Altitude Check: Wednesday January 4, 2012 Winnipeg Jets Headlines

CALGARY, CANADA - JANUARY 3: Members of Team Russia celebrate after defeating Team Canada during the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championship Semifinal game at the Saddledome on January 3, 2012 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Team Russia defeated Team Canada 6-5. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Hey all! Here is our feature running Monday through Friday that will bring you up to date on what's going on in the media pertaining to the Winnipeg Jets.

Here are your headlines for Wednesday, January 4, 2012:

Previewing Winnipeg vs. Montreal tonight at the Centre Bell (see Randy Cunnyworth, it's that easy!) [Winnipeg Jets]

"Fehr Gate" continued yesterday as the media was given access to the struggling winger. For the most part, he acknowledged he has to be better to earn his playing time. However, there is some reading between the lines that can be done as he takes a passive swipe at coach Noel's thoughts on his game as of late: "I’m not really too worried about the criticism from above – I’m criticizing myself every game and I’m not happy with the way I’m playing. I’m more concerned about that. Trying to work on my game is something I’ve been doing all season; now that the coach has said something I’m not going to work extra hard – I’ve been working hard all season. I’m just going to continue to push forward and hope for the best." [WFP]

Paul Friesen spreads the love to the likes of Patrice Cormier, Tim Stapleton and Mark Flood who have been asked to fill large holes in Winnipeg's line-up as of late. Says Jim Slater: "That’s a sign of good teams. We’ve had a lot of injuries this year and we’ve had guys step up in their absence. That’s great to see. That’s how I got my start. I’m sure some of these guys are going to get their start that way, too." [Winnipeg Sun]

The Jets winning streak of late can be attributed to a combination of great goaltending and stout defensive play. In the month of December, the Jets only allowed 26 goals in 14 games (1.85 per game) which directly correlates to the success they had for the majority of that time frame. It seems as though the days of 9-8 shootouts are long behind us. [London Free Press]

Would the Winnipeg Jets be open to the idea of trading Dustin Byfuglien? Scott Taylor presents the argument for parting ways with Big Buff: "He still isn't perfect. Especially as a defenseman. Despite his gifts, he's a minus-eight and has had a penchant for giving the puck away at the most inopportune times. Early in the season, Byfuglien's glaring errors in the neutral zone cost the Jets four games. It would appear he's also become expendable. Since leaving the lineup with a "lower body injury," (what a load of crap, everybdy knows he's been limping around on a sore knee), the Jets have won three straight. They went on the road and played a terrific game in a 4-1 win over Colorado and then came back home and beat the L.A. Kings 1-0 in overtime and the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 in another defensive struggle. Since the team's "best defenseman," according to the Winnipeg Free Press, departed the lineup, the Jets have allowed just three goals in 181 minutes and nine seconds (a 0.98 goals against average). In other words, the Jets have been significantly better defensively without Byfuglien than with him." [Jets Nation]

Evander Kane is the face of your Winnipeg Jets January 2012 screensaver. [Winnipeg Jets]

Sad news on the farm yesterday as the St. John's Ice Caps have released former Brandon Wheat King Shane Wiebe from their roster. Wiebe dressed for 12 games this season with the Ice Caps, registering 4 assists. [Winnipeg Jets]

Meanwhile congrats are in order for St. John's Ice Caps head coach Keith McCambridge on being appointed the head coach of the Eastern All-Star team in the 2012 AHL All-Star game being held on January 29, 30 in Atlantic City, NJ. The head coaching gigs are given to the coaches of the top Eastern and Western conference teams at the end of December. [St. John's Ice Caps]

Bob McKenzie in his recap of the Canada vs. Russia World Junior Semifinal last night: "Canada's lack of discipline was a factor in this game. The referees really didn't have a material impact on this game. The minors were even through the first period, but in the second period, Canada came back to make it 2-1...Canada did not play the same way they played in the preliminary round, or the Russians would not let them. The Russians were playing the second of back-to-back games and they looked good. They had so many easy-outs in the first period where Canada couldn't establish a physical forecheck and they couldn't get the cycle going to wear down the Russian defence. Canada started to press in the second period and the Russians used their counter-attack. After that, it was the Kuznetsov show off the rush. If you're going to let the Russians beat you off the rush, you can't let them do it two-on-none. That's not the recipe for success." Mark Scheifele and his Canadian teammates will now take on Finland in the Bronze Medal Game on Thursday. [TSN]

Finally, internet funny guy and secret NHL spy Down Goes Brown brings us the inner workings of Gary Bettman's New Year's Eve Party. (Spoiler: it's hilarious) [Down Goes Brown]

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