JN AirMail – December 28, 2015


The Christmas break is over and as we all get over our food-induced comas we dive into Jets Nation mail to provide you all with much needed answers to your burning Winnipeg Jets questions.

You too can ask questions that I give answers to by @ replying JetsNation on Twitter with the tag #JNAirMail. You can also send us a DM on that same Twitter account, you can leave a message on our Facebook page, OR as some of you did this past week, you can send an e-mail to [email protected].

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Eric asks: Should we be disappointed with how Alex Burmistrov’s season has gone? There was a lot of hype and he only has 2 goals.

It’s true that Burmi offensively hasn’t produced as well as expected, but there are a couple of different factors behind that. He’s seen mostly third line duty alongside Nik Ehlers who is as gifted a rookie as you’ll find this year, but still trying to figure out the pro game. His other linemate for most of the season has been Chris Thorburn. Nuff said.

The Jets have leaned on him and his line to provide a little spark offensively, but be a reliable group in their own end of the rink which for the most part they have been. He’s been also used a fair amount on the penalty kill.

In short, the Jets haven’t looked to him to be an offensive producer, he’s been a steady third line guy and with a 1.5 million salary, it’s not like the Jets are wasting a big contract on him.

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Kyle asks: What do the Jets do when Pavelec is ready to return?

If *I* were Kevin Cheveldaoff, I’d be trying my best to trade either Pavs or Hutchinson for pretty much anything. I think it’s obvious by now that Connor Hellebuyck is a gem of a goalie and I think you may as well keep him up on the main club.

I’d lean towards trading Hutchinson as your return for him is likely a little better and because there is something to be said for keeping a veteran goalie like Pavs (regardless of what you think of him and his body of work over the last three seasons) around while you hand the reigns to a rookie.

That’s what *I* would do. As far as what the Jets will do? I imagine we’ll get a return of Pavs and Hutch and Hellebuyck sent back to the Moose which wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world either, but will probably be a bit of a let down for fans who are clamoring for some kind of shake up in goal, or pretty much anywhere on the roster for that matter.

Vince asks: Should Jets just go full tank now?

In a word. No.

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It’s far too early, the Jets as of Monday morning sit five points ahead of 30th place in the NHL but six points out of a playoff spot and we’re not halfway through this season yet.

My personal guideline is to wait and see where the team is at the start of February. If you’re 10 points or more out of a playoff spot by February 1st, then it may be time to start looking towards next year. It’s very unlikely you’re going to lose any trade value between now and then and other NHL teams as well are just as much on the fence about what final direction their season is headed at this time so the ability to find a willing trade partner right now is next to impossible if you’re looking to make a deal that will impact your team over the next two or three seasons.

Sarah asks: Who is the Jets most underrated player? Who is the most overrated?

Underrated – Has to be Toby Enstrom. He simply doesn’t get enough credit for being as good defensively as he is. Yes, he is not a points producer and and perhaps for a contract just a shade under six million a season you’d like a little more out of him in that area, but his possession metrics have always been decent and this year they are even better. He’s also been a decent match for Tyler Myers who is a bit more of a floating offensive minded defenseman. Enstrom’s ability on defense has allowed Myers the freedom to skate in low on the offensive zone and not see the team get constantly burned when Myers has been caught out of position.

Overrated – Mark Stuart. We’ve already gone at lengths about Stuart’s usage on the Jets and most Jets fans would agree he’s simply not very good. The reason I put him here is because as someone who watches a fair amount of Jets games on other NHL broadcasts outside of TSN 3, it’s become alarming to me at least how many out-of-town commentators will wax poetic about Stuart’s “skill” and how good a player he is for the Jets.

The same reason Stuart gets love while someone like Toby doesn’t I think leads back to the fact that if nothing else, Stuart is known for handing out the big crushing hit which is what a lot of fans love. he has at least one notable thing going for him that grabs attention. Enstrom? Toby doesn’t exactly have a ‘specialty’ outside of being a reliable defensive player who limits his mistakes and can cover for his free-roaming partner. That’s boring right? The only time most fans notice Enstrom is when he does make said mistake which skews people’s opinion on him.

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Mark asks: Is “Shout” the worst goal song ever?

I’m an Oregon Ducks fan (where playing Shout before the 4th quarter is tradition) so my biased answer is no. It’s not a very good goal song though I will grant you that.

The Jets players however liked it (think the classic scene in the movie Animal House) and before the season voted to have Shout as the team’s goal song.

To be honest, no goal song will ever be ideal for the Jets unless we’re talking “Aces High” by Iron Maiden. I will keep up my crusade to have this song used until the end of time!

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