ANALYSIS: Jets show disappointing lack of accountability

During Saturday’s lengthy end-of-season media availability, Winnipeg Jets head coach Rick Bowness agreed with the players who felt he did the wrong thing by not directing his fiery comments to them first, behind closed doors,  following Thursday’s season-ending 4-1 loss in Vegas.

I thought there was no way Bowness could possibly walk back what he said some 36 hours earlier — even partially.

But there was Bones on Saturday afternoon in the Matt Frost Media Centre, admitting he let his emotions get the better of him and shouldn’t have included “disgusted” as part of the verbiage.

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The unscheduled Q & A session came after almost all of the 14 players who spoke earlier said they took issue with him not telling them to their faces, those same words about how they played with their playoff lives on the line.

The players had a point. Right from the get-go, Bowness said anything he shared outside of the room had already been heard where it mattered most: inside those walls.

But where was the admission from those same players that they should shoulder some of the blame for the coach reacting the way he did by turning in an unacceptable performance that spoke volumes about the need for change?

How refreshing it would have been to hear from one, two, or even more of those players that as much as they didn’t like getting skewered for everyone to see and hear, they probably deserved that based on how they performed until it didn’t matter.

Instead, we heard it was unfortunate they didn’t have their best game when Vegas had theirs.

This is a good team so close to winning.

Since the 2018 Western Conference Final that same core group has been part of seven straight losses in home games played in front of sold-out, whiteout crowds at Canada Life Centre.

They’ve lost five in a row facing elimination.

Instead of accountability, it was shifting the blame to the coach for speaking the truth.

What was said Saturday was not disgusting, just incredibly disappointing.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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