WINNIPEG - Back-to-backs continue to be the bane of the Jets existence.
The Jets fell to 0-5 in games played on consecutive nights this season when they fell 4-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night at MTS Centre.
Should head coach Claude Noel get rid of the morning skate?
Should he make them all skate?
He is no doubt searching for answers, because the Jets have seven more back-to-backs this season.
It’s not like the entire league is allergic to playing two nights in a row. The only team worse than the Jets are the Dallas Stars, who are 0-6 on the second night. The Washington Capitals and Florida Panthers are the only other teams without victories in the second half of back-to-backs.
This season teams are 82-61-15 in the first game of back-to-backs, and they are 67-74-17 the following night. Last year teams had 232 wins on Night 1 and 225 victories on Night 2.
In other words, the Jets can’t blame their dismal performances, which on Friday night included missing the net way too much and getting out-shot 39-19, on the schedule.
That has to be the most troubling part for the Jets and their fans.
THIS AND THAT
Is it just me, or is the south-end upper bowl the catalyst for most of the chants that rain down from the crowd? The rowdies in Section 311 and 312 seem to be the ones who get it going game in and game out … No team in the history of the NHL has had more scoring chances and so few shots than the Jets had in the first period. According to TSN Jets, early in the second period the hosts had six shots on goal and had missed the net on 16 other attempts. It was remarkable how off the mark the Jets shooters were. It easily could’ve been 4-1 for Winnipeg after the first. Instead, they trailed 1-0 … Props to Penguins coach Dan Bylsma for wearing a funny Christmas sweater under his suit jacket behind the bench. Didn’t get a chance to ask him about the story behind the sweater, which was green with a yellowish Christmas tree on it, but it was a beauty … Winnipeg’s goal was a thing of beauty, and not just because of Blake Wheeler’s beautiful cross-slot feed to Alex Burmistrov, who wired home his eighth of the season. It was the superb work by Evander Kane and Wheeler behind the net to dig out the puck that made it a great goal all around … That tally brought the crowd to life, and it did the same to the Jets, who were looking rather tired for the first half of the middle frame … Christmas gift idea for Dustin Byfuglien: A little electrical bracelet that fans can buzz when they see he’s about to make a bad pass … Was there an earthquake in Winnipeg on Friday night? How else did Marc-Andre Fleury’s net come off in the second period there? … The bottom line is the Jets are a tremendously inconsistent team. Their trend of alternating wins and losses has hit eight games now, and lots of action on the road is ahead. The Christmas turkey likely isn’t going to taste that great this year.
HBO’s second annual 24/7 reality show, which this year is going behind the scenes with the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers leading up to the Winter Classic, was a hot topic on Friday.
Jets head coach Claude Noel wants nothing to do with the show, which is great publicity for the NHL and even better viewing, but it doesn’t give the teams much privacy.
“I don’t know if it’s old school or what it is, but I’m not a reality guy,” Noel said. “I don’t mind watching it. I’m a guy that likes to keep the room to the room and the privacy of the room. I really have a hard time in dealing with that part, the cameras being in areas where I would not feel comfortable.
“And I really would not want the players to think that I’m coaching for the camera. That would really bother me.”
The Penguins were part of the show last year, and Bylsma was asked on Friday if he missed having a camera in his face everywhere he went.
“We enjoyed it. I’m glad it was the Pittsburgh Penguins,” Bylsma said. “I’m glad it was our team and our players and our organization and myself. I have no interest in being in reality TV shows. It’s not really what I want to be doing, but I’m glad we were a part of it.
“I would love to have it be our team again, because I think it was great TV. It’s awesome to see what they did. They did an unbelievable job. I’m just not sure I’m eager to sign up for reality TV.”