If you’ve missed the news, two head coaches are now looking for work after the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes said good-bye to Bruce Boudreau and Paul Maurice to make way for Dale Hunter and Kirk Muller.
With Kevin Dineen in Florida and Claude Noel in Winnipeg both taking the reigns to start the season, four of the five Southeast Division teams have a different man directing the squad then they did last year when the season ended. In fact, Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher is in only his second year as head coach in the NHL, now is the divisions veteran coach.
The inexperienced NHL head coach worked for Tampa last year, has worked so far in Florida and while the Jets aren’t proving Noel to be an instant success, they haven’t given us a reason to legitimately doubt him either.
Time will tell if Hunter can fix whatever is wrong with Ovie and the Caps or if Muller can get Staal and the Canes back on track. One thing we know is that the youth movement isn’t just on the ice and that if the Jets want to compete for a playoff spot they better be prepared to play more consistent hockey.
You can bet that if results don’t start improving in Washington and Carolina that further changes to those teams will happen. The Jets have a 3-0-1 record against them so far and it is a large reason they sit one game below five hundred before starting their most crucial home stretch of the year.
As I brought up six games ago that the next twenty-one games the Jets needed a record of 12-5-2 that they would be in a good position to make the playoffs. After six games they are 4-1-1 and in good shape to meet that target with thirteen of fifteen games to be played at the MTS Centre where they hold a three game winning streak.
If the Jets continue their strong play at home, we will watch as they climb in the standings. If they falter, don’t be surprised if changes start to happen. Eric Fehr is back and being evaluated. After this home stretch Chevy will have a better understanding of what type of team he has and will either look to add a piece to secure a playoff spot and make a run, or he’ll look to add pieces that will help make the Jets a contender in a few years.
The changes have started in Washington and Carolina and you can expect that to ripple and effect the other twenty-eight teams with some change of their own.
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