With all of the hoopla surrounding the roster moves the Hurricanes made today, it's almost an afterthought that the division-leading Winnipeg Jets come to Raleigh for an enormous game tonight. Trevor Maughan from Arctic Ice Hockey joins us in the hot seat today as we get the scoop on the Jets in Three Questions.
- It seemed for a while that Claude Noel had lost the team and his job was on shaky ground, but the Jets have turned it around to lead the division for the last couple of weeks. What changed in the locker room to propel the turnaround?
This is a great question that doesn't have an exact answer. Some days it seems like they win in spite of Noel, but it could be that Claude is a super genius and nobody realizes it. One thing that Winnipeg's coach does with great propensity is taking the heat for his teams shortcomings in the media, much like John Tortorella does with the New York Rangers. In games which the Jets' find themselves on the losing end, or at least face scrutiny in the media, the newspapers are normally talking about Noel's post-game quips rather than his team's play.
I'm not sure how much of an impact this has on the ice but the Jets' are distinctively better in games after Noel takes his lashings.
- Are the Jets looking to add any pieces at the deadline - and, if so, who - or are they content to ride it out and see where they get with their current roster?
The Jets find themselves in an interesting position coming into the trade deadline and it's tough for those covering the team to pinpoint how the team will act come next Wednesday. While I would assume that Kevin Cheveldayoff may look to offload expiring contracts such as Ron Hainsey and Nik Antropov for whatever he can get, the alternative is standing pat and maybe becoming buyers during a season at least ten teams can contend for the Stanley Cup.
- Since we haven't talked after realignment became official, what's the mood on the Jets' new division? Is the fact that they're the only Canadian team in the new division outweighed by no longer having the most arduous travel schedule in the league?
Jets' fans seem rather content with the thought of moving west and forging new rivalries against geographically appeasing opponents. While it would be nice to rekindle history with the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames, it will be nice for Jets' fans to take their time getting home on weeknights for 7:00PM CST starts rather than rushing so as to not miss the start of games on the east coast. Though the travel will be more than it was in the east due to the distance between most western cities, it will be nice to join a division in which the Jets don't stick out like a sore thumb.