Winnipeg Jets: Developing Good Habits and Ridding Old Woes

Anthony Capocci@CapocciJETSContributor IJanuary 28, 2013

WINNIPEG, MB - JANUARY 27:  Evander Kane #9 of the Winnipeg Jets celebrates his game winning goal in overtime against the New York Islanders in NHL action on January 27, 2013 at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Marianne Helm/Getty Images)
Marianne Helm/Getty Images

The Winnipeg Jets couldn't have hoped for a better start after their first five games of this condensed NHL season.

The Jets have won three straight games and have recorded points in their previous four. After the opening day loss against the Ottawa Senators, the Jets struck fire. A shootout loss in Boston, a win in Washington, a win against Pittsburgh and a win over the New York Islanders leaves the Jets with a lot of confidence early on.

It's early, still too early for comfort, but this year's Jets team is doing things that the Jets of last year and Thrashers of old would have failed to do. They're beginning to develop new habits and new traits that will lift them out of the shadows of mediocre. They're creating a new image.

Take last night's win over the Islanders for example.

After leading and quite frankly dominating the Islanders for the entire first 40 minutes of play, the Jets started to stumble in the early parts of the third period. It seemed to be the typical third period collapse that has always haunted this franchise dating back to the Atlanta days.

At least that's what it seemed to be.

The Islanders scored three quick goals in about a 10-minute span and took a 4-2 lead over the Jets. There was no quit in the Jets, however. Two quick goals in less than a minute and the game was tied up again. And in overtime, the Jets didn't just want one point, they wanted the win—and they got it.

For the second straight game, the Jets were able to overcome a two goal deficit. What made last night’s comeback more significant was the fact that it occurred during the third period. The Jets were resilient and fought hard until the end.

The Jets of old would have happily took the loser point. Actually, it wouldn't have even gone that far. The Jets of old would have given up as soon as the Islanders took the lead. These were the old woes that consistently surrounded this franchise.

The team that responded last night wasn't the Jets and Thrashers of old and those woes didn't resurface. They're the Jets of now and the future, and they're creating a new image for this franchise.

The ability to play a full 60 minutes was key in last night's victory. Just like the game against the Penguins on Friday night, the Jets made a statement over the Islanders last night in come-from-behind fashion. They didn't give up or fold even when everything went wrong in the third period.

Playing a full 60 minutes is one thing, but consistency goes a long way with completeness.

A consistent effort on the ice each night is the brand and style of hockey this team wants to play. We've already seen it through five games, and even though it's a small sample size, it shows us the direction the Jets are headed in. The Jets are learning good habits.

Through the first five games, the Jets have played with a fire lit under them—strong, physical, hardworking hockey. A never give up attitude and a team work mentality. Playing for an entire 60 minutes and doing so consistently—all traits of a winning team.

This franchise is taking a step into the right direction and it's happening now.