© Chuck Duboff
I have been a fan of Paul Maurice since he was first hired by the Winnipeg Jets. I thought he was the right coach to get this team straightened out. Under previous coach Claude Noel, other teams commented “the Jets don’t even play with any systems”, so it seemed like an experienced NHL coach like Maurice would instil a level of coaching which the Jets hadn’t been receiving.
Within one season Maurice had the Jets in the playoffs, all be it very briefly, as they were swept by Anaheim. Yet there was an excitement and expectation that things would only get better.
Yet, one season later, the Jets were a year long disappointment and were out of the playoff race quite early. The only saving grace was that this meant a higher draft pick and the Jets stuck gold with the drafting of Patrik Laine.
The excitement heading into this season was palatable. Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler, Nik Ehlers, Patrik Laine, Bryan Little, Dustin Byfuglien, Matthieu Perrault, Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers, Conner Hellybucyk, Kyle Conner…this had the makings of one exciting, playoff bound team.
Yet here we are on December 22nd and the Jets are once again floundering. A team with supposedly so much talent, can’t even get over .500. Our Power Play is abysmal, our Penalty Killing near the bottom of the league, we’re near the top of the league in Penalty Minutes, our goals allowed and goaltending is near the bottom of the league…and to quote TSN’s Craig Button, a huge fan of the Jets, “Paul Maurice isn’t getting the job done.”
To watch this team, game in and game out, have great first periods and then collapse in the second is inexcusable. That is coaching. If your team isn’t ready to come out and play as they are capable of, then that falls on the shoulders of the Head Coach. Tuesday evening against Vancouver, a team the Jets should blow out of the arena, the Jets came out and dominated the first period…and, as is their custom, that same Jets team disappeared in the second and third and lost 4-1 to an inferior team.
Yes, we’ve had a lot of injuries…but so have other teams; yes, we’ve had a brutal schedule, but so have most teams in the NHL
I have been a big fan of Paul Maurice’s till the last few weeks; but when you’ve got as much talent as the Jets do, when the team keeps taking undisciplined penalties, collapses in the second period, has a terrible Power Play, doesn’t know how to kill penalties, is near the bottom of the league in goals against…
I will concur with Craig Button: “Paul Maurice is not getting the job done”. Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto all have young teams, yet there is an appreciable improvement in their game…
Will the Jets sit on their hands yet again and waste another season away or will they do something to straighten things out? Given the Jets history, I would expect the Jets to continue to flounder and not make any drastic changes.