Note: Stay tuned to IC for all the post-game audio from coach Noel, the Jets/Leafs dressing rooms and our post-game podcast from the pressbox.
Note II: Stick to @illegalcurve as we will be bringing you all the latest from the MTS Centre as the Leafs visit the Jets. During the game you can win IC Gear by participating in our twitter 50/50 and Game Winning Goal contests. Remember that for your vote to qualify you must send in your guess by hashtaging (#) our 50/50 contest or the Game Winning Goal (GWG) contest. (i.e. #IC5050 $39,650 or #ICGWG Ladd.)
Winnipeg Free Press: Olympic dreams. The games might not start until 2014 but in Canada, like a Presidential election in the US, talk begins well before the start date. The dressing room teams with a veritable fortune of potential players for a number of squads including Canada, United States, Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic.
Winnipeg Free Press: From hockey sticks to carrot sticks. His kingdom for a Whole Foods. Geoff Kirbyson takes an inside look at what Jim Slater does in terms of diet.
Globe and Mail: Pushing to rebuild on the fly. Despite fans saying they are happy to build towards the future nobody wants to watch a losing team. Again, some may say that as long as the effort is there in a loss, then it is fine but I would suggest that this is a sentiment held by the minority. Echoing that, coach Noel cannot be worried about long term goals, as a coach’s life often depends on winning now. Not many coach’s will suggest that it is fine to lose now because they are working towards future goals. Even a GM has to be careful in the words he uses to not send a fan base over the edge. When fans pay some of the highest prices in the NHL to watch NHL calibre hockey, they won’t be pleased being sold sub-par teams, just to watch NHL hockey.
Winnipeg Sun: Zach Bogosian could be back soon. The prospect of both Bogosian and Byfuglien returning to the roster must have Jets fans thanking a higher power. While they young guns on the blue line (Redmond, Postma) have filled in admirably, it has been a trial by fire and while they have been tested and not broken, it will be much better for Winnipeg when Bogo and Buff return.
Winnipeg Sun: Mark Scheifele had too much working against him says Hawerchuk. The Jets 1.0 former first round pick continues to show faith in the Jets 2.0 current first round selection. As Paul lays out there were a number of factors working against Mark Scheifele but had his performance dictated that he should stay he might be in tonight’s game against the Leafs. Instead he was sent back to the OHL to continue to work on the areas that need further development.
Globe and Mail: Jets make right call in sending Scheifele back. Some fans are 100% convinced that given the opportunity to play on the 1st or 2nd line, Scheifele would have had success and there are others who are equally sure that the Jets made the right move sending him back to the OHL. Since nobody owns a crystal ball we will have to wait another year as he spends the rest of this season in junior hockey.
Illegal Curve: GM Kevin Cheveldayoff press conference. Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff met with the media Wednesday to discuss the reassignment of Mark Scheifele to the Barrie Colts of the OHL. Also spoke about Jets long term team goals, Zach Redmond, Alexander Burmistrov.
National Post: Blake Wheeler on Phil Kessel drought: ‘I don’t feel bad for him’. The two are former college roommates and briefly played together in Boston. Wheeler knows something about goal droughts as well as media scrutiny and you can bet he has empathy for his good friend’s situation. And while he might feel for his buddy I am sure he hopes he continues in this drought for one more game.
Jets affiliate and prospect news:
TSN: McCarthy’s pair helps Sharks blank IceCaps in chippy game. After sweeping the games this past weekend, St. John’s has been swept by the Sharks in the mid week back-to-back contests. Since you don’t get points for fighting (a total of 125 minutes last night), it makes for an interesting boxscore note but not nearly as much as the 2 points would have been to help these guys make a move in the Eastern conference.
USCHO: Even in a tough year for Michigan, Trouba finds ways to impress. A great read on the Jets 2012 first round selection as he continues to develop under the watchful eye of legendary Wolverines coach Red Berenson. While I haven’t had much of an opportunity to watch him play live I caught a bit of the Michigan/Michigan State contest and Trouba’s physicality and booming slap shot were immediately apparent.
Jets opponent (Toronto Maple Leafs) news:
National Post: Phil Kessel’s goal drought not all that bad for Maple Leafs. Basically suggesting that if the Leafs are in the mix and he is playing poorly, what might happen when he actually starts finding the back of the net.
Winnipeg Free Press: ‘Now…I’m the enemy’. Randy Carlyle is not considered an outsider. He may coach a team from another city but his history in this city runs too deep for him to be treated as ‘the enemy’.
Winnipeg Sun: Coach Randy Carlyle makes long-awaited return to Winnipeg to face the Jets. While the MTS Centre crowd might be into booing the opposition I cannot help but think that the former #8 (Jets 1.0 of course) as well as long time coach and GM of the Manitoba Moose will receive a heartfelt roar of approval from the crowd. Of course they will then turn their ire to booing his team.
Toronto Sun: Depth duo on way back to Leafs. Toronto is grinding out a tough stretch of games right now and could use all the able bodies available to them.
CBC: Stars’ Jaromir Jagr sinks Oilers with OT winner. He continues to extend a record he already owns with his 17th OT goal. He also tied Luc Robitaille for 10th on the NHL’s all-time goal scoring list.
Vancouver Sun: Canucks’ Cory Schneider makes return to the nets. The goalie carousel continues to spin round and round.