Dec 16, 2013, 12:33 PM EST
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.
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- Trade: Blackhawks acquire Vermette from Arizona for Dahlbeck, first rounder 54
- Jagr earns high praise in his Panthers debut 1
- Bruins maintain four-point edge in playoff race, hand Coyotes ninth straight loss 5
- NHL on NBC: Rangers look for a fourth straight win against the Flyers 7
- Ducks score four third-period goals, come back to beat rival Kings 9
- Blackhawks aren’t done talking trades, will look to add another forward 13
- Flyers trade Kimmo Timonen to Blackhawks 40
- Video: Couture fined $5K for slew-footing Smith 22
- Time to start winning — Bruins’ next four games are against non-playoff teams 17
- Petrovic: Chicago will ‘probably seek revenge’ for Kane injury tonight (82)
- Report: Alex Petrovic avoids discipline after injuring Patrick Kane (69)
- Trading baggage: Blue Jackets grab Clarkson, send Horton’s contract to Leafs (66)
- Lindros files $3M defamation lawsuit against ex-referee Stewart (Updated: Now $250K) (65)
- The plummeting Coyotes are threatening to fall below the Oilers into 29th place (55)