OK so after dropping a 2-0 decision to the Sharks the Jets have dropped to 1-4 in January and find themselves on the outside looking in at a playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
At the beginning of the roadtrip that saw them visit Montreal, Toronto, Buffalo and Boston, I really thought it wasn't beyond the realm of possibility that this team could go 3-1 on the trip. 2-2 at the worst.
Boy was I wrong.
In hindsight there are a few factors that I failed to think about before making my predictions.
After having a wealth of home games in December and posting a pretty good record I should really have seen a lull in the Jets' games away from home. Especially at the Bell Centre. Still, I think this team should have beaten a Habs squad that was truly reeling, and they looked completely disinterested in their game in Toronto. THAT is inexcuseable.
After 2 quality periods in Boston, the team was horrible defensively for 7 minutes. You can't afford to do that against the B's and they made them pay dearly for their ineptitude.
Then they come home to face the Sharks, who lets be honest are a far better team than the Jets. I was not expecting a win in this game and with the depleted line up I was actually expecting it to be somewhat of a rout. 2-0 is pretty respectable.
The rest of the games in January are where this team needs to make some hay. They will face New Jersey twice, the Sens, Sabres, Panthers, Canes, Rangers and Flyers. Every one of them an Eastern-Conference opponent. Three home games and five on the road. The Jets truly have to sweep the home games to be able to come away with any hope of a staying near a playoff spot. In addition to sweeping the home games, they will have to post at the very least a 3-2 record in their road games.
Can they do that ? Who knows.
This much is for certain. They simply have got to win against the teams they are supposed to beat. There is no juggernaut in the upcoming 8 games. No Boston. No Vancouver. No Detroit. Just a bunch of teams who are either currently overacheiving (ie. the Sens and Rangers) or are in the same catagory as the Jets.....borderline playoff team.
By the end of this month we will see what this team is made of. They will either nut up and play a consistent brand of hockey, or fold like a road map.
Lets hope its not the latter.