I love fans. I mean, really. I love fans. They are so devoted. Devoted to winning and devoted to firing, cutting or trading somebody when their beloved team loses.
The past week in Winnipeg has been a testament to the over-reaction of people who truly love their team. Seems like, since the Jets lost 4-1 to Dallas on Friday night, their devoted fans have been near apoplexy. The Jets were 2-3 after Friday night’s loss. They had lost three straight. It was going to be another disaster this season, perhaps on par with the Blue Bombers unless ownership…
“Fired Claude Noel,” “Fired Kevin Cheveldayoff,” “Traded Dustin Byfuglien,” “Made a deal for a new goaltender,” “Cut four of the team’s top six defenseman,” or “Didn’t teach Blake Wheeler to shoot.”
They still might want to teach Wheeler to shoot the puck more often, but after Sunday night’s 3-0 shutout of the winless New Jersey Devils, all was well again.
Except for the fact that now, it appears, the fans have created a goaltender controversy for themselves. The post-game grumbling never dies, even when your team wins.
The Jets weren’t great on Sunday, but they were pretty good. Evander Kane scored twice, Zach Bogosian and Jacob Trouba hit everything that moved and backup goaltender Al (The Big Cubano) Montoya was perfect. Granted, he only had to make 24 saves against a Devils team that plays with absolutely no emotion (will Peter DeBoer follow Peter Laviolette out the door soon?), but he still earned a shutout and he still looked rock solid for a guy who doesn’t play very much.
It’s amazing how fans change with the wind. Didn’t seem like anybody was going to be fired by the masses on Sunday night after a number of folks at the rink on Friday night wanted wholesale changes. But, of course, when you pay the big bucks for hockey tickets, you have the right to say pretty much anything you want about your team. Even if it doesn’t make any sense.
I’m just sayin’, don’t ya think getting all hot and bothered after five or six games of an 82-game schedule is kind of a waste of time, effort and emotion?
Let the season breathe a little. If it looks like the Jets are bound to miss the playoffs in March, then it might be worth the effort to start phoning the call-in shows and leaving messages on websites. Until then, why not just enjoy the games?
Really, you’ll feel a lot better. Something tells me this Jets team has a few more 3-0 wins in them.