October in Review

Jets Dustin Byfuglien looks on as Blues celebrate a goal in St. Louis on October 29th. - Dilip Vishwanat

Taking a look at how October went for the Winnipeg Jets

With a big home stand and a NHL high 8 pre-season games the Jets hoped to open October with a bang and finally at long last blast out of the gates announcing to the world that they had arrived. Reality quickly set in as the Jets opened with just 12 points out of the first 14 games and only 3 ROW (regulation or ovetime wins). This put them 13th of 14 teams in the west, 6 points away from the last wildcard spot in Los Angeles and 4 points away from St. Louis who holds the final guaranteed Central Division spot with the Blues having a ridiculous 4 games in hand. It was not the start he Jets envisioned when the season started.

Despite the promises of more depth with the acquisitions of RW's Devin Setoguchi and Michael Frolik, the renewed confidence with big new contracts for Bryan Little, Blake Wheeler, Zach Bogosian, Grant Clitsome, and energy of rookie Mark Scheifele and Jacob Trouba the Jets have proved to be the same old slow starting Thrashers that for years frustrated the fanbase to the eventual move away from Atlanta. The look at the numbers from the first month is even worse than normal, as the usually reliable shots advantage has disappeared and the slightly adjusted look Jets look worse than ever.

Games 14
Record 5-7-2
Home 3-4-1
Away 2-3-1
Division 2-5-1
Conference 4-6-1
vs East 1-1-1
Goals For per Game 2.29
Goals Against per Game 2.79
Powerplay Percentage 11.11%
Penalty Kill Percentage 83.05%
Faceoff Percentage 44.12%
Shots For 445
Shots Against

446

OCTOBER 2013
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
5 - 4 W
2
3
3 - 5 W
5
3 - 2 L
7
8
9
1 - 2 L
4 - 1 L
12
0 - 3 W
14
3 - 0 L
16
17
3 - 4 W
19
3 - 1 L
21
5 - 4 O
23
2 - 3 O
25
2 - 1 W
2 - 3 L
28
2 - 3 L
30
31

Overall as can be seen the month of October has gone nowhere near what what many would have hoped. The Jets are currently 30th in the NHL in faceoff percentage with every one of their top 3 centers below a dismal 45%. The Jets, a traditional strong shooting team team, have been outshot in the first part of the month. For the first time in a long while, the blame can be placed elsewhere than the goaltending, which has so far compiled a combined .915 save percentage (which is usually close to league average) and a 2.68 goals against average. Right now the flaws in the team are team wide, something not present in the last two versions of the Jets from the past two seasons.

Looking at it individually we have.

Player Games Played Goals Assists Points +/- Penalty Minutes
Bryan Little 14 7 4 11 4 10
Andrew Ladd 14 3 7 10 6 4
Evander Kane 14 6 3 9 2 21
Blake Wheeler 14 5 4 9 -3 6
Dustin Byfuglien 14 0 9 9 -5 20
Tobias Enstrom 14 1 6 7 2 14
Michael Frolik 14 2 4 6 -1 2
Olli Jokinen 14 2 4 6 -1 12
Devin Setoguchi 13 2 3 5 0 2
Mark Scheifele 14 1 2 3 -2 0
Zach Bogosian 14 0 3 3 4 8
Grant Clitsome 10 1 1 2 -9 6
Jacob Trouba 8 1 1 2 -3 2
Mark Stuart 12 0 2 2 2 8
Anthony Peluso 6 1 0 1 -1 2
Eric Tangradi 11 0 1 1 -3 7
Matt Halischuk 11 0 1 1 -5 2
Jim Slater 8 0 1 1 -2 0
Adam Pardy 4 0 1 1 1 0
James Wright 14 0 0 0 0 2
Paul Postma 8 0 0 0 0 6
Chris Thorburn 4 0 0 0 -1 5
Patrice Cormier 3 0 0 0 0 7

Player Games Played Wins Losses Overtime Losses Goals Against Average Save Percentage Shutouts
Ondrej Pavelec 12 4 6 2 2.87 0.909 0
Al Montoya 1 1 1 0 1.51 0.950 1

Secondary scoring is what stands here as missing. While Little, Ladd, Wheeler, Kane continue to produce just shy of recent year's numbers, it's the lack of scoring whatsoever from the bottom lines that stands out. Olli Jokinen and Devin Setoguchi so far have not contributed a lot to the table offensively, however both have looked better of late with the offensive breakout needing to happen soon. With just 4 goals from the bottom 6 (Scheifele, Frolik, Halischuk, Thorburn, Tangradi, Wright, Peluso, Cormier, Slater) and 3 of those goals coming in the first game that has to be disappointing. On defense Grant Clitsome's glaring -9 stands out in a bad way, while both the big man (Byfuglien) and little man (Enstrom) back there have been really solid at surprisingly both ends of the rink. However they need to increase their productivity on the PP. Trouba was a relevation before his injury, Jets are anxiously awaiting his return. Postma out for perhaps the year, the Jets have been forced to use some IceCaps players, although Pardy has done decently in his few games with the Jets. Zach Bogosian has struggled mightily as well, will several notable turnovers, including this one I am sure you all remember.

Jetsfail_medium

via sunbelthockey.com

In net Pavelec has actually been above his numbers since coming to Winnipeg, but has struggled mightily with consistency from game to game, even period to period. Montoya has been great in his only start and in relief of Pavelec in one game.

October Jet Awards

Biggest Underachiever - Devin Setoguchi, where are you? Brought in to score goals from the second line, Setoguchi has bounced everywhere, including the press box as Noel tries to solve the enigma of Setoguchi and get him scoring. Has looked better in recent games, but the reason he is on the team is to put the puck in the net. Needs to produce, 2 goals in 13 games is not nearly enough.

Biggest Overachiever - Many were ready to waive Olli Jokinen in the off-season, but the teams elder statesman has bounced back in a big way early on in this season. He has not quite had the production you would expect given his contract, but the man looks focused and determined to make sure last season was an aberration. Playing strong twoway hockey Jokinen has supplanted Scheifele as the #2 guy and looks to turn that into offensive numbers very soon.

Best Forward - Bryan Little takes this award with little competition. He was the team's leading scorer and tied his production from the entire 2012-13 with 7 goals. Working hard at both ends of the rink, Little proved to be one of the few earning his big new contract.

Best Defenseman - The Jets defense overall has been very suspect to start this season, with Bogosian looking to be hampering an undisclosed injury, Clitsome all over the ice, Trouba/Postma on IR, Stuart being Stuart and the rest just a bunch of AHL callups, but both Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom have been good. This award will go to Dustin Byfuglien as he was playing hard at both ends of the rink, making plays and looking safer in the process despite his deceiving -5 rating. Question is whether he can keep up his level of play month to month.

Most Valuable Player - This one has to go to the heart and soul of the Jets Andrew Ladd. He has struggled at times with badly timed penalties, but this guy gives it his all each and every night and gets results done. The second goal in that St. Louis game was simply Ladd wanting it more, and it ended with Little putting it in the net. Just needs some guys to start to follow his lead.

In summary, the Jets October went something like this.

Jetsfail_medium

A look at November

(Yes, I know this article is late and the Jets have already lost to Chicago)

NOVEMBER 2013
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1
5 - 1 L
3
7:00 PM
TSN-JETS
5
7:00 PM
TSN
7
7:00 PM
TSN-JETS
9
7:00 PM
TSN-JETS
11
6:30 PM
TSN
13
14
7:00 PM
TSN-JETS
16
7:00 PM
TSN-JETS
7:00 PM
TSN-JETS
19
20
7:00 PM
TSN-JETS
22
2:00 PM
TSN-JETS
24
6:00 PM
TSN-JETS
26
6:00 PM
TSN-JETS
28
10:30 AM
TSN-JETS
30

The Jets once again start the month with a slew of home games, with 8 of their first 11 coming at home and 6 of those being against division rivals. It's still early for calls of must win games or stretches, but in reality if the Jets exit their first 25 games (16 home games included) with a poor record it will be nearly impossible to make up that ground as they depart for increased road games in the coming months. The first and third weeks of the month are of particular importance with 3 division games and 3 home games in each of those weeks.

Let's see if the 2012-13 Winnipeg Jets can turn the ship around here in November.

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