Sunday, August 7, 2011

Why The Winnipeg Jets Will Make The Playoffs Next Season

One of the most anticipated story lines for next season is, how will the Winnipeg Jets fair in their first season back in the National Hockey League. One thing is certain, they will have a strong supporting fan base, something that could not be said when the team was in Atlanta. Will those fans, that have so patiently waited since that last puck dropped in Winnipeg in 1996, have a winning team to cheer for? Yes.

Coming into the Manitoba Capital is a team that was in eighth place in the East at last season's All-Star break, but finished the season 13 points out of a playoff spot. I think things would have played out a little different had their been a fan base, like the one awaiting the Jets arrival, behind the team. The Jets' roster should thrive in the hockey crazed city of Winnipeg.

A roster that is very similar to last season's will be making the trip to Winnipeg. Team captain, Andrew Ladd, signed a five year contract over the break and Eric Fehr will bring some more offense to the Jets' line up. Evander Kane will be another year older and wiser, and should grow into being a big offensive threat. Dustin Byfuglien has a knack for the heroics and feeds off of a hyped up crowd (see the '09-'10 Chicago Blackhawks playoff highlights).

Overall, the team seemed like a playoff contender at the beginning of last season, but seemed to run out of gas after the mid-way point. If that is the case next season a revved up crowd should prove to be the gas needed to push the Jets into next season's playoffs.

Imagine a playoff game in Manitoba in its first season back, it would be insane.

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