“The Big Man” Anthony Peluso

Anthony Peluso: More than a pair of fists!

Anyone who follows me on twitter, @WalleyeDboi would probably back up that I’m a pretty big fan of “The Big Man”, Anthony Peluso.

Trash talk them all you want but I have always had a soft spot for those heart and soul guys, those unsung heroes if you will, guys that are willing to go out and give it everything they got for their team.  They’re not flashy, they aren’t going to wow you with skill but they are vital to any team that goes deep into the playoffs. Anthony Peluso is one that caught my eye after a few games in a Winnipeg Jets uniform.

As a fan, it was frustrating at times for me to see him scratched at the beginning of the season.  T.J. Galiardi got the nods from Paul Maurice.  I can’t blame coach for wanting to have a good look at his new depth guy.  Then injuries held him out even longer.  I found myself hounding twitter to #FreePeluso hoping he would get another crack at the line up because I feel he can offer something more than fighting.


              Winnipeg Jets forward Anthony Peluso is more than just a fighter!               photo by Shawn Coates

Many feel he is just another knuckle dragger with little to offer.  We all know Anthony Peluso is good at chucking the mitts.  Good or bad thing  ~ it doesn’t really matter.  I’m not debating fighting in the NHL.  If the Winnipeg Jets need a spark, he can provide it with a scrap!  If your into it, there’s not many better than “The Big Man”.  Just a goon though?  I respectfully disagree.

“The Big Man” can skate fairly well for his size.  He’s no Blake Wheeler but he keeps up with the Winnipeg Jets for the most part who are one of the faster teams in the NHL.  He has some pretty good hands for a big man and no I do not mean fighting.  He is excellent down low in the offensive zone.  With his size, he is very hard to get off the puck.  In today’s NHL and even more so the Western Conference, size can play a big part.  My favourite part of his game is that he finishes almost every check!  Something I have always valued in a hockey player. And how can we forget his valiant efforts to help Zach Redmond after his serious cut from a skate in a practice last season.  If that’s wasn’t enough, I hear he likes to cook and fish too.  Those are both a big thumbs up in my books!

I believe Anthony Peluso doesn’t need to and shouldn’t fight as much as he has in the past.  My theory is he has been peppered in and out of the line up so much for the past two years that many of his fights were him trying to prove his commitment level to his team and both coaches, Claude Noel and Paul Maurice.

He was a waiver claim from St. Louis Blues in January 2013.  If he had gained any respect from Claude Noel, he then had to prove himself again to Paul Maurice after he took over the head coaching position of the Winnipeg Jets last season. Adding to that, I notice after many of his fights this season he doesn’t see a lot of ice-time afterwards.  Life isn’t easy for depth players.  Is Paul Maurice sending him a message?  Not being a part of the team, it’s something I cannot confirm. Maybe best for him to avoid fighting unless absolutely necessary.

December 12, 2013-Jets-Avs-27

Anthony Peluso in action vs the Avs       photo by Shawn Coates

Sometimes, he can get a little lost in the offensive zone without the puck he meanders around.  He has had some trouble putting the puck into the net despite some good chances lately.  Maybe gripping the stick a little to hard?  I know he will get one soon.  He did manage to pick up an assist on Chris Thorburn’s goal versus the Buffalo Sabers.  All in all, he has put together a few good games lately. We have seen him penciled in over T.J. Galiardi and slowly I can see his confidence rising.  Did you catch that sweet rush up the ice during the game at the MTS Centre versus the Minnesota Wild?

He isn’t going to solve all of the Winnipeg Jets issues by being in the line-up but I think contributing what he can on the fourth line can go a long way to helping the Winnipeg Jets moving forward.  We need our fourth line to contribute.  I touched on it last week in “Walking That Fine Fourth Line“.

If he can continue to improve his play as he has, continuing to punish opponents with hits and maintain possession down low in the opposition’s end, he can hopefully earn himself some more ice-time and maybe pop one in the net to help take some pressure off the top three lines.  After all, who wants to be stuck in a corner with “The Big Man” Anthony Peluso bearing down on you.

Go Jets Go!


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