Jets Nation Report Card: Buff on the Rise

What’s going on, Jets Nation? Welcome to another edition of the Jets Nation Report Card. 

This week, I thought we’d do something a bit different. 

Instead of going through the Dean’s List, Honor Roll, etc., I thought that this week we’d take a closer look at the actual rankings list since we haven’t talked about that too much. 

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The list has accumulated over 2,500 votes so far, so I figured this would be a good time to look at the results and see what stands out. 

So, let’s take a look. 

Obviously, one of the first things that stands out is Dustin Byfuglien at number one. 

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This isn’t all that surprising, as Buff has been one of the Jets most consistent players. However, he’s continued to climb in the past week despite his lack of production (one goal in the last four games). Even though he hasn’t been putting up points, he still lets his presence be felt through his physical play while averaging 26:42 in ice time over the last four games. That’s 2:06 more than the next closest player (Tobias Enstrom). 

His spot at the top of the list is well deserved. 

However, the man he took the throne from, Blake Wheeler, is still lurking right behind him. Wheeler is beginning to get hot again, scoring four points (one goal, three assists) in the last four games. 

Nik Ehlers is also right there with the two big boys. It’s no coincidence that the return of Ehlers to the lineup sparks an offensive outburst from the Jets, right? Right. He’s good at hockey, folks. Enjoy. 

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Hilariously, Connor Hellebuyck is ranked number two behind Byfuglien. I know guys, I want him back too. Pavelec has played some good hockey since he came back from injury, but Hellebuyck really seems by far the best goaltender in the organization right now. 

Now, let’s take a look at some of the bad. 

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For obvious reasons, the Jets’ power play and penalty kill both rank in the bottom third of the table. The Jets currently rank 26th on the penalty kill and embarrassingly dead last (and by a pretty wide margin) in the power play. 

Neither of these units should be this bad, but it’s almost unbelievable that the Jets’ power play can be this bad with the players that they have. With the likes of Wheeler, Byfuglien, Scheifele, Little, Perreault, Ehlers, Enstrom, Ladd (until he was traded at the deadline), etc., they should be way more successful scoring with the man advantage. 

There are teams like Buffalo, Arizona, Columbus and Carolina that are way ahead of the Jets in PP%. The New Jersey Devils have the eighth ranked power play in the entire NHL.

Eighth. The Devils. 

Not that these teams don’t have skilled players, but it’s safe to assume the Jets easily have just as much, if not, more skill than these teams. It goes to show you that skill isn’t what makes a good power play. It’s coaching and having a good strategic system. It’s something the Jets will need to take a hard look at this off-season. 

Poor Pavelec. Right at the bottom of the table. Just the one and only Mark Stuart below him. 

I feel like this is a bit unfair. Pavelec has been inconsistent for sure, but I feel like being that low is a bit harsh. In the month of March, Pavelec has started nine games going 4-5-0 with a 2.47 GAA and a .918 save percentage. 

Those are pretty decent numbers. He’s played significantly more good hockey than bad. I feel it’s just collateral damage for Jets fans wanting to see Hellebuyck. 

Don’t take it personally Pav. Even though it’s kind of, a lot personal. 

As always, let me know what you like or don’t like about this segment. Just comment below or do the twitter thing @Vincanity18 and let me know your opinions/ideas.