Note: Make sure to @ tweet @illegalcurve with your guess in this evening’s contest. You can win IC Gear by participating in our twitter Game Winning Goal contest. Remember that for your vote to qualify you must send in your guess by hashtaging (#) the Game Winning Goal (GWG) contest. (i.e. #ICGWG Byfuglien).
Illegal Curve: Coach Noel pre-game in Buffalo. What can he do to get his players going? Are the players over-thinking things? Facing a Sabres team that is going to bring it tonight. How can he lighten the mood? Does it help being outside of the microscope of home? Clitsome back in the lineup. Redmond coming out.
Winnipeg Free Press: Wheeler trying to boost Jets’ morale. It was curious hearing the normally upbeat Blake Wheeler speaking of negativity. It was never really clear whether he was directing it towards fans or the media, although it seemed more likely directed at the latter and not the former. Truth is if the team can turn things around they will be treated like royalty but when they lose it is important to point out their failings. Wheeler does acknowledges this reality later in his interview.
Winnipeg Free Press: The iceberg is in sight. With so many games to play it is hard to believe that this team is ready to mail it in and get ready for the off season. While the team lost to both Pittsburgh and Boston, the effort was there and the fans appreciated that.
Winnipeg Free Press: PP and PK are both MIA. Coach Noel took these failures on himself and said he needs to ultimately get them back on track. The Jets have looked anemic when they are on the PP and their PK is not much better. Getting a healthy Zach Bogosian should help but ultimately Ondrej Pavelec needs to be their number one penalty killer.
CBC: DJ provides the game soundtrack. Often when in my car, I hear a song and think “Why does this sound familiar? Oh right the Jets play it during warm-up!”. Always interesting to see what goes into the behind the scenes efforts to bring entertainment to the game.
Winnipeg Sun: Even Winnipeg Jets fans are in a funk. It is clear that the MTS Centre isn’t the raucous place it was last season. Has the magic left the building? What do you think?
Winnipeg Sun: Bringing extra baggage on eastern road trip. The focus yesterday at the MTS Centre seemed to be on negativity. From Blake Wheeler to coach Noel it was the topic of the day.
Winnipeg Sun: Ticket temptation bites Jets fan. This really seems to be a pretty standard tale but one people fall for all too often. Just remember that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Globe and Mail: Slumping Jets hit the road in search of answers. For the season to be salvaged this team needs to figure out how to win on the road. The good news is they will start by playing a Sabres team that has won just once in their last four games. The bad news is they have to play five games in eight days including a dreaded back-to-back against the Flyers (23rd) and Devils (24th).
Illegal Curve: Coach Claude Noel. Negativity surrounding the team. Seeing frustration from his team? Mood swing in the 2nd intermission? Facing the Sabres. Power play problems. Play of Anthony Peluso.
Illegal Curve: Player audio from practice. Blake Wheeler, Zach Bogosian and Ondrej Pavelec.
Jets affiliate and prospect news:
Swift Current Broncos official site: Broncos drop 5-2 decision to Ice. Adam Lowry continues to tear things up in the WHL as he finished the afternoon scoring both goals (his 38th & 39th) for his team in a losing effort.
Jets opposition (Buffalo Sabres) news:
Buffalo News: Power play mandate is to take advantage of Jets’ weak PK unit. Looks like the Sabres know the key to beating the Jets.
Buffalo News: Mixing up lines, defence pairs and power-play units at morning skate. Fresh off the ice, John Vogl gives you a look at the lines the Jets will face tonight.
Olean Times Herald: Despite Sheen’s criticism, Erhoff enjoying strong season. When you read the title of the article you think it is someone other than Charlie Sheen, but it is in fact America’s bad boy actor who apparently is a fan of the Sabres (he works with Ryan Miller’s actress wife). Despite the criticism from the Anger Management star, Hoppe makes the case why Erhoff has been the Sabres best D man.
SI.com: Next five games could tell Sabres’ story. Is this article about the Sabres or Jets? Could apply to both squads who are currently residing in the Eastern Conference basement (Buffalo is 12th having played 16 games and the Jets are 14 with 14 games played).
TSN: Draft Lottery odds will remain the same for coming year. Good news for bottom basement teams hoping to improve courtesy of the deep 2013 draft.
Globe and Mail: Bruins bring a little cheer to families of Sandy Hook Elementary. The Boston organization and players should be commended for taking the time to try and bring some joy to a community that was hit by a devastating tragedy this year.