Dec 16, 2013, 12:33 PM EDT
So obviously hockey fans can barely wait for tonight’s Jets-Jackets game in Columbus.
OK, but there are actually some compelling storylines heading into this one. Bear with us here.
For the Jackets (14-15-4), it’s an opportunity to build on their recent run of good play. Columbus is 4-1-1 in December, its only regulation loss coming in Pittsburgh, where the Penguins have been practically unbeatable this season. On Saturday, the Jackets lost 4-3 in overtime to St. Louis, but they played a very good Blues side close all game.
“I saw a lot of good things there, things we can continue to build on,” Jackets coach Todd Richards said, per the Columbus Dispatch. “We made some mistakes that we can clean up, and we had chances to put that game away – a few chances, really – and we weren’t able to do it. But I can’t fault our effort. We had a lot of guys really going hard.”
Despite an almost identical record, the Jets (14-15-5) are a very different story. They lost their third straight Saturday, falling 6-4 at home to Dallas in a game that left forward Blake Wheeler wondering what else he can say.
“We’ve been blowing smoke for three years, everyone, myself, everyone that’s stood in front of a microphone in the last three years, we’ve said the same [blank],” Wheeler said. “What do you want me to say? That’s about it. I don’t know what else to say.”
The team’s ongoing issues have the Winnipeg Free Press running down the options for general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, from making a trade to firing head coach Claude Noel.
The Jets also play tomorrow in Buffalo. Now imagine they lose tonight and then can’t even beat the Sabres. All those calls for change may actually get answered.
- Evander Kane: I know I can score 50 goals 4
- ‘C’-less Thornton comes out swing against Wilson’s ‘tomorrow team’ talk 13
- Joe Sakic’s now general manager in name too 5
- Update: Giroux out two weeks with lower-body injury 24
- Update: Crosby on ice with Penguins teammates Friday, leaves early 5
- Ouch: Wild reportedly suspend Harding for ‘non-hockey injury’ 28
- Keeping Kuemper: Wild sign goalie to two-year deal reportedly worth $2.5M 15
- Selanne regrets harsh words toward Boudreau 9
- Flyers’ Timonen admits chances of playing are ‘really slim’ 8
- Desjardins (a.k.a. not Torts) makes good first impression on Canucks 28
- Heeeeeere’s Johnny! Davidson shreds Johansen’s agent for ‘baffling, nonsensical’ contract demands (62)
- Chiarelli: At some point, I’m going to have to trade a defenseman (56)
- Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal (55)
- Will the NHL publicize divers? (48)
- No icing on the PK? The USHL will see how that looks (43)