A former NHL player's perspective on scratching Evander Kane

Thomas Drance
February 04 2015 04:37PM

I've never played hockey at a high level. I've never been in a locker room setting that's even nearly as competitive, professional, or adult as what you'll find around the NHL. I mean, I've been in NHL locker rooms after practice or after games with press credentials, but that's hardly the same thing.

My experience informs my perspective, obviously, and much of my perspective is based on interacting with and understanding the significance of the underlying numbers. From that perspective, when Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice decided to scratch Evander Kane on Tuesday, which forced him to play Dustin Byfgulien at forward, he shot his own team in the foot. The Jets lost and are now officially reeling, having gone winless in five games since the All-Star break.

There's another perspective here though, and I thought it might be useful to present it. After all, as reliable as things like Corsi For percentage and shot rate can be in predicting future outcomes, hockey is a game played by imperfect human beings. 

So I reached out to Nation Network contributor Jason Strudwick, a defensive defenseman whose professional hockey career spanned 15 years and included nearly 700 games played at the NHL level. Interested in a former NHLer's take on what happened in Vancouver on Tuesday? Click past the jump for more. 

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Why Evander Kane is a top-6 forward

Garret Hohl
February 04 2015 02:32PM

Earlier today Gary Lawless said a few things about Winnipeg Jets young forward Evander Kane during an appearance on TSN 1050. Some of what he said I agree with, and some I don't.

Let's get into it.

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Winnipeg Jets are set up for the future: Defenders

Garret Hohl
February 04 2015 10:00AM

It's one thing to be good, it's another entirely to be good and young.

I wrote an article in the Winnipeg Free Press last Saturday, saying that underlying metrics say good things about the 2014-15 Winnipeg Jets. The Jets' strong numbers --such as in score adjusted Corsi percentage (SAC%)-- are a positive sign. While points and wins show where a team stands at a single moment, shot metrics are important because they better predict how a team will perform for the remainder of the season.

There are seven teams in the NHL who currently hold a better SAC% than the Winnipeg Jets. The real kicker though is only the Tampa Bay Lightning consist of a younger average roster.

The Jets' youth has not just been passengers, but have driven a lot of the success as well. In this series we will look at the Jets depth in each position, while specifically focusing on those under 25 and making a NHL impact. Today we turn to those roaming the blue line.

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What would you do Wednesday: Righting the Ship

Andrew Halipchuk
February 04 2015 07:00AM

In this instalment of "What Would You Do Wednesday", I want to see what you, the readers, would do to help get the Jets off their recent five-game losing skid. Don’t hold back and fight for what you believe in.

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A NationDrafts Champion is Born

baggedmilk
February 04 2015 06:00AM

Winnier

To start off the year we decided to have another round of the always loveable NationDrafts!  Unfortunately, the pool ended without the fanfare that I feel that it deserved.  Things ended without our winners getting the day in the sun that they're pale blotchy skin so desperately deserves.  With that, I present the winners of the NationDrafts pool.

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