Winnipeg Jets First Quarter Grades: Def/Goal/PP/PK

Winnipeg Jets grades for the defencemen and goaltenders – 

At this time last season the Winnipeg Jets defencemen and goaltenders were the biggest benefactors of better defensive play from the forward group.  This season the defensive support from the forwards, Paul Maurice’s different/new system, below average goaltending and terrible special teams have most hockey fans asking “what happened to last year’s Winnipeg Jets?”  

Paul Maurice and his coaching staff have the team playing an aggressive pinching system in the offensive zone and they also have the defencemen trying to stand-up the opposing forwards in the neutral zone.  This system is fine but if the forwards don’t support and rotate into the defencemen’s position it can lead to odd-man rushes and a complete break-down which we have seen plenty of times in the first twenty-one games.  A lot of the mistakes we are seeing are a breakdown of system or poor decisions by the defencemen when they don’t have the support but it has not always been bad play by the defencemen.

Embed from Getty Images

I must admit that I am NOT a fan of this man on man coverage the Jets sometimes employ in the defensive zone.  It has led to defencemen chasing a puck carrier to the blue-line and all over the defensive zone.  When it breaks down it looks ugly and we’ve seen lots of ugly in the first quarter.

Biggest surprise:  Dustin Byfuglien

Biggest disappointment:  Ben Chiarot, Ondrej Pavelec, and Michael Hutchinson and the amount of lazy stick penalties this team takes.

Grading:  I assign two grades; first (hockey grade) is just strictly what you see is what you get and the second (ROI) is weighed against salary or “bang for your buck”.

   Jets 2015-16 Defand goal 

At the time of this “Report Card” (after the Arizona Coyotes game), the Winnipeg Jets record was 10-9-2 and I feel these grades accurately reflect their play … in my opinion.  

Please feel free to add your grades or opinions on any player/players you feel I have over-rated or short-changed.  Remember, this is only my opinion and mine only and it does not reflect the opinion or opinions of the other writers here at Winnipeg Hockey Talk.

Please feel free to comment below.  



  1. Grades: Yep.

    Btw…, related to the quarter-mark grades: Any big saves by Hutch against the AVs?


    I want to see Hellybelly step up, or at least have the opportunity to do so. Very good goaltending would have gotten them a point in Colorado.


    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Hutch made some saves …. big, I’m not sure ….. it seems to be more about the ones he’s letting in and he’s had a little bad luck as well …. isn’t that usually the way though? When things are going good you get the lucky breaks. I’m pretty sure Hutch hasn’t forgotten how to play goal.

      After a couple of games playing behind this leaky Winnipeg defence the fans will be clamoring for Comrie.

  2. Todd Leroux says


    I do want to see Hellybelly. Lots of these young guys have shortened learning curves, especially those that have been vetted and prepped accordingly.

    And, if I am not mistaken, was it you that commented pre-season that the minor-league team might have a better goal-tending tandem than the Jets? May not be far off.

    As per my previous comments (way back), I am not a fan or Pav or Hutch. Too bad Pav got hurt because Chevy might have traded him to Calgary by now.

    Goal-tending has to carry the Jets given their other troubles. It always comes down to goal-tending (I also think you made the same comment not too long ago).

    Anyway, please endure/tolerate my random-ish thoughts.

    Good luck, Jets.

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