JN AirMail: March 14, 2016

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As always you can have your questions related to the Jets or hockey in general to this little weekly main-in segment we do here At Jets Nation.

How you may ask? Well you can tweet us and make sure you add the #JNAirMail hashtag so it won’t be missed or you can direct message us on Twitter, ask away on our Facebook page OR e-mail us at JNAirMail@shaw.ca

Tony asks: Many fans have joked about it, but could a team actually “decline” a penalty or at least decline to play with the man advantage?

In a word. No. And for as bad as the Jets power play has been at times (currently at 15.5% which is good for being tied at 28th in the league with Calgary and is .6 percentage points better that 30th place Toronto’s) it is still an “advantage” for a team to have a power play.

The Jets for the record have only allowed four short handed goals against which puts them in the upper half of the league although it does seem as though they give up more than their fair share of shorthanded chances.

So no, a team can’t “decline” a penalty à la football.. BUT a team could just decide to only put out four players as well as the goalie on the ice because there is no real rule against icing a a lineup of fewer than six men on the ice, although a referee could decide to call an unsportsmanlike bench minor. A team could also take a penalty at the same time to try and have coincidental minors I suppose so that the teams remain 5 on 5.

It’s highly unlikely something like that would ever happen or that any sane team would “decline” a power play, but never say never. After all, no one thought of pulling the goalie earlier than at the 59th minute of a hockey game until Patrick Roy started doing it midway through periods and no one thought of facing a goalie to screen him until someone insane enough to try it did…

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Michael asks: Who decides which player serves a bench penalty?

The team’s coach does and it can be any player on the ice or the bench except the goalie for obvious reasons. Typically you would put a forward in the box as you of course have more of those on your bench than you do defensemen.

As far as how the coach decides who should serve it, that could be for any number of reasons. Perhaps you put a skilled player in the box to possibly catch the other team sleeping after the two minutes is up. Perhaps you put one of your bottom six guys in the box.

Anna asks: Do you think Kyle Connor will be joining the Jets after his season is done at Michigan?

I don’t think so. Even if Kyle and / or the Jets wanted to make it happen.

Michigan has the Big 10 conference tournament this week and even if they don’t win that, they are more than likely to get an NCAA tournament bid. 16 teams will make that tournament, 6 teams get automatic bids for winning their respective conference championships, the other 10 make it based on the NCAA’s PairWise rankings which had Michigan tied for 6th as of press time.

Did I say “likely”? I meant they are a lock.

The tournament starts March 25th and if the Wolverines run the table in Tampa, the tournament final takes place the same day the Jets have their last game this season – April 9th.

I am perhaps a tad biased for multiple reasons, but outside of Quinnipiac or North Dakota I don’t see too many teams I’d put above Michigan on paper at least and think they’d be one of the favorites to win or at the very least get to the Frozen Four which starts April 7.

That said if Michigan goes one and done in the NCAA tourney, then perhaps we see Kyle join the Jets for April but no one knows for sure as NCAA rules make it impossible for the Jets and Kyle or his agent to talk about the future.

But even if we don’t see Kyle in a Jets jersey this season, I’d be stunned if he didn’t decide to turn pro next season.