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Jets ignore small details, leading to disastrous and ‘unacceptable’ loss



ST. PAUL, Minn. — Connor Hellebuyck had more time to collect his thoughts than he would have otherwise, thanks to an early pull less than three minutes into the second period.

But that made the words of the Winnipeg Jets star goalie even more meaningful as he addressed the media following a 7-1 blowout loss to the Minnesota Wild on Friday afternoon at Xcel Energy Center.

Hellebuyck may have been measured in his thoughts, but he didn’t pull any punches when he stood at the podium and was asked about a game that went sideways during as poor a period as the Jets have played this season.


“We’re playing a little bit fragile,” said Hellebuyck, who allowed more than two goals for the first time in nine starts. “And there’s three zones and we have to care more about every single one of them, starting in our end. We can’t be giving up seven.

“It’s just unacceptable if you want to win in this league.”

That sound you heard was Hellebuyck dropping the mic. He was blunt in his assessment, but didn’t point any fingers. He asked more of others, while also asking more of himself.

This was another sign of leadership from a guy who has grown comfortably into that role over the course of his time with the organization.

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In a rivalry game that was supposed to help sharpen the focus of the Jets as they tried to ensure their season-worst losing streak wouldn’t stretch any longer, they instead suffered their most lopsided defeat of the season and offered very little in terms of a resistance after falling behind.

To say they outright quit isn’t accurate, but they didn’t show nearly enough fight either.

One-offs happen, but they can’t be ignored either.

“Long seasons like this you’re going to go through skids,” said Jets forward Paul Stastny, who returned to the lineup after missing the past eight games with a foot injury. “Whether you’re losing close games or blowout games, sometimes it’s better to lose a blowout game to kind of wake everyone up and knock some sense into everyone. Flip the page and kind of get to work tomorrow.

“Sometimes you lose one and you’re like ‘Oh it’s back-to-back with travel, everyone’s going to think we’re going to lose tomorrow’ but that’s not our mentality. Sometimes it takes the hardest ones to turn things around. Nothing comes easy in this league. Nothing comes easy in life and you learn from it, you constantly go through struggles like this and ups and downs and kind of grow out of it and get better from it.”


Stastny is rarely short on perspective, but now it’s up to the Jets to respond on the ice.

Saying the right thing is important. Following up those words with actions is essential for the Jets right now.

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For as much credit as the Jets were given after jumping out to an impressive 9-3-3 start to the regular season, they’ve reached the point where they need to stand up and be counted.

This team was in the discussion as one of the top teams in the Western Conference after taking three of four points against the Edmonton Oilers just last week, but that seems like a lifetime ago.

Instead of battling for top spot in the Central Division, the Jets suddenly find themselves five points behind the Wild and they’re in jeopardy of falling below the playoff line in the West.

That cushion the Jets built has quickly evaporated after putting only one point in the piggy bank during this five-game skid (0-4-1) that leaves them with a 9-7-4 record and 22 points.


They won’t have to wait long for an opportunity, with the first meeting of the season against the Calgary Flames coming on Saturday night in Alberta.

A no-show in Cowtown against the team leading the Western Conference simply won’t be tolerated.

“Just a little urgency. And it can’t be from one guy. It can’t be solo efforts. It’s the team,” said Hellebuyck. “It’s every single guy in that locker room, including myself. A little more urgency. And if it takes a 1-0 game, that’s what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to give what the game is demanding of us right now.”

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The Jets have scored just five goals during the losing streak, but it’s the defensive-zone play that is the far greater concern right now.

The small details are being ignored and that’s led to disastrous results.


What began as a sloppy third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday has now stretched into nearly two full games where there was far too much cheating for offence.

To borrow the phrase from Hellebuyck, that’s simply unacceptable and if the Jets want to get things turned around, it’s where they need to direct the most energy.

“We need to be a hell of a lot better defensively. That’s the starting point,” said Jets head coach Paul Maurice, who expressed a similar concern after Wednesday’s loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. “That’s how you get out of these things. If you’re not scoring goals, you can’t go out and sell it all out at all costs to score. We gave up so much off the rush, whether it was dangerous off the rush, it became dangerous after the rush.”

When a team gets blown out, it’s always interesting to gauge the reaction of a head coach.

Is he spitting nails or is he preaching patience and calm?


Maurice was clearly frustrated by what transpired, but he didn’t lose his temper, likely sensing his team didn’t need to be berated publicly after a poor effort.

When a boat is taking on water, the last thing the captain of the ship can afford to do is show signs of panic or provide an out-of-character response to a question.

Not long ago, Maurice was praising this group for its collective maturity. Now he’s counting on them leaning on that quality in this latest challenge as the Jets close out a three-game road trip.

How the Jets react could end up telling us an awful lot about what kind of team they’re actually going to be.

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Lakers GM Says Veteran Has Been Working Closely With LeBron James



(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)


The Los Angeles Lakers made a lowkey very impactful trade last season.

Acquiring Rui Hachimura was very valuable for Darvin Ham’s team, as he was a part of a frontcourt logjam and was never going to take off with the Washington Wizards.


But Hachimura was a natural fit in Los Angeles, working closely with their player development staff and providing a big boost on both ends of the floor, even in the playoffs.

And now that he’s extended his stay in Southern California, it seems like Hachimura is looking forward to learning from the best of the best.

According to GM Rob Pelinka, he’s spent plenty of time working out with LeBron James and soaking in as much information as he can, up to the point where LeBron now calls him his understudy, via Jovan Buha of The Athletic.

Hachimura is a gifted athlete with a strong build and big arms, just like LeBron.

Needless to say, they’re not in the same stratosphere in terms of play, and Hachimura is obviously way more limited, but this could do wonders for him.

James knows how to make the most of his body and big frame better than most players in the league, and Hachimura has a similar body type.

His strength allows him to hold his own against bigger players, and he was even sent out there to guard some centers.


Hachimura is expected to have a significant role off the bench next season, and he’s earning every single penny of that deal.

The post Lakers GM Says Veteran Has Been Working Closely With LeBron James appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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Steve Kerr Had Big Message To Anthony Edwards After Pre-Draft Workout



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As coach of Team USA in the FIBA Basketball World Cup, Steve Kerr relied on Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves a lot.

He was impressed by what the young player was capable of and he believed him.


However, that wasn’t always the case.

Speaking with ESPN, Edwards revealed that Kerr once grilled him about his effort and workout process.

According to Edwards, Kerr said: “You’ve got to see Steph, KD, and Klay work out…You didn’t work hard enough.”

He added: “If we had the No. 1 pick, we wouldn’t take you.”

Edwards said the comments came when he was working out in preparation for the league.

At the time, Edwards was seen as the top pick in that draft class.

Sure enough, he was ultimately selected by the Timberwolves at the start of the 2020 draft.

But if Kerr and former team president Bob Myers had the first choice, they would have passed on Edwards.

The guard admitted to ESPN that he was shocked by Kerr’s words – but they did inspire him.


He and his trainer then met to find ways to push himself more and make Kerr and the rest of the NBA proud.

It apparently worked because Kerr was very supportive and blown away by Edwards during his recent World Cup run.

Edwards posted 18.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.8 assists during the tournament.

Although Team USA ultimately didn’t find the success they wanted in the World Cup, Edwards played well and Kerr was very happy with his output.

Kerr was giving Edwards tough love all those years ago and it has definitely paid off.


Now, people are expecting great things from him as he enters his fourth season in the NBA.

The post Steve Kerr Had Big Message To Anthony Edwards After Pre-Draft Workout appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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Fans React To LeBron James’ Remarkable Offseason Plans



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LeBron James is one of the best players in the NBA, even when entering Year 21 of his career.

But James hasn’t maintained that status by relaxing during his free time.


Instead, he works extremely hard on his craft and goes above and beyond to stay in top-notch shape entering a regular season.

It seems that the 38-year-old has taken things up a notch ahead of the 2023-24 season.

LeBron recently shared an Instagram story, via Bleacher Report on Twitter, showing that he was working out at 3:00 a.m. and NBA fans had various reactions to it.

James has been a phenomenal player throughout his 20-year career in the NBA.

But even after two decades in the NBA, James is training as if he’s a rookie playing his first season in the league.


Considering how James is preparing for the new season, it seems almost unbelievable that he was on the verge of retiring after the 2023 playoffs.

As for his stats, James put up 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game last season.

Despite having such numbers, James couldn’t help the Los Angeles Lakers get past the Western Conference Finals.

With that failure in mind, it seems he’s hungrier than ever to win another NBA championship.

Moreover, the 38-year-old will finally be at 100% after battling injuries throughout last season.


James will be the primary superstar of the Lakers, but the organization has added many key role players to the roster ahead of the upcoming season.

Keeping that in mind, if James leads the Lakers to another title, it won’t be a surprise.

The post Fans React To LeBron James’ Remarkable Offseason Plans appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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