Where the Winnipeg Jets’ skaters have been good and bad

The Winnipeg Jets are 14 games into the season and we can get a good idea of what the Jets are and where they are heading.

We will use a couple visuals to show how Paul Maurice has deployed the Jets and how they have performed.

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Player usage charts are a simple, and the most common, way to display the type of minutes a skater has played under:

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The two axis show how a player has been deployed by the coach for the most part. The y-axis displays the weighted average ice time of the player’s linematches; the higher a player is situated, the more minutes they tend to face against top lines. The x-axis displays how often a player is deployed in the offensive zone versus the defensive, although it misses context of neutral zone and on-the-fly shift starts.

Some may point out that the two largest variables, team and linemate quality, are missing. However, linemates can be seen with the closest grouped bubbles and team quality with general trend of the colour.

The size of the bubble shows the player’s average TOI per game. And finally, the colour represents the percentage of shot attempts a team controls while the player is on the ice, where blue is more than red.

There are alternatives though.

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One way is to look at how much certain players have played with others and how they have performed together.

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Numbers are courtesy of stats.hockeyanalysis.com and have sliced off 7 seconds after offensive and defensive zone faceoffs

The image above shows the total TOI each Jet forward has played with each Jet defender.

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The three left-handed shooting defenders for the Jets have been fairly stable in role, although Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers experienced a swap early in the season.

The Toby Enstrom pair has spent most of its ice time with the Jets top line with Bryan Little, and then descends down to the fourth line. The same is not true for the other two pairs though.

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The Jets second pair of Mark Stuart and Jacob Trouba has spent most of its time with the Jets third line, then second, followed by first and fourth. The third pair with Ben Chiarot and Tyler Myers meanwhile has been spread pretty evenly with the Jets top three lines, albeit a bit less with the first line.

But what about the results?

We can construct the same table, but using Zone-Start Adjusted Corsi percentage as opposed to Ice Time:

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Numbers are courtesy of stats.hockeyanalysis.com and have sliced off 7 seconds after offensive and defensive zone faceoffs

Looking at the times where certain lines have played with their most common pairs we see some patterns.

The Little line has played most with the Enstrom pair, predominately playing tough match-ups, and coming out even in those minutes. While the sample is small, the Little line has dominated their time with the Stuart-Trouba pair.

The Scheifele line has been the Jets best scoring and have played exceptionally well throughout the line up. They have dominated the most though with the Enstrom-Byfuglien pair where they likely have been feasting on offensive opportunities.

The third line has been struggling, although they break even when they have played witht he Stuart-Trouba pair, which is their most common group together. The other pairings may be from small sample sizes being heavily influenced outliers, as the line struggled early in the season but has been doing much better.

The Jets have an interesting situation, with having at least one competent player on each pair, even if some have been struggling at points this season.

If the Jets could push that third line out of the red, and have three lines at least break even, the Jets could be pushed into contender status.