Winnipeg, MB –
It turns out yelling at your favourite team can make them play better. At least, the Winnipeg Jets are admitting comments and advice offered by fans has made a huge difference for them this year.
“We don’t like to admit it but all that yelling during games and opinions on call in shows and social media really help the us play better,” team player spokesperson Evan Watson said.
Jet players admit that hearing fans yell “shoot”, “hit ‘em”, “pass the puck” and “skate” allow them make immediate improvements to their game allowing them to post an excellent record this year.
“I had no idea how good my shot was until I heard a fan tell me to shoot the puck during my first game as a Jet,” Patrik Laine shared.
“Before I came to Winnipeg I didn’t know I had to skate hard,” Blake Wheeler said. “Thanks to the fans I’m no longer slow and ineffective.”
Jets defenceman, Dustin Byfuglien noted the fans improved his game. “I knew I was bigger than most of the guys on the ice but before I heard a Winnipeg fan yell at me to hit, I had no idea I was good at it. Now most teams are afraid of me.”
The Jets site in-game advice as the biggest difference in their play but also credit radio call-in comments and opinions shared on social media as big helps in making the team better.
“Chevy and Paul spend many hours a day sorting through all the suggestions and advice,” Watson said. “Without them, I’m not sure where we would be today.”
“I’ve had great coaching and played at the highest level possible most of my life but it is amazing how much more the fans know than us,” Mark Scheifele said. “I mean we play hockey for a living and a guy with three games of junior B, thirty years ago knows more than our head coach. I’m not sure where we would be if they kept all that knowledge to themselves.”
“I listen to every call-in show and read all the social media feeds and I am humbled by the hockey wisdom out there,” Head Coach Paul Maurice said. “I’m glad most of these people were too busy to put in an application when they hired me as head coach. I know Mark Chipman could replace me tomorrow with any number of these folks.”
“Well, it is incredible when you hear a person comment after watching the play once or seeing the highlights with such insight,” Kevin Cheveldayoff explained. “We watch hours of video from several camera angles and completely miss what some random fan picks up on. I only wish I could notice things that quickly.”
Jets’ ownership and management are also thankful for the direction from the fans. “I had no idea how to run a hockey team until the fans started sharing with me,” owner Mark Chipman said. “To be honest I didn’t know much about running a business either. If it weren’t for the constant and consistent comments from fans, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’m truly grateful.”
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