snap fingers to turn fortunes
Ken Wiebe, QMI Agency
|Andrew Ladd's shot fails to beat Rangers goalie Martin Biron during New York's 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Monday. The Jets are struggling to find the net with regularity, but if you think a magic trade is coming to fix that, you'd better think again.
WINNIPEG - If youíre waiting for Kevin Cheveldayoff to pull the trigger on a couple of blockbuster deals and completely blow up the roster because the Winnipeg Jets are off to a slow start, itís time to give your head a shake, take a deep breath and adjust your thinking.
Itís simply not going to happen, especially not eight games into an 82-game season.
Sure, itís possible the Jets will make some subtle tweaks as the campaign wears on since most of these players were inherited from the Atlanta Thrashers and not brought in by the current management team, but finding a willing trade partner that isnít trying to fleece you can be a challenge in todayís NHL.
And the fact of the matter is that most teams are looking for the same things.
Just because the Jets are struggling to score goals, itís unlikely another NHL would just go out and drop a 30-goal scorer into their lap without expecting to exact a high price in return.
You want to upgrade the defence corps as well?
Get in line.
Every team in the NHL is looking to add depth at that position.
While Cheveldayoff and company would prefer to be 5-2-1 than 2-5-1, the Jets are still very early in the process of finding out what kind of team they actually are.
A solid work ethic is sure to be at the core of whatever success the Jets enjoy, so taking shifts off wonít be an option for this group.
The questions about where the offence is going to come from seem to be warranted, as the Jets have scored only 17 times in eight games, with five coming against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.
The potential that was talked about by the players during the pre-season remains largely untapped and while we have no doubt several players are going to take the next step in their development eventually, it can be a taxing process.
As Jets head coach Claude Noel mentioned several times in his meeting with the media on Tuesday, itís a process that takes time.
No, the Jets arenít an expansion team and theyíre not going to get a free pass this season, but you need a larger sample size before deciding what direction the team is going to go and beginning to ponder who might not fit into the longer-range plans.
Just because Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little havenít scored yet and have only one assist a piece, that doesnít mean the Jets are going to start shopping them to other teams or give up on them.
Nor should they.
Despite the slow start by the team, Noel doesnít think the weight of expectations has been a burden for his team and the goal of reaching the playoffs is still in play.
ďYou have to have targets and you have to have your team reach,Ē said Noel. ďTo answer your question, I think (the goal) is still reachable and our group believes that they are.Ē
As for those fans who believe Noel should be jumping up and down and showing anger at the slow start, the Jets head coach said those folks are entitled to their opinion but heís not about to change his style.
ďItís just a different way of handling things,Ē said Noel, who is generally calm and upbeat in his demeanour. ďYou handle things the way you think that you need to. I donít question my way. Ií have experience. Iíve won before and I donít lack confidence. I donít beat myself up.Ē
The Jets are back in action on Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers.