Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Jets Run Wild

It's starting to become a bit of a trend, but there's no denying that the Jets are using an "extra attacker" in every home game. The Jets have been playing extremely well at home, and it seems that opposing teams that roll into MTS Centre are finding the fans to be a major handicap in their chances of winning. Case in point? The game against the NHL-leading Minnesota Wild saw the Wild go up 1-0 before the fans came alive, and the Jets followed their fans' lead. Goals by Eric Bogosian and Bryan Little gave the Jets a 2-1 win over their future conference rivals, and a big win over the best team in the NHL. If you're keeping track at home, the Jets have beaten Philadelphia, Washington, Pittsburgh, Boston, and Minnesota on home ice. The MTS Centre is a hostile environment if you're not wearing Winnipeg blue.

I'll be honest when I say that Ondrej Pavelec has been outstanding after starting slowly in the early weeks of the season. His reaction time is incredible, and his game-saving save on Kyle Brodziak, Minnesota's leading goal-scorer, in the late stages of the game was downright robbery.

If you had to give an MVP award early on this season, I have to believe that Ondrej Pavelec would get a pile of votes after he has been incredible in his eleven victories thus far. Could we see a 25-30 win season out of Pavelec?

In a rather scary moment at the end of the game, Eric Bogosian bumped Pierre-Marc Bouchard from behind into the endboards, leaving Bouchard's face bloodied. Personally, this one looked bad in person, but, after seeing the highlights, I'm not so sure that there should be a suspension on this. Take a look.
First, the announcers jumped a little quickly in handing down suspensions. Bouchard did turn his back as Bogosian was throwing his hit, so I'm pretty sure this will NOT be a suspension. A fine? I'm almost certain that Shanahan could pass down a hit to Bogosian's wallet. But a suspension? Bouchard should not put himself into a bad situation like he did, so I'm thinking no suspension. Brendan Shanahan may feel differently, but I don't think this hit warrants time off because Bouchard put himself in a bad spot.

In a rather interesting piece of news, the Tampa Bay Lightning went out and signed former KHL player and Minnesota Wild forward Antti Miettinen to a two-year, $3 million contract with a no-movement clause thrown in. That clause was added because Miettinen had started his season in the KHL as a member of Ak Bars Kazan, and would have to clear re-entry waivers to join the Lightning.

Well, the Jets are looking for some help with injuries mounting and AHL call-ups patching the holes, so they took a flyer on Miettinen and claimed him. Personally, I like this move because he brings a little tenacity, a little scoring, and a little hustle in his game - something the Jets seem to be building as they show signs of being a hard-working, blue-collar team. Miettinen is a very blue-collar player, and I think he'll fit in nicely as he'll boost a penalty killing unit that needs some additional leadership.

Overall, it was a pretty great day for the Jets: a win over the best team in the NHL with a solid effort, a brand-new player who should be able to step in and contribute, and another night where the fans were loud and went home happy. Ain't it great to be a Jets fan?

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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