Big Buf wants some love
Before the game against Minnesota, Gary Lawless tweeted a not-so-subtle criticism of Dustin Byfuglien as part of the on going campaign to villify the star defender, stating it "should be an interesting exercise to compare the games of Buff and Ryan Suter."
I wrote about what Byfuglien does on this roster here – namely, play the leagues best forwards, possess the puck more than the opposition, and score on pace with Subban, Letang, and Erik Karlsson. But I realize the numbers are just one side of things.
Inside are two photos that sum up the difference between Ryan Suter and Dustin Byfuglien better than any 1,000 words I can come up with.
Ryan Suter Breaking Out With No Forecheck
Even zoomed in at his face I can see two Wild players moving to give Suter a target for a pass. It’s hard to even get a picture of Suter carrying the puck in these scenarios because he always has people open for a pass and moving in the right direction.
Dustin Byfuglien Breaking Out with No Forecheck
One guy is standing still facing him (Thorburn). One is floating while checked at centre (Jokinen, he would tip this into the zone), and the third (Setoguchi) is skating behind coverage.
Bad teams trade their best players for not being better than they are. Good teams figure out ways to support their best players and coach in order to make them better. Right now the mainsteam media is on a campaign to run this team’s Erik Karlsson out of town – the second highest scoring defenceman in the league since he started at the position 4 years ago. There is no player waiting who can create that offence, and there is defintely no player waiting who can create that offence while being physical and playing against Jonathan Toews. Dustin Byfuglien is irreplaceable, even though he’s not Chris Pronger or Ryan Suter.
We as Jets fans should be thankful for Dustin Byfuglien, and hopeful for the day that the breakout doesn’t look like a beer league team.