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Kane: Not Much Growth Worth Noting

By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck

Evander Kane isn’t sure the Winnipeg Jets have grown over the past couple of years. By far the most candid in the dressing room on Monday, Kane appeared disgusted with his teams current situation.

Evander Kane. SHAWN COATES PHOTO

Evander Kane. SHAWN COATES PHOTO

The Winnipeg Jets returned to Winnipeg and into the media spotlight on Monday, fresh off losing three-straight road games, two of which they easily could have won. The same old issues seem to still live on: inconsistency, lack of focus, not playing up to par, etc.

The bigger picture, however, centres on the growth of this Jets’ team. Some players have said in the past that growth has occurred while others seem to disagree. In the here and now it would seem Kane subscribes to the latter.

“I haven’t seen that much growth really worth noting from our team,” said Kane. “One goal games…you still lose. For us, growth would be winning those games and we’re not doing that.

“I think we have stayed fairly consistent as we have the last couple of years. You guys want to look for some consistency…we are .500 and much of the same.”

Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane (9) punches Florida Panthers forward Scottie Upshall (19) in NHL action at the MTS Centre, Dec. 20, 2013. SHAWN COATES PHOTO

Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane (9) punches Florida Panthers forward Scottie Upshall (19) in NHL action at the MTS Centre, Dec. 20, 2013. SHAWN COATES PHOTO

The familiar assertions that focus is lacking, or that the team isn’t playing the “right way” were all made on Monday. But when asked about if lack of talent was the issue it was definite no.

“No, I think we got to find a way to play together and play a way that makes us successful and want to win and want to compete and have everyone on the same page every night,” said Kane.

Interestingly, Jets’ defenceman Dustin Byfuglien’s comments appeared to be in contrast to the ones of Kane.

“I think we have taken steps forward if you look at the little things as a team, things you guys wouldn’t see,” said Byfuglien in contrast to Kane’s comments. “I thought we have done well we just haven’t been in the winning column.”

A problem in the locker room? Unlikely. But it isn’t unlikely that certain players have different views. But the only view that matters, and Kane himself alluded to it, is wins.

Dustin Byfuglien and Evander Kane.

Dustin Byfuglien and Evander Kane.

“There are too many mistakes,” Kane said. “Breakdowns defensively, offensively. As much as you can look at defensive mistakes maybe guys have a chance that they don’t finish off. Is that the case most nights? Probably not, but some nights it definitely has been.”

Kane was by no means packing it in, but there are few doubts about whether or not this is taking a toll on the team.

“Well, you can’t quit,” said Kane. “We are professionals, we have to find a way to get better and try to make the most of the games we have left.”

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