Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Adrenaline pump switched on

Climbing Jets starting to believe in selves, system

  • Print

The wins and the slow climb up the standings represent the concrete evidence.

But there's something not quite as measurable, and yet still palpable, that hits you the minute you venture into the Winnipeg Jets dressing room these days.

It was there following last Thursday's 1-0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes. And the vibe continued following Saturday's 4-2 decision over the New Jersey Devils that evened the Jets' record at 11-11-4.

The music is pumping. The voices are filled with enthusiasm, there is a genuine sense of a growing confidence and now a complete buy-in to Claude Noel's system.

"It's not any big revelations we're doing here, it's just everyone is committed to doing it the right way and everyone is really into the game," said veteran winger Tanner Glass.

"We're not a team that's going to be fancy. It's got to come from hard work and being good in the dirty areas -- battles along the wall, picking up sticks in front of the net and just grinding it out.

"This is a young team in a new situation. Everyone talks about that, but it's about a commitment from each guy to do the right things and doing it the right way. Everyone's bought in now and you can really feel it in the room between periods and on the bench.

"Everyone is really excited to get out there and do their part."

And here's why: Since opening the season 1-4-1 and amid the pressures of some intense hype and hoopla, the Jets have since gone 10-7-3. They are 6-3-1 in their last 10 and, in the last two games in particular, have protected third-period leads with a much deeper commitment to team defence.

That doesn't officially constitute a trend yet, but it is a critical step.

"It's a good sign we can do that in back-to-back games and close a team off like that and have good third periods," said centre Bryan Little. "That's where we struggled a bit at the start of the year. We let teams sneak back into the game and our third period was kind of our weakness. We've turned it around into one of our strengths lately.

"It takes awhile just because we're in a new city, new coaches, a whole new staff, a different arena... it takes awhile to get used to all that. It took us longer than we probably would have wanted to, but now we're playing a lot better and hopefully it continues like this."

It will have to if the Jets are to become a playoff team. The Jets have 26 points, just one out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference, currently shared by Washington, Ottawa and Montreal.

But if Noel keeps asking the question, 'Is this who we are?' then the answers he's getting lately are all good.

"I really like what I see," the Jets' coach said after the game.

"They're a good group, they get along, they play hard for each other, they're checking, they're doing the things necessary for us to win. What can you say? I think we're playing well. For me, they're formulating an identity. I hoped this is where we would get to... when I wasn't sure, but it looks like we're there now." Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 5, 2011 C3

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Bartley Kives on 5 obstacles for new mayor and city council

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • The sun peers through the fog to illuminate a tree covered in hoar frost near Headingley, Manitoba Thursday- Standup photo- February 02, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • JOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-(Standup photo)- Humming Around- A female ruby -throated hummingbird fly's through the bee bomb  flowers Friday at the Assiniboine Park English Garden- Nectar from flowers are their main source of food. Hummingbirds wings can beat as fast as 75x times second. Better get a glimpse of them soon the birds fly far south for the winter - from Mexico to South America- JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- Sept 10, 2009

View More Gallery Photos


Who has been the biggest disappointment on the Jets to start the season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google