Two nights from now, we’ll get to see — in real time — the latest version of the Winnipeg Jets. It’s a starting point to what should be an intriguing season with a new coach, a revamped system, a fresh attitude, and maybe — through all of that — better results.
And while our market seems excited about some of the young players the team employs, like Cole Perfetti, Morgan Barron and at some point, perhaps, Brad Lambert, there still seems to be a cautious approach.
For many fans, it’s a wait-and-see type of scenario before they allow themselves to be emotionally pulled right in again — which is completely understandable, coming off two COVID-19-impacted campaigns and a dysfunctional playoff miss last season.
Hence, why it’s incumbent on the team to get off to a solid start, not only against the New York Rangers on Friday to open the season at home, but beyond that and likely through the first 15 games.
You see, there’s a simpatico between interest and winning, and if the Jets can provide plenty of the latter, the former will follow in the buzz around the team, proliferating ticket and corporate sales, merchandise, and overall precious revenue in the NHL’s smallest market.
In other words, winning is the panacea to nearly every problem in professional sports — and certainly applicable to the Jets in our market today.
Now, what does a solid start look like? Well, likely an eight-, nine- or 10-win record prior to American Thanksgiving, for starters. And then a continuation of that pace as the days get shorter and the weather colder.
Of course, anything better than that would hasten the cadence of excitement; any less would only delay the engagement.
So with a new coach, system and attitude in place, the Jets will be looking to start with a win, while their fans hope it’s a trigger to a season of far better results overall.