On Tuesday, Tobias Enstrom for the first time in what feels like forever was skating in a full contact, regular Winnipeg Jets practice jersey and it looks like we’re going to his return right on time for the start of the second round against the Nashville Predators.
The only questions that remain now is just how healthy is he really – his last game was back in March 23 against the Anaheim Ducks – and how effective will he be in a playoff setting between arguable the two top teams in the league in a series pretty much everyone is expecting to be intense, fast and physical?
Tobias on Tuesday was skating alongside Dustin Byfuglien – a long time defensive partner for him and up until this season has typically been the Jets best pairing. Byfuglien and Enstrom though now are the Jets number two pairing behind Jacob Truoba and Josh Morrissey, but is giving Enstrom second pairing minutes – at least for the first couple of games of his return a wise idea?
The first round against the Minnesota Wild saw Byfuglien paired up with Joe Morrow in what was a relatively good pair (if not a bit leaky when it came to allowing shots in around the “home plate area” in front of the Jets goal) and it wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world to keep that pair together as the second defensive line while Enstrom can go to the third pairing with Tyler Myers.
Of course Myers is dealing with his own injury issues and while he did make a return to the lineup for game five against Minnesota, multiple people noted that he looked a step or two slower as he was still favoring his right leg.
Morrow and Myers has skated together at times over the last month, but Morrow is better at shutting down perimeter chances in his zone while Myers is… well let’s just say his actual defending leaves a little bit to be desired. Myers with Enstrom would probably be a more ideal pair as Enstrom is fantastic at preventing shots from around the slot area and in front of the net. It would also give the Jets the benefit of giving Enstrom a few less minutes and ease him back into the lineup.
JetsNation, this weeks WWYDW question is: How would you run the Jets defense going into game one against Nashville?
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