A Look Back: Ezzy’s Five Reasons the Jets Will Make the Playoffs

Posted by Michael Remis in Columns,Winnipeg Jets on April 10, 2012 — No Comments

On the Illegal Curve Hockey Show, each week several predictions are made. To be honest, most of them are not followed up on, but Richard and Ezra’s preseason predictions were posted on the website and talked about almost weekly on the show.

Fans of the show will know that Ezra predicted that the Jets  would make the playoffs this season, and gave his five reasons. Richard provided the counter argument and said that they would not make the playoffs and gave his five reasons.

The two went back and forth all season; in this post I’ll review Ezra’s reasons why the Jets would make the playoffs. If you have time check back and read the original article and comments.

After the December home-stand, the Jets were as hot as they would be at any point in the regular season. It looked like the playoffs were a possibility. I remember looking back at his reasons and thought that he could actually be right.

Here are his five reasons they would make the playoffs

Youth

As I detailed in a previous post “Fuelled by Career Years”, a number of Jets have exceeded career point totals. Blake Wheeler emerged as the point leader in the second half and put up 63 points. Evander Kane scored 30 goals, and it could have been 40 if he were not injured. Dustin Byfuglien missed time and recorded the highest points per game of his career. Kyle Wellwood, Alex Burmistrov,and  Zach Bogosian each played significant roles on the team and had career high numbers.

Goaltending

Ondrej Pavelec’s final numbers may not look that great, but he has played in a career high 68 games, recorded a .906 save percentage and 2.91 GAA, both worse than last season. However, numbers can’t explain the nights where Pavelec made highlight reel save after save to keep the Jets competitive. His heroics didn’t go unnoticed, he would receive the loudest cheers from fans and earned the McDiarmid Lumber three stars award.

Defensive Depth

Dustin Byfuglien, Tobias Enstrom, Ron Hainsey  and Zach Bogosian each missed time with injuries. Johnny Oduya was traded midseason.  In addition to the five defensemen mentioned, the Jets also used the following defenseman in games this season: Mark Stuart, Grant Clitsome, Randy Jones, Mark Flood, Derek Meech, Brett Festerling, Arturs Kulda, Paul Postma. That is a total of thirteen defensemen for six positions.

The Eastern Conference isn’t that good

The Southeast division was often referred to as the “South Least” division this season. Only two teams from the division made the playoffs. Florida and Washington finished with 94 and 92 points, good enough for the lowest totals of any playoff team besides Ottawa who also finished with 92 points. Due to the mediocrity of the division, a playoff spot was more in reach than it would have been in the Western Conference.

The Whiteout

Home ice advantage propelled the Jets to a much better home record than on the road.

Home record: 23-13-5

Road record:  14-22-5

Unfortunately the Jets were not able to transfer their home play to the road.

Even though they did not make the playoffs, these five reasons all contributed to a successful inaugural season and if the Jets did end up making the playoffs, it would have been for these reasons.

While Ezra’s prediction was wrong, the process behind it was right. I’ll give him a pass here.

Stay tuned when I recap Richard’s reasons why the Jets would not make the playoffs.