Thursday, December 11, 2008

Jets looking for improved second half

Seriously, it hasn’t been that bad for the Metro Jets this season.

But with a 3-19-0-1 record and sitting near the basement of the Central States Hockey League standings, finding positives might be a difficult task.

That said, the second half of the season starts this weekend for the Jets and if nothing else, optimism is sky-high.

“Putting the first half behind us will be hard, but we've used it as a learning experience and we now know what we have to do to get where we want to be,” said Metro assistant coach Ryan Skop. “We've gotten rid of some cancerous guys in the room and replaced them with good character guys. This will help us move forward.”

“Players must put forth their best effort,” said Jets general manager Butch Wolfe. “To get better, the players who outwardly show they want to improve must hold those who they perceive as ‘mailing it in’ accountable. This is not kid hockey; we need the leaders in the dressing room to push themselves and others.”

As for highlights, the Jets’ three wins jump out, as does the fact veteran defenseman Brett Grech (Hartland, pictured) has been near the top of league scoring for defensemen all season long. In Metro’s 9-6 win over Grand Rapids on Oct. 18, Brandon Nault (Madison Heights) registered a hat trick on goals scored three different ways (5-on-5, shorthanded and power-play) – all in the first period.

Now, if the team’s success can come more frequently, a playoff berth isn’t out of the question.

“I expect to be competitive in the second half – no more getting blasted on a nightly basis,” Skop said. “Our young guys have learned how to work and how to compete at this level. All that's left is to prove it on the ice.”

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