Ed Tait

  • Coming on strong

    The enormous chasm that once separated the Winnipeg Jets from the NHL's elite might have once been called The Great Divide. Yes, when it came time to comparing the Jets to the NHL's Final Four over the past few springs, the differences were many and clear cut. It started with iffy goaltending and ran right through questions about the depth to a defensive foundation that had all the stability of a sand dune.
  • What's next in JETSVILLE?

    There's a theory floating out there on Cloud 9 -- still crowded with Winnipeg Jets faithful locked arm in arm and singing merrily -- that GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has absolutely nailed this draft-and-develop blueprint. So the Jets boss now needs only to ease back in his comfy chair, throw his feet up on his desk and light up a celebratory stogie. Playoffs? Heck, yeah. Been there, done that. And surely there will be more to follow now, year after year after year.
  • Five takeaways ahead of tonight's game

    Five takes as the Winnipeg Jets ready to face the Anaheim Ducks tonight in Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round series. 1. Snow. Of course, snow. It makes sense that if the Stanley Cup playoffs are returning for the first time since 1996 and this town is truly going to embrace the Winnipeg Whiteout thing that – for full effect – we should all wake up to a light dusting of the white stuff this morning. That said, I’m sure my initial reaction when looking out the window was the same as just about everybody in River City – a string of expletive deleteds that we simply can’t use in this space.
  • Jets couldn't silence Ducks' big guns

    Five early morning takes after a late night watching the Anaheim Ducks take a 1-zip lead over the Winnipeg Jets in the opener of their Stanley Cup playoff series... 1. The Jets were far from awful in Game 1, but when it mattered most penalties proved costly and the Ducks' big guns – namely Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf – blasted away to be the difference makers, teaming up for three goals and seven points (Perry: 2G, 2A; Getzlaf: 1G 2A).
  • Hawks goalie could be next no-name star

    Chances are 99.9 per cent of all Stanley Cup playoff pools on this green earth include the names Stamkos, Toews, Nash, Getzlaf, Tavares, Tarasenko and one -- or both -- of the Sedins brothers. Still, one of the coolest things about the annual Cup derby is how often players who don't get plucked in pools -- fourth-liners, third-pairing defencemen and backup goalies -- emerge as heroes every spring. And the name that everyone references at this time of year is John Druce, the former Washington Capitals forward who, after potting just eight goals in the 1989-90 regular season, scored 14 times in the playoffs to propel his squad into the conference final for the first time.
  • Stanley Cup fever taking new forms

    Five takes about the Winnipeg Jets, the Anaheim Ducks and the Stanley Cup playoffs as the marathon begins…  
  • The Maurice factor

    Two characteristics about Paul Maurice that worked in his favour when Kevin Cheveldayoff came calling in January of 2014:
    1. He had significant National Hockey League head-coaching experience with Hartford, Carolina and Toronto, and the Winnipeg Jets needed a veteran voice. And, more importantly...
    2. He was available.
  • Ducks unlimited: Team has every component needed to win

    It was hardly an enlightening answer, or thought-provoking. But Ondrej Pavelec's facial reaction said something of his respect for the Anaheim Ducks. The Winnipeg Jets netminder, asked for a quick take on their first-round opponent in the Stanley Cup playoffs, opened his eyes wide and rocked back on his skates for a second before offering up this Coles Notes scouting report:
  • Thanks Atlanta: Sincerely, Jets fans

    Five takeaways from the Winnipeg Jets 1-0 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche in Denver Thursday night -- a game in which the club captured its first playoff spot since 2007 -- from a guy who followed them from St. Paul to St. Louis to Denver and home this week: 1. Crazy scene in the Pepsi Center press box during the final moments of the Jets shootout loss to the Avs Thursday. At almost the same time as the Jets were securing a point, the Los Angeles Kings were falling 3-1 to the Calgary Flames. That result meant both the Jets and Flames had their playoff tickets punched in the span of a few minutes. Tweeted Chris Mayberry (@maybo01):
  • Professional calm covers Jets' emotions as post-season berth nears

    DENVER -- A scene that has stuck with me since late Tuesday night in St. Louis... So there was Chris Thorburn -- fresh from doing hero-of-the-moment interviews in the Winnipeg Jets dressing room after a 1-0 win over the Blues -- walking across the hall and spying Mark Scheifele. Thorburn races up to his teammate, wraps his arms around his waist and lifts him off the ground in a massive bear hug. The two then simultaneously let out primal screams in a moment that was akin to a catcher sprinting out to the mound to celebrate a no-hitter.
  • Tough break — shake it off

    The echo of the final horn and the curses of the fans were still echoing through the MTS Centre when Ondrej Pavelec made his way to the Winnipeg Jets’ bench and violently swung his stick into the boards in the picture of absolute frustration. Blake Wheeler did one better seconds later, smashing his own stick into pieces, then flinging the shaft toward the empty Jets net.
  • The final countdown: Here's how the Jets' charge for a playoff spot shakes down

    It's there, so close that as the Winnipeg Jets make the final turn into the homestretch they can see the finish line and the long-coveted Stanley Cup playoff spot just on the other side. Yes, with seven games left on their 2014-15 regular-season schedule, the Jets are closer to their first playoff birth since the franchise put down roots here four years ago. But, to paraphrase that old Jerry Reed country tune, the Jets still have a long way to go and a short time to get there before they can start making playoff arrangements.
  • Piece Corps: Every Jet is chipping in at least a bit, and the results are obvious

    Pro hockey coaches all have certain expressions and terms they lean on often during their daily sessions with the media. Paul Maurice is no different from former Winnipeg Jets bench boss Claude Noel. With Noel -- between breaking into renditions of In A Gadda Da Vida, bemoaning "free pizzas" (turnovers) or spinning yarns about his playing days in the minors -- he spoke a lot of playing a "heavy game" that has become the trademark of the Central Division and the Western Conference.
  • Blue looking hard at Demski

    The image on the big screen in Kyle Walters' office is paused momentarily, frozen on one of the receiving prospects the Winnipeg Blue Bombers general manager is evaluating for this spring's Canadian Draft. And the brown uniforms and gold helmets eliminate any doubt as to who is under the microscope at the moment: University of Manitoba Bisons slotback Nic Demski.
  • Jets' future yet to be written

    They are on the latest cover of the Hockey News -- 'Meet Your 2019 Stanley Cup Champions,' screamed the cheeky headline praising their prospect pool -- and were fresh from spanking the defending Stanley Cup champions. At the same time, GM Kevin Cheveldayoff was getting hugs from all over the planet for his wheeling and dealing in the month leading up to the NHL trade deadline and, as a result, the mood surrounding the Winnipeg Jets heading into Wednesday night's matchup with the Ottawa Senators was all rainbows, puppy dogs and lollipops.
  • Jets' future yet to be written

    They are on the latest cover of the Hockey News — ‘Meet Your 2019 Stanley Cup Champions,’ screamed the cheeky headline praising their prospect pool — and were fresh from spanking the defending Stanley Cup champions. At the same time, GM Kevin Cheveldayoff was getting hugs from all over the planet for his wheeling and dealing in the month leading up to the NHL trade deadline and, as a result, the mood surrounding the Winnipeg Jets heading into Wednesday night’s matchup with the Ottawa Senators was all rainbows, puppy dogs and lollipops.
  • Is it Hutch's time?

    PHILADELPHIA -- A spirited, high-tempo practice just completed, the Winnipeg Jets gathered together at centre ice of 'The Class of 1923 Arena' -- a historic old rink on the University of Pennsylvania campus -- for a quick chat with Jets coach Paul Maurice. And it was at that moment -- watching the boss hold court smack dab in the heart of an Ivy League campus -- where it was hard not to wonder if the Jets could somehow summon all of their brainpower into a profound dissection of both Tuesday's 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins and of the road ahead.
  • Mid-term report card

    COLUMBUS -- The turbulence was extreme enough to jolt those yellow oxygen masks out of the panels above the passenger seats. And, as a result, there was a sense of real fear, mixed with anger and frustration. We take you back to Oct. 19, 2014 when the Winnipeg Jets, by most accounts, were in an epic nosedive that threatened their season before it was even 10 games old. They had opened the season with a 6-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes and then dropped four straight to San Jose, Los Angeles, Nashville and Calgary by a combined score of 13-2.
  • After slow start, free agent signing paying off big time

    Blame Mathieu Perreault and his absolutely filthy hands. Days from now, when Winnipeg Jets fans are hacking, sneezing and moaning about their assortment of cold and flu-like symptoms, the outbreak will be traced back to the second period of Tuesday’s 8-2 evisceration of the Florida Panthers and the moment Perreault blew the lids off the MTS Centre.
  • A pooch's present

    The following is a true story. If your Christmas tales are ripped straight from the pages of a holiday classic -- stockings hung by the chimney with care, etc. -- then here is your last chance to bail on my little yarn. Yes, the details of my favourite Christmas moment hardly make it the stuff of a Hallmark holiday movie. It has nothing to do with the best gift I ever found under the tree or laughing all the way in a one-horse open sleigh.
  • Gaining altitude

    The hockey world was unimpressed at the 10-game mark, giving the Winnipeg Jets a collective shrug of the shoulders early in their 2014-15 season. At the 20-game mark, some started to take notice, but just barely.
  • Not good enough to get cocky

    IT'S an interesting question, given the playoff drought that has followed this franchise from its days in Atlanta to three-plus years Winnipeg. It goes like this: How does this Jets squad - 4-0-1 in its last five; 13-5-4 since opening the season with four losses in the first five games - not get all fat and sassy with itself?
  • Defence holds strong

    No one will dare suggest the Winnipeg Jets should begin printing playoff tickets, that Dustin Byfuglien is suddenly a Norris Trophy candidate and Ben Chiarot should hire an architect to design his new mansion on Wellington Crescent. But what the Jets served up Friday night in a thorough 6-2 spanking of the Colorado Avalanche in downtown Winnipeg -- even as a teeny-tiny sample size -- was enough to at least temper some of the angst that came a day earlier when their defensive corps took three swift kicks to the knackers.
  • Pity the young Bomber fans

    If you were born on Nov. 26, 1990 and are a fan of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, our sincerest and deepest condolences. History tells us, after all, the last Bomber championship was won one day earlier, on Nov. 25, 1990, in a 50-11 thrashing of the Edmonton Eskimos at BC Place. And, just for the record, the videotape evidence of that game is now looking as grainy and ancient as the Zapruder film.
  • Can the (nearly) new boss lead the Jets to the post-season?

    The curtain lifted on the 2014-15 NHL season Wednesday night with 30 teams all fixated on chasing one prize: the Stanley Cup. Now, it's right about here that many seem obligated to spit out the party lines about parity, about everybody starting at zero. It's here where the references to the Colorado Avalanche -- who went from worst to first in the Central Division last year -- are to have us believe everybody is all-in on this pursuit of glory.

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