Jets Woulds, Coulds, and Shoulds List


It’s season three in Winnipeg and enough time has passed since the Jets returned to start a should, would, and could list for the team and franchise of the past two and change seasons as well as towards the present and future of the team.

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Jacob Trouba should be in the running for the Calder Memorial Trophy.

I have already written about this topic earlier in the season and still believe in it wholeheartedly.  See what exact details I said in the article (dated December 13).

Al Montoya should be the starter for more than one game in a row.

I’m sick of saying it and wondering if Claude Noel has a hot clue on what to do with goalies.

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Ondrej Pavelec has shown his true colours again this season and you cannot blame the Jets inconsistent and sometimes downtright awful defense for it.

Pavelec does not make the big save at crunch time – he isn’t a big time goalie and his numbers througout his QMJHL, AHL, and NHL career show it (even en route to the Calder Cup in 2008).

Montoya, who hasn’t really been given a fair chance in Winnipeg, remains a winning goalie as the backup and fails to get a back-to-back start and only has gotten into back-to-back games recently after helping the Jets finally defeat the Minnesota Wild and then getting the start in Colorado.

It blows my mind why Noel would start Pavelec (aside from his big contract) and his 3.03 goals against average and .902 save percentage over Montoya’s 2.14 goals against average and .923 save percentage.

But wait, you say: Montoya hasn’t played many of the big teams that’s why his stats are better.

Nay, he has beaten teams such as Tampa Bay and Minnesota and has faced Chicago twice – once starting.

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Include three games where he had to take Pavelec out of the game – two of which were already out of reach.

If Pavelec is going to get better, he needs to be pushed to play better and Montoya needs to start getting the starts he deserves and has earned.

Dustin Byfuglien should get traded before his value plummets.

There is only so much time before Dustin Byfuglien’s value starts to go down and fast.

Byfuglien has had a very comfy first six seasons in the NHL and season number seven isn’t feeling so comfy anymore.

Sure, he has a Stanley Cup ring, but that was on a team where he provided secondary scoring – not being a number one defenseman.  You know Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook right?  Yeah, they were the two top defensemen – both better than any Jets defenders.

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And you know Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, and Patrick Sharp too?  Yeah the Jets could have their best new player if they picked any one of them.  Byfuglien (and even Andrew Ladd) were third line scoring for that 2010 Stanley Cup team.

Not saying Byfuglien isn’t skilled or a big presence on the Jets blueline, but with him as secondary or tertiary scoring on a Stanley Cup champion team three years ago, what’s to say he is going to lead the Jets to the playoffs as the number one defenseman?

I’m going to go with he isn’t the guy to do it.  A guy more like Jacob Trouba or Zach Bogosian may be a better bet.

For Byufligen, at 28, he can still get value and if traded to an Eastern Conference team, any damage coming back at the Jets during game play would be minimized.

I’m sorry, but fans love him but still can’t stand him.  If the Jets want to win, they need someone with more fire in their game and attitude than a Dustin Byfuglien.

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The Jets could make the playoffs if they could all stay healthy

I truly believe Zach Bogosian and Jim Slater make the Jets a better team.

Can they be a playoff team?  Absolutely – any team can make the playoffs if they play together and play smart and play a system that counteracts whatever is going on with their divisional rivals offense.

With the additions that GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has made over the past two seasons, this team is better than it was in Atlanta, but still has the core of that same Thrasher team – the one who didn’t make the playoffs.

There is a reason this is a could make the playoffs and not a should or a would in past seasons – it’s because something is blocking them from making the playoffs – is it coaching?  Is it special teams?  Is it goaltending or defense?  Do they need more offense?

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To all: Yes.

If they could be better every night they could make the playoffs.  But will they?

Alexander Burmistrov and Evander Kane would have been better players if he had played in the AHL first.

Not much we can do here, but with 31 points in 40 games in the KHL with Kazan Ak-Bars, many should wonder what would have been with Burmistrov if he had been developed the same way Mark Scheifele was or even Jacob Trouba – being sent to the AHL or kept in junior the year after drafted.

Burmistrov had only 20 points – seven goals – in 74 games in his rookie season in Atlanta in 2010-11.

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You could even ask that of Evander Kane who had 26 points – 14 goals – in 66 games in his rookie season.

Thing is, Mark Scheifele through 40 games in his official rookie season has 18 points – four more than Kane and two less than Burmistrov.

Even Jacob Trouba has nine points in 23 games this year.

Burmistrov had 0.27 points per game in his rookie season while Kane had 0.39 points per game in his first year.

Scheifele is currently at 0.45 points per game and Trouba is currently at 0.391.

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With the new system and philosophy in this franchise in Winnipeg this would not happen again as seen with Scheifele and Trouba.  But only the rest of the season will tell if Scheifele and Trouba will be better rookies than Burmistrov and Kane and also better players beyond this year.

  • Kevin McCartney

    Shhh… don’t wake them!

    Honestly, I think I’m going to try to arrange a cross posting for the next Oilers/Jets game so that Jets fans can see the hundreds of comments Oilers Nations readers churn out. It’s a rare and wonderful community. I hope we get there!

    (Thanks for stopping by, you’re always welcome.)

  • Kevin McCartney

    Great read, Matt.

    As you (and all people who read the site) know, I love Big Buf and think he has to stay. I’d like them to find another way to add a top pairing defenceman to push him down the roster a little. The Enstrom/Trouba pairing has already done wonders for his turnovers. The word is that Dan Girardi is available on the open market, and I wonder if the Jets could get his services as a top-4 LH, stay at home defender for a package built around Setoguchi, Postma, and futures. Girardi is a pending UFA and the team apparently doesn’t want him back. They might be open to a deal where they get to try a new player but can still choose cap space.

    Do you think Buf looks better on a second pairing with the likes of Girardi? Or are you convinced he just can’t be part of a winning team?

    If this franchise was a little more cynical, they would be pumping Carl Klingberg in the AHL (who they clearly don’t like), Jokinen, Setoguchi, and guys like Postma (when he’s healthy), Stuart, Pardy, Clitsome, Ellerby, and Redmond to see if any of them catch someone’s attention. A couple good trades could be the corner this team has been trying to turn for ages.

    • I think Byfuglien could be part of a winning team – he was in Chicago, why not Winnipeg? Thing is, I don’t think he can be one of the main ingredients in a championship – he wasn’t in Chicago so much as it was Kane, Toews, Hossa, Crawford, and Keith as it was him. Thing is, can the likes of Kane, Wheeler, Ladd, Little, and company rise to help him along?

      Jets do do a poor job of pumping guys they may want to deal and Klingberg isn’t doing anything spectacular – just another Atlanta draft dud – 14 points in 27 games this year isn’t anything to write home about.

      • Regarding Buff is it your feeling that playoff hockey is really so different as to make him ineffective in the post-season? Given is positive contributions as a 24+ minute player for this team does it not follow that he would be a key element of playoff success?

        I think anyone in the top-4 of a defensive group on a playoff team has to be considered a main ingredient and Buff is a top-4 man on any team in the league, top-to-bottom of the standings, is he not?

        • Top four defenseman absolutely, but top defenseman, I would find that harder to justify with the play we’ve seen from him through two and a half seasons.

          He’s too inconsistent to be taken as a seriously good #1 d-man. Take a look at other #1’s and you have big names who you know will play night in and night out well – Keith, Chara, Doughty, Suter, Weber to name a few.

          His post-season play would be another story entirely. Thing is, for him to show that he can be successful in the post-season, he would have to raise his game to get the Jets into the playoffs as their “#1 defenseman”. Can he do that and show he can be effective in both seasons?

  • @Kevin McCartney

    I think that you forgot to mention that the Jets should get rid of Mark Stuart, take Thornburn off of the Setoguchi line, and move up Eric O’dell.

    I belive that the Jets do need to trade big Buff just because I know we are hurting on the blue line, also I agree that Pavs needs to be forced to get better instead of getting all the starts that he is not earning. I really hope Noel wakes up to what is happening on his team.

    Do you think any trades are coming down the pike? Also, do you think Kane should get traded, or maybe Little?