The Winnipeg Jets missed the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons since the move to Manitoba, and the 14th time over 16 seasons over franchise history. The season does not end for us though at Jets Nation.
Welcome to our series where we take an analytical approach, dissecting what went wrong with the Jets 2015-2016 season and how to improve the team for next year.
We turn our evidence-based breakdown of the Jets with Anthony Peluso’s 2015-2016 season.
Numbers include all situations including non-5v5 TOI.
Five points in 35 games is not exactly impressive numbers, but there was some offensive production from the Jets’ pugilist. At playing 6.4 minutes per game, Peluso wasn’t really being used much more than for his fists and the occasional eating of low-leverage minutes, when the game was not on the line as much.
Visuals courtesy of hockeyviz.com
Peluso was used nearly exclusively on the Jets’ fourth line in 5v5 situations only. He did play the odd power play shift, mostly when time expired, or to make an exaggerated point when the Jets power play was struggling at its worst.
Paul Maurice hid Peluso from the oppositions top lines as much as possible, and he hid the Jets top lines from Peluso even more so.
Visual is performance of the last three seasons, weighted to the most recent being the largest impact.
For a long while Peluso was sold as “the new breed of enforcers” with players who could fight, take a shift, and maybe even contribute. This is bit counterintuitive when you think deeply about the subject though, since the whole point of fighters is that they are expendable enough that you don’t mind losing them to injury or penalty box.
Peluso’s results do not give any support to the notion of him being a bonafide NHL player. In terms of goal scoring pace, point production pace, team shot generation with Peluso on the ice, and team shot differentials with him on the ice, Peluso garnered below replacement level results. The only thing NHL calibre level were his barely existant primary assist production, and team shot against suppression (which is likely more due to his extreme sheltering than his actually ability).
There were many supporting the possibility that Peluso could be an enforcer that also was not a liability on the ice. To be fair, any fourth line player is a liability relative to the rest of the team as they are the worst players. However, even relative to what one should expect of a fourth line player, Peluso fell far from acceptable performance over three seasons and was not any different than the older enforcers becoming obsolete like the Orrs, Mclarens, and Barchs.
It seems like it is time to move on, and send Peluso down to the AHL for the 2016-17 season. Who knows what the Jets will do though. The team signed Peluso to a two-year contract for a player with five games experience. They then re-signed him despite him playing poorly over that contract.
All numbers are courtesy of Corsica and are 5v5 score, venue, and zone adjusted unless otherwise noted.