Dustin Byfuglien suspended for four of Jets final five games

Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets All-Star defenceman, has been sentenced to a four game suspension after a telephonic meeting with the Department of Player Safety for a crosscheck to the neck by on New York Rangers forward J.T. Miller.

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety previously announced that Byfuglien’s actions would be evaluated in a hearing. 

Read on past the jump.

The Jets are in a three-way race with the Calgary Flames and the Los Angeles Kings, where only two will make it to the playoffs for the final dance.

At this moment in time, shot metric models have all three teams equally handicapped in making the playoffs, but this ignores the generally positive impact that will be missed without their best defenseman.

Jets’ captain Andrew Ladd offered his support to Dustin Byfuglien in the morning of the hearing.

“It doesn’t look good on video,” Ladd told the Winnipeg Sun. “It’s easy to slow it down after the fact, but in the course of a game things happen quick and I know he didn’t mean to get him in the neck. He was probably trying to get him in the back and hit the wrong spot.”

The Jets went 6-3-0 the last time they were without the services of “Big Buff”, leading many to say that the Jets will be fine.

Still, if there are two things the new wave of analytics have taught us, the margins of winning is so small that every little bit matters and that win records can be deceiving, especially in the short term.

The Jets could have easily gone 3-6-0 instead without Byfuglien given the exact same effort against the exact same teams but have bounces go the other way.

With five games to go, anything can happen. We could see the Jets make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history since the move to Manitoba or see them miss once again with arguably their best roster they have had yet.