How Tyler Toffoli’s playoff experience could benefit the Winnipeg Jets

Photo credit:© Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
Connor Baldwin
10 days ago
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With the playoffs rapidly approaching, the Winnipeg Jets are eager to begin their first round matchup against the Colorado Avalanche. One of the Jets newest additions, Tyler Toffoli, will bring a wealth of playoff experience that could benefit the Winnipeg Jets.
From the moment the Winnipeg Jets acquired Tyler Toffoli at the NHL trade deadline, they knew the type of player they were getting. The Jets must also have realized the playoff experience they were getting from the twelve year veteran. Tyler Toffoli has played a total of 88 games in the Stanley Cup playoffs, highlighted by a Stanley Cup winning run with the Los Angeles Kings in the 2013-14 season. Even though it was only Toffoli’s first full season in the NHL, and second time in the playoffs, Toffoli contributed 7 goals and 7 assists during the Kings Stanley Cup winning season. Since then, Toffoli had 2 more playoff runs with the Kings, 1 with the Flames, 1 with the Canucks and 1 long, and some would say unexpected, run with the Canadiens in 2020-21.
So how exactly then will Toffoli’s playoff experience benefit the Jets this post season? Well, there are both on-ice and off-ice aspects that Tyler Toffoli has brought with him to the team this season that should be amplified come playoff time. First and foremost, Toffoli is know to score goals, a certified goal scorer, if you will. Beginning on the ice, Toffoli has contributed nicely offensively during his sixteen games with the Jets, scoring 6 goals and adding 3 assists. Combining his stats with those that he accumulated with the New Jersey Devils earlier this season, Toffoli sits at 32 goals this year, which ties him for first on the Jets with forward Kyle Connor.
When it comes to Toffoli’s linemates come playoff time, it’s not certain who they will be, but there is a chance that he could be on a second line paired with Sean Monahan and Nikolaj Ehlers. Both Monahan and Ehlers are putting up some very solid numbers in terms of how they stack up with their career bests thus far. Monahan has had what some people would say is a “bounce-back” season since being acquired from the Montreal Canadiens in early February. Monahan has started to look more like the player he once was with the Calgary Flames early in his career. The same could be said about Nikolaj Ehlers, who is just 5 points from a new career high. Ehlers, a member of the Jets core, is continuing to show why the Danish forward could be a potential force come to the playoffs.
How then can Toffoli benefit his linemates? Of course, Monahan is also a new member of the Winnipeg Jets, while Ehlers has spent his entire 9 year career with the team. Monahan has 30 games of playoff experience with the Calgary Flames and Ehlers has 32 games of playoff experience with the Winnipeg Jets. If this is in fact the line combination that the Jets go with, the chemistry between the three players will continue to grow in the last two games of the season. But none of their individual playoff runs compare to what Toffoli has already accomplished. Of course, what it all comes down to is Toffoli’s experience of being on a team that has won the Stanley Cup. Toffoli knows what it takes to win, and in terms of knowing what needs to be done on the ice, he has been there in big moments in the past.
As painful as that might be to rewatch, Toffoli’s OT winning goal against the Winnipeg Jets during the “bubble” playoffs is just one example of Tyler Toffoli in the clutch. Toffoli is simply a guy that has “been there and done that” when it comes to different situations in the playoffs. This leads into what Toffoli can bring off the ice when the playoffs begin in just around 1 week. Toffoli has reached the level of experience in his career, with over 800 games played, where he can be seen as a leader, regardless if he’s new to a team. This is especially true come playoff time, where Toffoli can be a presence in the locker room, bringing qualities that can only be described through praise from his teammates.
So after the Jets wrap up their season against the Kraken and Canucks, expect Tyler Toffoli’s name to be mentioned more than usual in the media. For all the right reasons though, as part of what makes Toffoli a key acquisition this trade deadline goes well beyond what he can do on the ice. That being said, expect Toffoli’s past playoff experiences to benefit the Jets as they look to begin what hopefully is a long and successful playoff run.


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