ANALYSIS: Jets’ coach deserves credit for team accountability

I guess we don’t have to worry about the Kyle Connor narrative anymore.

After all, three goals, including a last-minute game-winner, just might dispel any concerns about the Jets’ best goal-scorer being in some type of slump.

It was another win for the Jets, their 10th of the season, and while a coach will always find fault in any game, you have to think that Rick Bowness will have a wry smile on his face about the way his team is playing these games.

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Perhaps they allowed a few too many shots on goal, or gave the puck away a few more times than expected. But this Jets team is 8-1-1 in the last 10 games, and playing a game that we didn’t see often last season.

It would appear that this team — these players — are listening much more than they did last year. Why that’s happening might be a bit of a mystery. That’s not really a commentary on last year’s coaches, because they were probably saying many of the same things this staff has been saying. But certainly, Rick Bowness and his group should get a bit of the credit.

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Yes, Connor Hellebuyck has been tremendous — almost Vezina-level tremendous — but the team is playing so much better defensively as a group. They are so much more accountable in their own zone, it’s almost as if there are new players in the same old numbers.

And that’s where Bowness really deserves credit. He has made everyone accountable. History means nothing. What you do on the ice every shift, every period, every game, is the only thing that matters. From the outside, he does it directly, politely and simply. He’s done it with little bravado, with common sense, and with empathy.

You see, Bowness is viewed — and has always been viewed — as one of the good guys in the game, always approachable, always polite, always willing to explain why.

That’s perfect for a team that has had great potential but never fully reached its best.

It would appear to be a great partnership, and with the way this season has started, maybe, just maybe, good guys do finish first.

Click to play video: 'RAW: Winnipeg Jets Rick Bowness Interview – Nov. 17'
RAW: Winnipeg Jets Rick Bowness Interview – Nov. 17

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