I can only imagine how frustrating it’s been this week for Rick Bowness. After all, you return to Winnipeg to help rekindle the winning attitude for the Jets, remove the captain’s C, shuffle the lines and initiate a new game plan … only to be grounded by COVID as the season starts.
The frustration must have grown after the loss in Dallas … and subsided after the overtime win in Denver, against the Stanley Cup Champions.
One could only imagine the blood pressure for the coach — on the couch — after Vegas piled four goals by the back-up goaltender. It was certainly not the way for the Jets to end their first road trip of the season.
But you couldn’t help but notice the Jets pushing through the problems they had against Jack Eichel, and Bruce Cassidy, another new coach trying to create a new confidence in the Golden Knights.
David Rittich actually looked decent for two periods, perhaps not answering the question of whether he is good enough to be Connor Hellebuyck’s backup, but at least he deserves another chance to prove his worth.
But we saw some “stick-to-itiveness” from this team, that had them win the third period — and go toe-to-toe against the Knights — a period that didn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth, like the Dallas game did.
There’s little doubt Rick Bowness felt out of sorts not being behind the bench — a separation anxiety, if you will — not being able to make changes on the fly. But perhaps he saw, as many Jets fans saw, a team that didn’t fold, as lots of people do at the tables in Vegas. Positive signs? Perhaps. Troubling signs? Maybe a few.
Listen, a loss is a loss, but it can also be a learning experience, and I can guarantee you, no one learned more about this team than the man on the couch, Rick Bowness.
John Shannon on the Jets: Oct. 19
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