The Jets Should Ban All Celebrations to Find Success

Richard Wolowicz

I have figured out what is truly holding the Winnipeg Jets back and it is not goaltending, poor special teams, lack of depth, or bad asset management but celebrating the little successes like scoring a goal!

The Winnipeg Jets need to improve. I will look to the Montreal Canadiens and see how they rose from near bottom of the NHL standings the Eastern Conference semi-finals in two year. I think that Michel Therrien's banning of the triple low five was key to this drastic turnaround.

Now there is nothing wrong with a good celebration. I love when a player wears their heart on their sleeve and shows the logo for all to see or when they give an over-exuberant hug to a team-mate, knocking them to the ice. But the triple low five went too far and was holding the Montreal Canadiens back. Carey Price was not worried about the just the win anymore, he was worried about celebrating with his friend and teammate after the game. It had to go.

Thankfully, Michel Therrien saw the issue and dealt with it swiftly. Even though there was much protest from the fans of les Canadiens, he decided to ban the triple low five to promote a "team first" concept. The results were immediate and undeniable; the Montreal Canadiens won their division and Subban won the Norris Trophy. I think this all ties into the movement away from the days of the triple low five and towards a more "team first" concept. This has helped the Canadiens take the next step and win a round in the playoffs.

What can the Winnipeg Jets learn from this move of taking away something that fans love, but may be distracting to the players? It can help build unity and take away from individuals being too showy. They can learn to grow up and to act like they have been there before. Paul Maurice can ban numerous things to help expedient this process. He can ban post-goal hugs and bench high fives. He can ban any haircut that isn't a buzz cut. Paul Maurice can change the culture of the Winnipeg Jets for the better, and he can look to the Montreal Canadiens handling of the triple low five for inspiration.

I am not saying that this will make the Winnipeg Jets a successful franchise, but it would be a step in the right direction. The Jets need more structure and discipline, so why not start with the celebrations? The Jets will stop motivating their opponents; they will become a more respectful group and they will honour the past. Not the past where Teemu Selanne was shooting his gloves with his stick, but the past where players scored goals and skated to centre ice to score another one. In the past True North Sports and Entertainment has shown a desire to not upset anyone in the upper echelons of the NHL, this tactic would help them fit in with that group of owners.

To recap; if the Winnipeg Jets follow the Montreal Canadiens example of banning a celebration, but take it one step further and ban all types of celebrations. It may be the key to vast improvement in a short amount of time, which would mean playoff hockey in Winnipeg. And isn't that what we all want in the end?

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