Pilot's Logbook 2013-14: Winnipeg Jets on the Penalty Kill

Marianne Helm

The Winnipeg Jets 2013-14 season has been laid to rest. This series will take an in-depth look how the team and its players have performed, and some decisions that could push the Jets forward in the future.

The Winnipeg Jets finished the 2013-14 season ranked within the NHL's top 10. Well, top ten by penalty kill efficiency anyways. That's a thing - and a pretty good one, but ultimately doesn't tell the whole story. The Winnipeg Jets were also one of the most penalized teams in the NHL. First let's take a look at some specific details of the PK before we move on to the the breakdowns of individual players and positions.

TS PK% GF GA FF% FF/60 FA/60 SF% GF% Sh% Sv%
Value 150 83.2 5 47 15.70% 12.91% 69.13% 16.70% 9.60% 6.90% 86.90%
Rank 25 9 18 22 5 5 14 7 21 21 24

* Fenwick is simply shots and missed shots. It was used over Corsi so as to not punish players for shot blocking.

Thoughts:

  • The Winnipeg Jets were the tied for 25th in "Times Shorthanded"; that is bad. Reducing times shorthanded is an easy way to reduce PK goals against.
  • The penalty kill was tied for 9th based on kill percentage, but that number isn't all telling. The Jets were also 9th in PK goals against.
  • The Jets were 5th in Fenwick for percentage and 7th in shots for percentage. This suggests they got the puck out of the D zone with some regularity. The low GF total suggests they didn't do much with it afterwards though. This should match the eye test of just about everyone.
  • Despite the high offensive chance creation numbers, the Jets ranked 14th in Fenwick against. This suggests that the team was still prone to getting hemmed in at times, but not at an abnormal rate.
  • The team ranked 21st and 24th in shooting and save percentage respectively -some of that might be little more than bad luck or it could perhaps be attributed to the James Wright factor and lackluster goaltending (probably the later)-.
  • The end result is a decent PK percentage, but also a team that was 21st in PK goal differential. The combinations of too much time on the PK, few shorthanded goals and not enough goaltending made the numbers a little worse than they needed to be.
  • For the sake of comparison - Calgary allowed 40 goals, but scored 12. The Rangers allowed 31 and scored 10. That puts those teams at minus-21 and minus-28 respectively. An average team was minus-37. The Jets were minus-42 on the penalty kill (7th worst). Three teams tied at minus-50 for last in PK goal diff.

The Winnipeg Jets clearly could stand to take fewer penalties, but they could also stand to score a little more while they are down a man. The Jets have been near the bottom of the league in shorthanded goals scored in each of the last three seasons. Many goals against and few for isn't a recipe for success.

Perhaps Paul Maurice's decision to add more skill players to the PK unit will help with this, but something needs to give. Any and every little thing that a team can do to improve their goal differential will help them in the long run. Take fewer penalties, score a little more shorthanded and stop more pucks when needed. All of these things would help the Jets win more hockey games.

In our next Penalty Kill article we will take a look the individual contributions of Winnipeg Jets defensemen.

All numbers are from Extra Skater, Behind the Net and Hockey Analysis

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