Ed Tait

  • Watching film no answer

    They’ll watch the film. Oh, will they watch the film all right. In fact, they’ll watch the hell out of it in the next few days. That’s what the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, to a man, spit out ad nauseum after every defeat. They won’t point fingers, they won’t call anybody out publicly.
  • Quarterback fine, supporting cast lacking in Bombers' Friday night loss

    He was so dehydrated the index finger on his throwing hand cramped up. And the stomach virus that popped up in the hours before his first pro start had Robert Marve ralphing not long after the ball was put on the tee for the opening kickoff. He made some mistakes, maybe forgot some lines and was forced to ad-lib a bit. But as debuts go, what Marve did in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 27-20 loss to the Toronto Argonauts Friday night was enough to earn him another start and a run at the quarterback gig until Drew Willy returns in the fall.
  • Shellacking gives rise to five things that grate on Tait

    Free Press football writer Ed Tait weighs in on a variety of butt-kicking related subjects in the wake of Saturday night’s Bombers loss, a 32-3 spanking administered by the Eskimos in Edmonton... 1. If the Canadian Football League truly wants to protect its quarterbacks, as it insists, then the early-season results mean officiating crews get a big, fat ‘F’ for their handiwork.
  • Bombers' victory over Als is the first step in winning back fans

    They built the beer snake — again — proudly and meticulously piecing together a lager-and-ale inspired masterpiece of plastic cups. They kept the Rum Hut humming — again — proudly and meticulously piecing together Saturday morning hangovers like sailors on shore leave.
  • Bombers host Ticats: Five storylines

    Five storylines to ponder before tonight's CFL game at Investors Group Field:

    1. DOES MR. EFFICIENT HAVE AN ENCORE?

  • Armed with plenty of picks, Jets have room to move up

    If Kevin Cheveldayoff has learned anything in his four years manning the helm of the Winnipeg Jets draft table it’s this: When the names start flying it’s imperative to keep your eyes and ears wide open, listen to absolutely everything and anything and be ready to pounce. After all, those NHL movers and shakers that stick their heads in the sand and don’t trust their own draft boards can be cursing their mistakes for years to come.
  • Young talent puts pressure on Pavs

    Not too long ago, Ondrej Pavelec packed up his goaltender pads for the summer following a season that ended with him earning fist-bumps and backslaps for his resiliency and perseverance. Not only did the 27-year-old set career highs for goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts — three of those zeroes coming in the last week of the season when he helped his Winnipeg Jets secure that coveted playoff spot — he was also the club’s Masterton Trophy nominee and finished the spring as the No. 1 puck-stopper for the Czech Republic at the world championship right in his own backyard.
  • O'Shea upset with loss

    The result meant nothing. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers knew that going in, ditto for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.  
  • Jets have some holes on the starboard side

    Take a quick glance at the Winnipeg Jets organizational depth chart — from big-league club right down to the last late-round draft picks — and a couple of common themes emerge: 1. The prospect pool, as has been well documented over the last year or so, is stocked with some intriguing pieces.
  • Jets have upgraded at the big-league level and also stockpiled what’s in the system

    His face was everywhere this week as part of what is now a series of iconic images. Yes, there was Jonathan Toews, again, grinning and dropping a celebratory F-bomb as he hoisted the Stanley Cup right after the Chicago Blackhawks had captured their third title in the last six years. The Winnipeg product has morphed into THE perfect representation of a captain — skilled, respected and fiercely intense.
  • Five takes: Bombers vs. Argos

    TORONTO -- Baseball legend and quote machine Yogi Berra once said, "a guy can observe a lot just by watching." With that in mind, here are our five quick takes the morning after the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' preseason debut here in the Centre of the Universe... 1. Bomber head coach Mike O’Shea and his staff have a few days yet before the inevitable — they must slice their roster down to 65 by Sunday night — and while some decisions were  made for them in Tuesday’s 34-27 victory getting down to that number won’t be a slam dunk.
  • CFL: No-names have same chance as big names

    The man once considered the poster boy for Canadian Football League opportunity is standing on the sideline on the opening day of Winnipeg Blue Bombers training camp. Arms folded across his chest, eyes shaded by sunglasses, he strikes a rather authoritative pose watching the new recruits. Looking back at his first day -- some 20 years ago now -- the opening chapter of his unlikely career in pro football began inauspiciously enough. Racing out to his first-ever training camp in Brandon, he was pulled over by police somewhere on the Trans-Canada Highway between Winnipeg and the Wheat City.
  • 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.

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