Tag: playoff aspirations

Scott Howson

Scott Howson might be delusional


We might have to start worrying about Jackets GM Scott Howson’s sense of reality.

While we’ve seen six different teams make coaching changes this season, the Blue Jackets have held on to Scott Arniel despite having the worst record in the league. While that’s noble of Howson to stick to his guy, that’s not the most delusional thing he’s done this year.

Howson still thinks Columbus has a shot at the playoffs. Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch relays Howson’s ability to hang on to that postseason dream and not recognize that the chase could very well be over before Santa Claus shows up.

Strange things happen in sports. We’ve certainly dug a hole for ourselves. It’s a requirement of being in pro sports to keep banging at the door, no matter what’s going on. So, no, I’m not going to acknowledge that.”

It’s noble that Howson is believing in his coach and his team to get things turned around enough to challenge for the postseason, but last year’s Devils were in a similar position (20 points in 33 games, 18 points out of eighth) and while they threatened to make the playoffs with an incredible run, they fell short in the end.

Columbus is just 15 points behind Dallas for eighth-place in the Western Conference right now, but if Howson is banking on a huge run to get them back into things, he’d better start looking for moves to make to try and fix things up. The Western Conference and Central Division a bit more difficult than what the Devils dealt with last year.

Claude Noel thinks Winnipeg is a playoff team, might be a bit biased

Claude Noel

Winnipeg Jets coach Claude Noel might be a bit biased, but he believes his team can be a playoff team in the Eastern Conference.

With the Jets’ season opening on Sunday afternoon against the Montreal Canadiens, Noel is taking front and center in Winnipeg discussing the team, the situation, and the mad house that Winnipeg is leading up to the reintroduction of the NHL in the city. Noel says that while he’s enjoying every bit of the moment, he believes that the Jets can make the postseason.

We know that a coach has to be positive about everything going into the year, but if you took the title away from Noel and had him look at things as a casual observer (you know, like us) he’d see there’s not a lot to be hopeful of in Winnipeg. Ondrej Pavelec will need to play out of his mind in goal, Mark Scheifele is going to need to be a Calder Trophy finalist, and Dustin Byfuglien will need to have another 20-goal season from the blue line to make the Jets even be a threat for the playoffs.

Noel has to go into the season feeling positive and Winnipeg is going to love this team win or lose this season, but with how teams have toughened up in the East and the moves other teams have made, Winnipeg being last year’s Thrashers in new clothing doesn’t change the fact they’re going to have a hard time winning games.