The season has been laid to rest.
Fans have completed their lamenting of the Anaheim Ducks sweeping the Winnipeg Jets. The healing process has begun.
But, before full closure can be completed, an autopsy of the Jets season must be initiated.
We turn our evidence-based breakdown of the Jets season to the pugilist, Anthony Peluso.
Numbers include all situations including non 5v5 TOI.
Peluso has been thought as the new wave of pugilistic players in the NHL. This new wave of players that can play hockey while still filling in the fighter role.
Peluso can skate and has a decent shot, but his ice time has not been much different than the fighters of old.
Peluso did not produce much in scoring or shot volume. His penalty differential is low too considering his low amount of ice time.
Graph courtesy of WAR-on-Ice.
Rankings are out of the Jets 17 forwards with 50+ 5v5 minutes, except special team minutes are each out of 11 Jet forwards.
Peluso was exclusively used on the fourth line. Paul Maurice gave Peluso the lowest ice time deployment and hide him away from anything that didn’t resemble the other team’s fourth line.
Very few players play low TOI like Peluso. Normally these are guys like Colton Orr, John Scott, and company who perform terribly.
Visual courtesy of Micah McCurdy.
Peluso spent most of his ice time with Jim Slater. The other winger changed often, but mostly it was Chris Thorburn or T.J. Galiardi. The graph suggests that low save percentage near the end of the season caused Peluso to be moved to the press box.
Maurice’s lack of trust in using Peluso suggests that we should expect poor results from the hybrid enforcer.
As noted earlier, Peluso did not produce much in terms of scoring. The median fourth line forward produces at about a 1.0 point per sixty pace, more than double that of Peluso.
Peluso did perform okay in the shot metrics department. He out performed Jim Slater, Chris Thorburn, and T.J. Galiardi in shot attempt and scoring chance differentials.
dCorsi values suggest that Peluso does not need to be sheltered as much and could handle some more minutes. How much more though remains to be seen.
Goals Above Replacement suggest that Peluso did not impact the Jets goal differential much, which is expected of such a low ice time player.
I do believe that enforcers serve some deterrence, although the true value is likely much smaller than the common perception.
If you are going to dress a fighting specialist as an enforcer, they might as well be a nuclear threat while not bleeding you to death when they are on the ice.
Peluso fits that bill.
Peluso stands tall at 6’4 and well over 200lbs. His NHL fight card according to Hockey Fights stands at sixteen fights, with twelve wins, three loses, and one draw. At the same time his two-numbers are superior to most of the Jets fourth line players, although sheltering could play a role with that.
Although, his point production is lower than any other Jet to play significant minutes other than James Wright.