Jets Scoring Chances: 8 Games In

Travis Hrubeniuk
October 22 2013 02:34AM

Around every eight games or so, will update the Jets' scoring chance plus/minus, and look at how each player is doing (in conjunction with some of their “fancy stats”) to give us an idea as to how everyone is doing.

Believe it or not, the Jets are already three weeks into the season. Sitting at 4-4 after eight games in (now 4-5 after last night's loss to Nashville), the Jets have run into a few glaring problems. Here we look to see who has struggled most, and who has been a bright spot so far.

The Blue Line

We start by looking at the Jets defensemen:

Player

GP

For (ES)

Against (ES)

Total (ES)

Postma

4

7 (7)

5 (5)

2 (2)

Stuart

8

16 (13)

40 (25)

-24 (-12)

Trouba

8

28 (22)

42 (29)

-14 (-7)

Clitsome

4

6 (3)

20 (19)

-14 (-16)

Byfuglien

8

53 (31)

46 (36)

7 (-5)

Enstrom

8

45 (29)

28 (24)

17 (5)

Bogosian

8

34 (27)

40 (32)

-6 (-5)

 

Player

TOI/60

Rel. Corsi

Off Zone Start

Corsi Rel QoC

Postma

11.21

-26.5

50.0%

7.313

Stuart

11.78

-16.7

46.0%

5.212

Trouba

14.71

-15.7

45.3%

5.321

Clitsome

16.61

2.2

56.3%

3.140

Byfuglien

17.62

24.2

41.3%

5.201

Enstrom

16.66

17.0

41.0%

5.522

Bogosian

17.07

-7.9

52.8%

4.358

Dustin Byfuglien and Toby Enstrom are absolute studs. The lowest offensive zone starts, highest relative Corsi numbers, the best chance numbers, all while playing among the toughest competition. This is why I don’t understand why Claude and the Winnipeg media are so hell bent on splitting these two up. Teams would kill for this kind of efficiency from a defensive pairing, yet everywhere we look people don’t want them together? I understand wanting to share the wealth, but when you have a pair that work so well together there cannot be much merit to separating them.

So what can be done to increase efficiency throughout the lineup? Well, Grant Clitsome getting his act together would be a great start. For as strong as Toby and Buff have been, Clitsome has been equally terrible and unable to take advantage of beneficial situations. Toss in the horrible turnovers he has been guilty of, and you get a major problem. It’s still pretty early in the season, so you have to think that things will turn around for the guy, but putting him alongside Bogosian every time he enters the lineup is not helping.

The trickle effect of Noel putting Clitsome with Bogosian on a regular basis is the harm it’s been doing to Trouba. When Jacob has played primarily with Mark Stuart in games, he has had much worse numbers than when he’s played with Bogosian. Trouba has done reasonably well thus far, but he plays at his best when he has the chance to generate some offense. Whether it’s the situations he is placed in with Stuart, or a general lack of comfort, Trouba simply does not generate that offense until he is on the ice with Bogosian. In my opinion, when Troubs is back and healthy, he and Bogosian should make up the second pairing.

Paul Postma has been solid in limited ice time this year. When comparing him and Mark Stuart, I think Postma has played well enough to earn a more permanent role in the lineup. I think Stuart should be the next guy to see some time in the press box, allowing Clitsome (in a reduced role) and Postma to make up the bottom pairing.

The Forwards

We’ve seen a lot of line juggling early this season, and when you take a look at a lot of the possession numbers, you can see why:

Player

GP

For (ES)

Against (ES)

Total (ES)

Kane

8

38 (27)

36 (28)

2 (-1)

Jokinen

8

20 (20)

14 (14)

6 (6)

Peluso

2

0 (0)

4 (4)

-4 (-4)

Halischuk

5

6 (4)

6 (5)

0 (-1)

Ladd

8

32 (16)

40 (29)

-8 (-13)

Wright

8

15 (10)

26 (16)

-11 (-6)

Little

8

40 (22)

41 (28)

-1 (-6)

Slater

8

13 (9)

22 (16)

-9 (-7)

Thorburn

2

2 (2)

1 (1)

1 (1)

Wheeler

8

32 (19)

36 (33)

-4 (-14)

Cormier

1

1 (1)

1 (1)

0 (0)

Tangradi

7

13 (13)

13 (13)

0 (0)

Setoguchi

7

27 (22)

18 (17)

9 (5)

Scheifele

8

26 (21)

31 (30)

-5 (-9)

Frolik

8

17 (17)

26 (24)

-9 (-7)

 

Player

TOI/60

Rel. Corsi

Off Zone Start

Corsi Rel QoC

Kane

14.81

17.0

50.0%

0.582

Jokinen

12.02

11.8

43.1%

0.037

Peluso

5.71

24.6

75.0%

-1.730

Halischuk

7.98

-21.7

46.7%

1.914

Ladd

12.90

-9.6

47.5%

1.653

Wright

9.42

-22.3

35.3%

1.672

Little

13.97

10.0

45.1%

1.478

Slater

7.80

-0.5

26.8%

1.590

Thorburn

5.95

18.6

40.0%

2.270

Wheeler

13.48

-2.7

57.1%

1.472

Cormier

7.52

22.6

83.3%

-1.744

Tangradi

9.81

24.7

46.2%

-0.529

Setoguchi

10.86

4.4

51.2%

1.118

Scheifele

12.20

-16.1

57.8%

0.659

Frolik

12.44

-2.5

37.9%

-0.199

Only one Jet forward has managed to play in every game this far, and put up positive chance numbers. Olli Jokinen. Jokinen has been able to take advantage of the relatively easier competition he has faced this year, and is playing well on the third line. Now, I’m far from saying I’m happy that the Jets are paying $4.5 million for a third line center, but we can see his 'bounce back' in these numbers to this point of the season.

Evander Kane has been the Jets' best player. He’s been excellent at controlling the puck and has been on the ice for more even strength chances for than any other forward. Claude - who has used him in every situation imaginable - clearly realizes and rewards Kane’s efforts. The number of penalties he has taken of late are of some concern, but are the only real blemish on what has been a great start to the season.

Blake Wheeler on the other hand…yikes. Claude hasn’t exactly handed him easy shifts (as seen by his QoC), but has apparently lost a lot of faith in Wheeler in the defense zone. I don’t fully understand why Setoguchi was the one to get sent to the press box against the Blues as he’s been the more effective of the two (by far) but we’ve seen this kind of behavior before from Noel. (cough cough…Burmistrov)

Another thing that concerns me is Claude Noel’s attempt at “distributing the workload” of playing against tougher lines. Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with him unloading some of the workload away from Ladd and Little, but I don’t necessarily think Wright is the best player for that duty - especially when Little Wheeler and Ladd were still seeing such tough opponents. Michael Frolik is an excellent defensive player that is yet to be utilized to his potential, and it blows my mind that he is still rarely used on the power play or penalty kill.

After being an early favorite for the Calder Trophy (according to many here in Winnipeg), Mark Scheifele has been playing like…a rookie. Shocking isn’t it? The Jets puck possession problems have made it difficult for Noel to completely match Scheifele up against weaker opponents (every team looks like puck possession all-stars in comparison right now), but he has started Mark in the offensive zone a LOT. I don’t see Scheifele as a guy who is going to put up a load of goals right away, but he has been good at creating chances and that should only improve with time.

Conclusion

As a whole, the Jets haven’t exactly had a fantastic start. They have been greatly out-possessed and out-chanced, and are quite honestly fortunate to be where they are. This team faces a lot of questions early on with only hard answers to come.  

271d6798e55ab2ad953f9584515497b2
I write things, you read them. Then tend to yell at me for them. It's okay though, I'm from Winnipeg. I can take it. If you actually do like what I write, give me a twitter follow here (@thrubeniuk): https://twitter.com/thrubeniuk
Comments are closed for this article.