August 20 2014 06:00AM
It is a deeply enjoyable coincidence that I am assigned this player preview. I might be Byfuglien's biggest fan when he plays defence, and was a staunch defender during the 'Mystery Turnovers' days. At the same time, his transition play as a forward is slow and haphazard and his defensive work from the forward position was hard to watch last season. He's a star player and difference maker for this club, and the question on everyone's mind is whether he'll be in a position to succeed.
August 15 2014 05:58PM
During the season, we checked in a few times on the Jets' prospects around the world. The last time was in December. I've never been accused of being a timely writer, but it's still worth checking in on how the season finished for last year's prospects and how the organization might currently see them. We'll update our prospect list before September and set some reasonable expectations for their respective seasons.
For now, let's look back at 2013/14 and think about the good and bad arrows for the would-be Jets.
August 11 2014 04:09PM
We recently took a look at the Jets' depth chart, only to have the team add some bodies. Player previews will continue throughout the month, but the biggest question is always ice time and linemates. Inside we'll look at a likely lineup for opening night and look back to years past for comparison.
July 24 2014 05:27PM
Photo by Galatians Design
With the announcement in April that Ondrej Pavelec would return as the starting goaltender for the Jets, the hope of a playoff birth for the Jets was effectively dashed. We've looked at him in every way imaginable, only to find that he's simply not an NHL quality goaltender. It's a serious problem and that it continues as such is vexing.
Inside we'll look at what we can expect from the Jets' tandem this year, ask who will back-up the back-up, and see how it compares to the rest of the Division.
July 23 2014 12:09PM
In the bizarro-season that was, a common theme was the refusal by Claude Noel to ice a 'common-sense' lineup. This was evident everywhere, including on the blue line where Bogosian started the year on his off-side even before the blender was turned on. By the end of the year, Mark Stuart was playing over 20 minutes a game in a defined top-4 role under Maurice, Byfuglien was playing the wing, and a handful of would-be Jets defenders were injured, absent, or pushed down the depth chart.
The team passed on various waiver wire defenders (Alex Urbom twice, Corey Potter, and Mike Kostka among them) while bringing in Keaton Ellerby. Adam Pardy graduated back to the NHL in an extremely limited role, and the Jets revealed their lack of depth with call-ups for Ben Chairot and Julian Melchiori while Zach Redmond played most of his year in the minors.
Despite the mess brewing in the 4 through 8 slots, on-lookers were hard pressed to focus on anything but Jacob Trouba. (After watching him in a tune-up tournament, I wrote that I didn't think he was ready. I mention that as often as possible because I obviously deserve the public shaming.) His breakout rookie campaign was perhaps a tad more exciting than effective, but the kid showed he belongs beyond a doubt.
With the biggest minutes contributor and the team's top right handed defender moved to forward, Trouba will be an even more integral part of the Jets' fortunes this year. With some questionable moves over the past two seasons, Trouba doesn't have a lot of help either. The team is still waiting for Bogosian to live up to his potential, and now they need him to live up to his contract as well. On the left side, the team needs an Enstrom clone - frustratingly, Grant Clitsome didn't do much to suggest he's up to the task during an injury-filled season.
The primary questions we ask ourselves in this series are how many goals we can expect and how the depth chart measures up to the rest of the Division.