The Winnipeg Jets traveled to Buffalo on Tuesday night to take on the Sabres—a team that only had two regulation wins all season. They left Buffalo after an embarrassing display of hockey and a crushing defeat.
The Jets started off the game on what seemed to be a permanent penalty kill. The puck never left their zone with the way the Sabres were controlling play. Fortunately, there was no score at the end of the first period.
Jets center Mark Scheifele scored two quick goals right out of the gates to open up the second period. After that, the Sabres completely dominated the rest of the game. They went on to score four unanswered goals and win 4-2.
If it weren’t for the Scheifele line, the Jets would have been shut out by the 30th-ranked team in the NHL. Even so, it was a brutal display of hockey—a display fans are getting used to seeing.
The loss speaks volumes as to the type of team the Jets are. While the coach and GM can factor into it, the Jets are just a fringe mediocre hockey team with too many inconsistencies.
Will they even be able to bounce back from a loss so deflating, or is this them throwing in the towel? Things don’t look good in Winnipeg right now.
The Jets' lack of depth is a vital part of why they’re such a bad team. When Claude Noel is using Chris Thorburn, a borderline fourth liner, to fill in on the second line for an injured player, you know there’s something wrong. For those wondering, Thorburn has zero goals.
Outside of a few players in the top six, the Jets don’t have the scoring to carry them this year. And on defense they just can’t seem to hold opponents from creating chances and scoring goals.
A few good performances here and there are just flashes in the pan. The Jets' inconsistencies on the ice are too apparent for them to be competitive each game.
The team plays not only in the tougher of the two conferences, but the toughest division in hockey as well. Lose to the Sabres, though, and that excuse gets thrown out the window.
It's not as if the Jets have made a mark in the Central. Prior to the two-game road trip that concluded in Buffalo on Tuesday, the Jets were home for three straight games against Central Division foes. They lost all three on home ice in front of their diehard fans.
The Jets are 9-4-1 against Eastern Conference opponents but 3-11-3 against division opponents.
Can anyone expect a change going forward? The only changes that could get the Jets out of this hole would be a trade or a coaching change. Both of these ideas seem doubtful.
Preaching change is one thing, but actually executing on ice is another. It’s time the Jets right the ship this season before it’s too late, if it's not already.
Clearly the Jets aren’t ready for the Central, but seeing how they played against the Sabres, it looks like they’re not even ready to creep up out of the basement.