The theory is simple: the Winnipeg Jets will benefit from heading out on the road for the first time in the 2011-12 season.
Break bread together. Hang out at the rink and hotel together. Do the whole bonding thing.
Putting that theory to practice is another matter, of course, as none of this guarantees that Thursday’s game in Chicago against the Blackhawks or Saturday’s contest in Arizona versus the Phoenix Coyotes will result in a win, let alone two.
But it’s what a team talks about when it’s still only played one game through a week of the NHL regular season.
"It’s going to be good for us," said Jets’ head coach Claude Noel after Wednesday’s morning practice and before the team left for Chicago in the afternoon.
"You get caught in the distraction and the frenzy and it affects your game. We’ll see where we are. We’ll be ready for them... that doesn’t mean we’re going to win, but we know what’s coming. I mean, we’ve got two players who played for that team (Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien) so they’ll know firsthand what they’re like. If we’re not ready to play and we play like we did last game, we won’t win. We’ll see another chapter in our lives."
The Hawks are 1-1 this season after picking up a 5-2 win over the Dallas Stars last Saturday in their home opener – one day after falling 2-1 to the Stars in Dallas. And much of the same core of players remains from the team that hoisted the Stanley Cup in 2010.
"They’ve got a good team, they’ve got some highly-skilled guys and you’re going to have to pay attention to (Patrick) Kane and (Jonathan) Toews," said Noel. "It’s clear that Toews drives the team, that’s why he wears the ‘C’. It’s no different than (Sidney) Crosby. They play with speed, quickness and they know how to play.
"(Hawks’ head coach) Joel (Quenneville) is a really good coach, he keeps them in a tight line and they’ll play well. They’ve been together for a little while and they’re used to winning... they’ve proven that. We’ll get a chance to measure up again."
BODIE FINDS A HOME: Portage’s Troy Bodie, who tried out for the Jets during training camp, has signed with the Anaheim Ducks. Bodie will be assigned to the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL.