by Brandt Corbin
If one sits back and considers the toughest building to play in the NHL what would it be? Three of those buildings are MSG in New York City, Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia and the United Center in Chicago. The newly relocated Winnipeg Jets will play in each and everyone of those barns early in the 2011 season. They will without question get use to playing on the road early in the season, as 11 of the first 15 games are all away from the MTS Center.
Key to making the playoffs
The Jets are younger than most fans realize. Nik Antropov 31, is the oldest forward on the team. It goes as far as this, half the forwards in the opening night line-up will be 25 years old and younger. Other forwards such as Tanner Glass, Rick Rypien (both 27) have played well under 200 games in the NHL. ] The biggest key to this teams success is the early season road trips. Come game 16, this team cannot be 5-10 or 6-9, they cannot play catch-up that early in the season. Make no mistake, the Washington Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning will be 1/2 in the division. Whomever finishes in 3rd place has a chance to make the playoffs, but its highly doubtful the 4th and 5th place team has any chance.
Time on our side
Even if the Jets struggle early in the season, the hockey operations department will not throw a grenade in the dressing room and blow things up. The core of the hockey club starts on the defense with Bogosian, Enstrom and Byfuglien, then up front you’ve got Ladd, Kane and Little with Pavelic in net. The oldest two players out of that bunch in Byfuglien and Enstrom at 26-years-old. Not to many other places in the league is a core this young. To be successful long term you need to add pieces to the puzzle, just in the last 6 months the organization has added the likes of Fehr and Wheeler which is good start.