July 4, 2015


Record: 43 – 26 – 13

Winnipeg Jets Logo

Winnipeg Jets

Special air quality statement in effect
By Gary Lawless

Hawks a darn good role model

Class organization does it up right

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks are the gold standard in the NHL and the Winnipeg Jets were given a first-hand look at what the elite look like and how they operate on Thursday.

Chicago showed the Jets how things are done on the ice as well as they erased an early 2-0 Winnipeg lead and steamed their way to a 4-3 victory.

Chicago Blackhawks  Patrick Kane, right, is congratulated by teammates Marian Hossa and Daniel Carcillo for his first period goal as Winnipeg Jets Evander Kane looks on  during  NHL action Thursday night  at the United Centre in Chicago,

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Kane, right, is congratulated by teammates Marian Hossa and Daniel Carcillo for his first period goal as Winnipeg Jets Evander Kane looks on during NHL action Thursday night at the United Centre in Chicago, Photo Store

The Jets didn't have enough horsepower to stick with the Blackhawks all night and it underlined where Winnipeg is as a team and an organization right now. They've got a plan but it's far from fleshed out. These Jets will need some patience.

Chicago, on the other hand, just two summers removed from a Stanley Cup romp, are a well-oiled machine with the most expensive of parts.

The Hawks have it all from Norris Trophy calibre defenceman in Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook to an elite forward group that includes Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharpe, Marian Hossa and Dave Bolland.

Maybe the goaltending is a little shaky at the moment but the Hawks can limp along with the combo of Ray Emery and Corey Crawford, hoping one steps forth and seizes the No. 1 role.

The Jets? They've got a handful of young players with promise, but nowhere near the set of polished pros the Blackhawks boast.

That's where the Jets want to get, but they have a gap to close and it's not insignificant.

The Jets have done things right to this point, there's no question about that, but they don't operate on the same scale as the Hawks. With 21,175 in the United Center on Thursday night, the Blackhawks are a big-market bull looking for someone to stomp.

Getting the Jets back in Winnipeg was the first step -- striving to run with the likes of the Hawks comes next.

Winnipeg will never have the financial wherewithal of the Hawks and will need to find its own identity as an organization, but there's more than one way to climb a mountain. Getting there is what counts and it may take the Jets a more time but that still has to be the goal.

Winnipeg will no doubt be a quieter, less flashy, outfit but there are lessons to be learned from the modern day Blackhawks.

From the banners hanging in the rafters, to the talent-rich bench to the brilliant pre-game videos, the Hawks are a muscular organization and they don't mind flexing. Their standard is excellence and first class.

There's a slight whiff of arrogance that surrounds the Hawks and why not?

Small-market teams can be effective and win in today's NHL.

That's the challenge for the Jets and excuses don't hang banners in the rafters.

gary.lawless@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @garylawless

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 14, 2011 C1

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. 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 January 2015.

NHL

Scroll down to load more

Top