After a nine-day wait to begin the regular season, the Jets looked sloppy and out of sync with each other in a 5-1 loss to the Habs on Sunday. Now that all the hooplah surrounding the return of the team has subsided somewhat, the team is leaving on its first road trip of the season.
Time for this team to spend some time together and do a little bonding. I suspect a little time away from all the questions surrounding their return to Winnipeg will do them a world of good. The first road game comes this Thursday against the Blackhawks and they should prove to be a quality barometer for where this team is talent-wise. I don't think anyone here in Winnipeg is expecting to pull out a win against Chicago, but there will be a great number of eyes on them to see if their compete level gets raised from their performance in game 1. After that its straight off to Phoenix, where the expectations for a win will be the greatest so far this season. I would suspect that if the new Jets don't put up a W against the old Jets, the team dynamic might see a change, drastic or subtle remains to be seen.
After the game against the Habs, Jets head coach Claude Noel rated the young player's effort as "average". Far be it from me to disagree with Noel, but I thought he played a pretty solid game for his first NHL tilt. He showed some skill when he had the puck, but yes, he could do a better job when he was without it. As I mentioned in previous posts, I don't think Scheifele's play (even if he plays fantastic) will be the tipping point on whether or not he stays up with the big club. I think it will all be dependant on the team's record after his nine-day stint. Anything less than 5 wins in those 9 games and I think he will be going to Barrie.