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Jets’ Dubois set to face Blue Jackets in much-anticipated return

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Microscopes will be out and measurements are sure to be taken.

Those things come with the territory after the blockbuster trade on Jan. 23, 2021 that included franchise building blocks and now links the Winnipeg Jets and Columbus Blue Jackets.

Thanks to a schedule largely impacted by the pandemic, the two teams will meet for the first time since Jan. 22, 2020 on Wednesday night — which also means it’s the first games for Pierre-Luc Dubois and Jack Roslovic against their former teams.

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And while the other headliner of this deal, Patrik Laine, remains sidelined with an oblique injury, this matchup is sure to generate plenty of intrigue — and with it, storylines.

It’s sure to be an emotional return to Nationwide Arena for Dubois, who was chosen third overall by the Blue Jackets back in 2016 and spent the first three-plus seasons of his NHL career with the organization before what became a messy divorce.

It will be interesting to monitor how Dubois is received, especially given the trade demand that ultimately led to his departure.

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Dubois was a centrepiece for the franchise and found himself in the middle of some magical moments for the Blue Jackets, including his post-season hat trick against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the qualifying round in 2020.

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There are sure to be some fans that will salute Dubois for his contributions and others that will voice displeasure.

It can be tough to predict how these homecomings are going to go and this one is no different.

Dubois has spoken openly about his appreciation for the Blue Jackets organization and the impact many within it had on shaping his young career, yet he’s never shared the details about what led to the trade request — believing that some things are better left unsaid.

Coming back is sure to invoke a lot of different feelings for Dubois, but he’ll do his best to compartmentalize those until the final buzzer sounds.

This isn’t a guy who lacks motivation, so it’s not like this opportunity will revolve around him being more determined to show the Blue Jackets what they’re missing or anything along those lines.

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That’s simply not his style. Dubois wants to perform every night, no matter where the stage takes him.

Could it provide a little extra bounce in his step? No question.

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Dubois has been letting his play do the talking this season, blossoming into the power forward the Jets envisioned when pulling the trigger on the trade.

This isn’t just about the offence he’s been able to produce either, which has him on pace to post career highs for goals, assists and points.

It’s about the strong, two-way play he’s provided and the chemistry he’s created with Kyle Connor to give the Jets a decisive one-two punch down the middle with Mark Scheifele.

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This is about the potential he’s showing and the ownership he’s taken in being a driver with the Jets.

There’s an additional emotional component to this first trip to Ohio as well for Dubois, who is wearing No. 80 this season to honour the late Matiss Kivlenieks.

The Blue Jackets raised a banner inside Nationwide Arena to honour Kivlenieks and you can be sure Dubois will be thinking of his friend when he looks skyward.

Juicy storylines notwithstanding, the Jets have dropped three consecutive games (0-2-1) and have run into some issues finding the back of the net of late, scoring just four goals during the stretch.

While Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck has allowed two goals or fewer in seven consecutive games, the offensive support has been lacking, even if the shot volume has mostly been plentiful.

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The Jets have made significant strides within the defence structure, but need to get going offensively without sacrificing the improvements made in playing without the puck.

Getting a struggling power play that has dipped from third in the NHL to 13th after a 1-for-18 stretch is one place the Jets could start.

Much like Dubois, Laine has done his part to put a frustrating season behind him, getting off to a strong start of his own prior to the injury, delivering three goals (including two game-winners) and 10 points in nine games.

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As someone who enjoys the spotlight, Laine would have had this game circled on the proverbial calendar, but he will now have to wait for the March 25 return to Winnipeg.

Roslovic is coming off his most productive game of the new season, pumping home his first two goals of the season in Monday’s win over the Buffalo Sabres.

While he was never just a throw-in, Roslovic wasn’t the centrepiece of the high-profile trade, so it was natural that eyebrows were raised when he was the most productive player in the deal last season.

Roslovic flourished with the move to his hometown team, relishing the additional ice time and responsibility to notch 12 goals and 34 points in 44 games while averaging nearly 17 minutes per game.

Things haven’t gone quite as smoothly this year.

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With Roslovic’s ice time down nearly five minutes per game, there’s been a noticeable dip in his offensive numbers as well, with seven points in 16 games while playing mostly third and fourth-line minutes.

Roslovic always believed he could have done more for the Jets if given more of an opportunity, while the Jets felt more consistency was required before a move up the depth chart was warranted.

That impasse is part of what led to the change of scenery.

The shift in address is seemingly working out for all parties and while it’s still too early to fully determine who won the trade, it’s always going to be part of the narrative and backdrop as long as the principles are part of these respective organizations.

Sizing things up in the moment is always part of the fun when moves like this are made and the latest opportunity to do so is right around the corner.

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Sean Payton Talks About His Coaching Philosophy With Broncos

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(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

 

The Sean Payton era in Denver is already kicking off with the new head coach digging into his job.

While Payton has been away from coaching for one season, he’s already getting back into the groove.

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During his interview, he let people know his coaching philosophy with the Denver Broncos and their roster.

For the veteran head coach, it’s all about evaluating players.

While the focus starts on quarterback Russell Wilson, he will also examine the other players on the Broncos roster.

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His philosophy is playing to the strengths of each player, something that gets lost with some coaches.

While those coaches focus on the flaws they find with players, Payton shows his coaching experience by having the willingness to work on players’ strengths.

He understands how every player has a unique skill set and can excel in certain positions.

While other coaches might keep weaker players in the wrong position, Payton finds their strengths and applies those strengths to the correct position.

This coaching philosophy has allowed him to find outstanding success as an NFL head coach with the New Orleans Saints.

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His 15 seasons of coaching the Saints saw him winning the NFC South seven times, while winning one Super Bowl.

He also has nine seasons of playoff appearances, showing why his philosophy can easily work in Denver.

With him and his plan in place, he can turn around a franchise that hasn’t been the same since Super Bowl 50.

The post Sean Payton Talks About His Coaching Philosophy With Broncos appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Report: Nets trade Kessler Edwards to Kings, free up cap space

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The Sacramento Kings have acquired forward Kessler Edwards from the Brooklyn Nets, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Nets are sending Edwards and cash to Sacramento in order to free up a roster spot and $8 million in salary.

The deal was pending Edwards’ approval, who has a no-trade clause due to a Bird Rights restriction in his contract. Wojnarowski later reported that Edwards had reportedly agreed to the deal, and the trade is expected to be made official.

Edwards has played 14 games with Brooklyn this season and 14 games with their G-League affiliate in Long Island, where he’s averaged 16.9 points per game.

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This comes after a flurry of rumours surrounding the Nets, who traded controversial star Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night.

Wojnarowski also reported Tuesday that the Nets were not interested in moving star forward Kevin Durant at this Thursday’s trade deadline.

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Rockets Head Coach Is Fed Up With His Team

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(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

 

Things didn’t go well for the Houston Rockets on Monday night.

The team was easily defeated by the Sacramento Kings, 140-120, at home.

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It was yet another massive and disheartening loss for the team, which now has a 13-41 record.

Following the game, head coach Stephen Silas let his frustrations show.

In a fiery, upset talk to the press after the game, Silas made it clear: “They’re not giving the effort on the defensive end,” he said.

After slamming his hand on the table, he also said, “They’re not getting after it like they’re supposed to.”

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“They’re not doing what they’re supposed to do,” Silas said, before taking his notes, standing up, and storming out of the press conference.

You can’t blame Silas for being so mad.

No one thought the Rockets would be one of the best teams in the league this season but few thought they’d be this bad.

There is some great young talent on the team, such as Jabari Smith, Jalen Green, and Alperen Sengun.

But all of that talent isn’t converting into many wins.

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The team doesn’t just have the worst record in the West, they currently have the most lacking record in the entire NBA.

The playoffs are out of the picture this season but what can the team do to give themselves a chance for next season?

Most people agree that Silas’ job is in serious jeopardy right now.

The chances of him being around in the same position next season are incredibly low unless something monumental happens.

At this point, fans of the team just want to see some signs of promise before the year is over.

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They want the slimmest sliver of hope because they are just as frustrated as Silas is with the lacking effort.

But fans of the Rockets have given up hope that anything will change soon.

The post Rockets Head Coach Is Fed Up With His Team appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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