Taking the time to give thanks to all our fellow Winnipeg Jets' fans

Bruce Bennett

In this week's Love Hate, we give thanks to our wonderful readers who make this blog what it is.

Since the age of fifteen, I've always considered American Thanksgiving to be the true Thanksgiving. I mean, the fourth Thursday of November is one that hosts a bevy of NFL football games, delicious turducken and a Black Friday full of great deals in commerce.

But the most important thing that American Thanksgiving has over its Canadian counterpart is that I feel it better displays a true and heartfelt giving of thanks.

Sure, having Thanksgiving in October is nice, but it seems the sense of purpose for the holiday isn't as well connoted as it should be. It isn't until my Movember moustache is thick, prickly and entirely repulsive that I start to realize how truly blessed I am and the many things I have to give thanks for.

To the men and women of our military, those that keep us safe and free, I thank you. To those who donate their hard earned funds (or their time) to a multitude of different charities, I thank you. To my parents, who raised me into the man I am, I thank you. To my siblings and my wife who have my back no matter what, I thank you.

And to the author's of this blog, I thank you with all of my heart.

I joined Arctic Ice Hockey in November of 2011 during a time when the blog was transitioning from a statistical masterpiece brought forth by Gabe Desjardins and Ben Wendorf to one that would focus on coverage of the Winnipeg Jets.

I was brought on to cover our GameDay content, along with my now good friend Derek Gagnon. The two of us were a couple fresh-faced punks that loved the sport of hockey, but more importantly, loved to write. It was a few months after we began toiling away at the site, tediously finding ways to hone our craft and build the community that we were both given the reigns as Co-Managing Editors of the site.

What a fantastic feeling of accomplishment it was.

Through it all, we remained devoted to brining you the best coverage of the team we possibly could. With Ryan Blight already on board we went out and signed a handful of writers in Dan Lipson, Tim Bonnar and Garret Hohl, three more instrumental pieces to our team. With each passing day we continued to build, and build, and build.

We have just signed on a breadth of authors who continue to carry the torch in making this a website for you all to call home. A blog that takes you as you are. You can kick off your shoes, lean back on the couch and spend an evening with us, we love it when you do. And it's to you, gentle reader, that I owe the deepest and most sincere thanks of all. Without you, this site wouldn't be worth investing time and resources into. This community has swelled to over 2,000 members and we have created a community that we are truly proud of.

Last week I implored through Twitter, Facebook and Google+ for you to write me explaining what this blog means to you. Thankfully, we got two responses that I want to take the time to share:

Cara T. (Winnipeg, MB): [Warning, contains sarcasm] Your site is too mean towards the Jets, you should be loving them like they were a lover who just came back from a long trip. In all honesty I really enjoy the honest commentary. I have learned what makes a good hockey player (from you guys and EOTP) and why the Jets need more of them. I have also learned that the best part of the night after a loss is Jets prospect updates because what else is there to get make me feel good about the Jets? The honesty is frankly needed because MSM attacks the wrong issues and I have learned to mostly ignore them meaning that you guys are my Jets news.

Lofty praise, to be sure. We thank you so much for all the input you provide us with on Twitter and through our brand new podcast. I am extremely glad that we can be a part of your day, no matter how big or small our significance is.

Emilie W. (Minneapolis, MN): Arctic Ice Hockey is a fun place for me to make fun of Jets fans :). Ed. Note: Emilie is the Managing Editor of the Minnesota Wild blog Hockey Wilderness.

Dear Emilie, Dany Heatley still stinks. Thank you for taking the time out of your writing schedule to hit us up.

With each passing day, we are hopeful that this blog's community continues to expand as rapidly as my waistband does around the holidays. Keep emailing us, tweeting us and most of all, commenting in our articles. We love a good debate.

With that, let's get to our Love Hate:

Three things I love this week:

Raising Kane: It appears as though the lower-body injury Evander Kane suffered in Friday's loss to the Philadelphia Flyers may not be as impeding as once thought. This is good news for a team that remains on the road for three more games in which they can use his offensive talents.

Tamed Panthers: It's hard to believe there are teams more dysfunctional than the Florida Panthers but alas, there are. When Scottie Upshall is your leading scorer, your franchise has serious problems. Tim Thomas sucks, Jacob Markstrom sucks and Scott Clemmensen sucks. This should be a slam dunk win for the Jets', which inevitably means they'll lose 6-1. Regardless, you have to love this match-up.

Streak Snapper: Mark Scheifele has broken out of his slump posting a point in each of his last four games. Whether his assists are primary, secondary, tertiary, it doesn't really matter. Scheifele's line has been producing offensively which can be seen as nothing but a positive.

Three things I hate this week:

Striking Lightning: The Tampa Bay Lightning are 4-0-0 versus the Central Division thus far, and have managed to withstand the loss of Steven Stamkos by going 4-4-1 since he broke his leg. During their Stamkos-less span they're only averaging 2.44 goals a game -- well below their 2.81 clip on the season -- but they're nearly unbeatable at home, posting a 10-3-0 record at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Madison Square Garden blues: Over their careers, the trio of Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler have only amassed a combined nine points in thirty-one games played at the MSG in New York. Now, I may not be a numbers guy but these strike me as particularly bad. It's no wonder that since returning to Winnipeg, the Jets are 1-2-0 in road games against the Rangers having been shutout twice in those contests.

A lack of depth: Yes, this is an issue that I could hate every week if I want. But last Friday, Winnipeg's lack of player depth was on full display. Eric Tangradi on the power play? Why, that's vomit inducing. Also, how Michael Frolik isn't one of your primary penalty-killers, I'll never know. The inability to roll four lines is where they run into problems with inferior teams, in turn making them an inferior team. Ed. Note: Oh good, Chris Thorburn will "play" on the second line tonight. There's a line-up move that makes a rather powerful affirmation that depth is a huge issue.

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