Winnipeg Jets Mid-Term Report Card: Defence, Goal, And Special Teams

Winnipeg Jets grades for the defencemen, goalies, special teams and coaches – 

The first half of the regular season saw the Winnipeg Jets play some absolutely terrific hockey mixed in with some of the most frustrating hockey you have every seen.  This team is the poster child for inconsistency. When you look up the word inconsistent in the dictionary there is a team picture of our beloved Winnipeg Jets.  You get the picture, it’s been quite the rollercoaster ride.  At the halfway point in the season, the Jets record is 19-19-3. 

My criteria:

    • The position and role in the line-up for each game … example: top 6 forward, PP.
    • The amount of ice time and hard minutes … example: playing against top lines, PK.
    • Expectations from coaches, media, and fans.
    • Salary and return on investment (ROI)

Grading:

      • The Final grade is just based on play.
      • The ROI grade is the return on investment or bang for your buck.

Defencemen: C+

When you consider that the Winnipeg Jets two best defenceman weren’t even on the radar at the start of the year I shudder to think where this team would be without them.  Josh Morrissey was a huge question mark and we found out Jacob Trouba had informed management he wanted to be traded.  Josh Morrissey has been the most consistent defenceman through the first fourty-two games and Jacob Trouba hasn’t looked this good since his rookie year.

Dustin Byfuglien has been decent but not his usual self.  He has been logging big minutes and he has been a little inconsistent.  I probably should have given him a better grade just based on the minutes he’s logged.

Toby Enstrom is having a nice bounce-back season in my opinion.  He is shooting the puck more and is a lot more involved in the offence but he still struggles in a heavy game and he seems to be taking more penalties this season.

The third pairing is still sub-standard but will be getting a big boost when Tyler Myers returns shortly.

When healthy, this group looks pretty solid but Paul Maurice has them playing a ridiculous man to man coverage that is easily prone to breakdowns.  

Goaltending: C  

The goaltending hasn’t been great but it hasn’t been as bad as many fans think. Yes, there has been a few untimely bad goals and a little inconsistent play at times but the Winnipeg Jets goaltenders have also been victims of poor defensive play in front of them and terrible penalty killing.

Special Teams: D

The special teams are below average again are a continuing work in progress. There has actually been some improvement the past couple of weeks and if the Jets have any aspirations of post-season play the PK needs to improve greatly. It’s been said many times a hockey team can survive with a poor PP but not a poor PK.

Coaches: C-  

Paul Maurice has been guilty of some curious roster decisions, line combos, shootout choices, goaltender deployment, PP units, and more but that’s the life of a head coach in a hockey market like Winnipeg.  The special teams seem to be the lightning rod for the most coaching criticism and rightly so.  I don’t know who is responsible for what but ultimately it all falls on Paul Maurice’s shoulders.  There is always going to be a lot of scrutiny on the men behind the bench.  Paul Maurice and his staff are not immune.  Paul Maurice is excellent in front of a microphone but that doesn’t translate to points in the standings.  I’m sure they would all say they need to be better.

As of Jan.5, 2017

Please feel free to add your grades or opinions on any player/players you feel I have over-rated or short-changed.  

 

Mitch Kasprick (861 Posts)

Winnipeg Hockey Talk is your place for opinions and news about the Winnipeg Jets and hockey in Winnipeg and Manitoba including the Brandon Wheat Kings, Manitoba Bisons, Winnipeg Blues and more. Our staff of writers will try and bring you a different look at the NHL through our writing along with our WHT Podcast.


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