The Winnipeg Jets came into the 2011 season having to deal with one of the biggest circus atmospheres ever associated with an NHL hockey team. There may have never been a more anticipated NHL game than the Jets home opener. Looking back, it should come to no ones surprise that they looked so bad in that game. It is impossible to think that any hockey team could live up to those expectations.
After losses in Chicago and Phoenix, things were looking really bad for the Jets, with some people even tweeting stuff like "the honeymoon is over"or "Jets are crash landing"
Well here we are almost a month later and the 2011 Winnipeg Jets are showing major improvements, not only in the standings, but in their nightly play on the ice. I have watched every jets game so far either live or on the PVR and every night things are looking better. Players are playing their positions far better than they were a month ago and this is likely due to the guys learning coach Claude Noel's systems and buying into them.
True North bought the franchise and proceeded to clean house. Both the coach and GM were fired and new guys were brought in. It takes time for players to buy into what these guys are preaching and it's even harder when the hopes of an entire city are hanging off of the team.
Andrew Ladd is starting to show the leadership that he is known for. He scored a key goal against the Flyers with about a minute to go to win a crazy 9-8 game and also showed he's not afraid to drop the gloves to stand up for his teammates.
Evander Kane's offensive abilities are starting to show with some good numbers in the last few games and overall the offensive abilities of this team is starting to look promising.
Pavelec is looking solid in net after a very shaky start to the season and he put up an impressive shutout last night against the New York Islanders.
The Jets spent the first few weeks of the season dead last in the Eastern Conference and there was definite cause for concern. Now they sit only two points back of eighth place in the conference. It is still early and nobody should be planning the Stanley Cup parade in Winnipeg, but I like what I'm seeing from this team.