MADRID – There is nothing quite like a relaxing cup of café con leche in your sala de estar at 4am to jumpstart not only your day, but also your favourite team’s third season back in the NHL! Indeed, October 1st could have been a rough, rough day at work, but instead the Jets pulled off their first win of the season against the Oilers and the day was as smooth as a rookie’s bottom!
And while some time and a handful of games have passed since that wonderful day (I blame the multiple time zones…), I think a season preview is still well worth the effort, considering there are still 77 more games (and a playoff run) to go. Sunday’s tilt against the winless and hapless Devils gives the Jets a good chance to improve their 2-3 record (6th in the Central Division).
The 2013-2014 season is set to be one of many changes for the Little Club on the Prairie. Yes, we could talk about the change in conferences, the loss of Kyle Wellwood, Nikolai Antropov and Ron Hainsey (Whoop dee doo!) or the fact that the ice no longer cracks under Big Buff’s skates, but what is set to be the main storyline this season is merely a question of colours.
For, if the Jets’ first season could be characterised as a mere attempt to get a terribly built club organised enough to play a first season and if in Season Two GM Kevin Cheveldayoff looked to correct some of the serious structural on-ice problems by strengthening the team in size and skill all while carefully building their future up through cautious youth development, Season Three should be the year that we really begin to see the work that the “Polar Night” Blue, “Aviator” Blue, White and Silver (wouldn’t that match nicely with a gray murse???) put into remodelling this club come to fruition.
Already, 22-year-old Evander Kane has been developed into an impressive force to be reckoned with and if either Devin Setoguchi or Michael Frolik, who were acquired on the off-season to complement the young left-winger can do just that, this may just be the season where #9 really takes off and becomes the elite player he has the potential to be.
And while the Jets lost 21-year-old Alexander Burmistrov on the off-season to the KHL, which in my humble opinion is not such a tremendous loss (for reasons other than Russia’s impeccable levels of tolerance…), it is the arrival of Mark Scheifele and Jacob Trouba (the Jets’ two first-rounders from 2011 and 2012) that is making the Tide start to turn, the old Thrashers’ Georgia Bronze, Atlanta Midnight Blue, Thrasher Ice Blue, Capitol Copper, Peachtree Gold and White (good grief, that doesn’t match with anything!!!) slowly fade away and the Jets’ true colours begin to finally shine through. Puck Buddys, here is to a great season!