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The Jets Show Us Again That They Are What We Thought They Were

You’ve probably heard that the Winnipeg Jets have a clique of former Atlanta Thrashers players who seem to run the locker room. You’ve probably heard that GM Kevin Cheveldayoff and head coach Claude Noel either didn’t know the clique existed or don’t think it’s important enough to worry about. You’ve probably heard that the Jets are sold out for five years so the brass doesn’t have to hurry when it comes to improving the hockey club.

You’ve probably heard all of that more than once.

Some of it might even be true. Some of it also sounds like, “OK, believe whatever it is you want to believe.”

Ondrej Pavelec (31) makes a great glove save. (SHAWN COATES PHOTO)

Ondrej Pavelec (31) makes a great glove save. (SHAWN COATES PHOTO)

Regardless, here is what we do know is absolutely true: After losing 2-1 to the St. Louis Blues at MTS Centre on Tuesday night, the Jets are now 14-14-4 after 32 games. The leaves the team in sixth place in the Central Division and 11th in the Western Conference. The Jets are now eight points out of the final playoff spot in the West but the team immediately ahead of them have three games in hand. The Jets don’t score much and they give up too many.

Tuesday night, the Jets did what they do more often than not. They played hard, outshot the Blues (albeit 21-20); got some solid goaltending when needed from Ondrej Pavelec; outhit the hard-checking Blues 39-27; did what they do best — blocked 22 shots; and did as much as they could possibly with the personnel they have.

But they also didn’t score (one goal is almost never enough), they gave up a late fluke (because scoring one goal is almost never enough) and they lost a home game to a better team even though they skated with that team for all 60 minutes. The Jets have now scored four regulation time goals in the last three games.

Here’s the problem: The Jets aren’t getting any better. We’ve said it all season, “They are exactly who we thought they were.” Questions now are: (1) Does Cheveldayoff try to shake things up by making a deal? (2) Is there a deal out there that will improve the team (probably not)?

Brian Elliott was just too good (SHAWN COATES PHOTO)

The Blues Brian Elliott was just too good (SHAWN COATES PHOTO)

The Jets have some good young players. We were just in Brandon and there is no doubt Prince Albert’ s Josh Morrissey is going to be a good pro and it appears undersized Nic Petan can really score. But both of those players are still a year or two — or even three — away from the NHL.

Right now, the Jets are a 14-14-4 hockey team. The playoff line in the West is getting father away, not closer and two teams they are chasing — Colorado and Dallas — are coming to town.

This is a big week. By the end of it, Cheveldayoff might be forced to consider making a change or two. After all, two more losses and the Jets might be in a hole — after just 34 games — that is far too deep to escape.

Consider this, if the Avalanche (the playoff-level team closest to the Jets in the standings) play about .500 hockey the rest of the way, the Jets would have to go 34-16-0 to pass them. That’s unlikely.

The Jets played tough, but the Blues were tougher (SHAWN COATES PHOTO)

The Jets played tough, but the Blues were tougher (SHAWN COATES PHOTO)

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