Thursday, January 26, 2012

Jets Better Off Without All-Star Representative

Many fans think the NHL has snubbed the city of Winnipeg and it's beloved new Jets for not having at least one player going to the All-Star game, but to be honest the team is better off without sending a player to Ottawa.

Looking down the roster, there are other teams who will not have any veterans in the lineup - including the New Jersey Devils, despite sending two rookies Adam Larsson and Adam Henrique.

Jets fans can look at the lineup and claim that the Ottawa Senators are over-respresented with Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson, Milan Michalek, and Erik Karlsson all playing in the game.

But remember that Spezza (50 points), Alfredsson (38 points), and Karlsson (47 points) all have more points than Jets leading scorer Blake Wheeler (33 points), while Michalek has 23 goals.

In short, they may have been voted in by fans not by their play, but they still deserve to be there.

Does any Jet really deserve to be there based on their play this season?

Blake Wheeler, Toby Enstrom, and Ondrej Pavelec may be the leading candidates in that regard.

Wheeler leads the team with 33 points (nine goals, 24 assists) and was a +10 before the Jets started their nose dive going into the All-Star break.

Despite being injured and only having played 30 games this season, Enstrom has tried to fill the gap left by Dustin Byfuglien - the Jets only named All-Star - and for a time Zach Bogosian with 19 points (four goals and 15 assists), including a three game goal scoring streak.

And for Pavelec - the runaway so far for team MVP - his numbers are not comparable to the best goalies that are going to All-Star Game as he sports a 2.84 goals against average (the next closest goals against average from any All-Star goalie is Carey Price at 2.41) and a .909 save percentage to go with a 16-17-6 record.

To be honest, the Jets don't have the All-Star calibre lineup they need to send a player that deserves to be there.

And for a team that had promise going into 2012 and out of a great December of wins, the team deserves to not send an All-Star to the game because they need to focus on bigger and better things for the back half of the schedule.

Right now, the farthest thing the Jets need to ponder is the All-Star Game in Ottawa.

They need to fight for their playoff lives.

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