It doesn't seem to matter who coaches the Winnipeg Jets, whether it be former-coach Claude Noel or current bench boss Paul Maurice, the Jets remain a heavily penalized team.
Is it a lack of discipline that sees the Jets lead the NHL in penalty kills, being short-handed 134 times. The Jets face 14.3 PIMs per game, second only to the Penguins (thanks, Steve Downie). Luckily, they are eighth in the league in PK%, sitting at 85.1% thanks to Charlie Huddy and whoever else coaches the 4v5.
While that number is quite good, the sheer amount of penalties means that the Jets have still allowed 20 goals while short-handed. Having lost 9 games this season by a one-goal margin, power play goals against can be mighty costly for a team battling for a playoff spot.
So who's to blame?
Is it the coaches? Are they unable to maintain discipline with their players?
Is it the players themselves? Does Dustin Byfuglien smash too much? Does Evander Kane get penalties for being Evander Kane? Does the captain Andrew Ladd REALLY need to take offensive zone penalties?
Or is it the officials? Is there some top secret nefarious attempt by the NHL officials to undermine the Jets' efforts?
Our chart digs deeper:
(Editor's Note: accurate as of 01/08 game vs Arizona)
|Referee Stats 2014-2015||Record|
|#||Referee name||Reffing since||Jets Games||Jets PPs||Jets PKs||Pens/game||Jets PP/game||Jets PK/game||W||L||OTL/SOL|
|38||St. Laurent, Francois||2003||3||9||11||11.3||3.0||3.7||1||2|
|12||St. Pierre, Justin||2003||2||10||8||13.0||5.0||4.0||1||1|
Thanks to the good folks at The Committed Indian for the format idea.
So, unless Dave Jackson really has something against letting the Jets win games he refs, it's not obvious that any ref really has it out for the Jets.
Brad Watson has called four games already this season, all three games that Rob Martell has reffed have been wins and poor Trevor Hanson had his work cut out for him in his one game reffing Winnipeg, with 30 penalties given out in a 4-3 shootout loss to Pittsburgh on November 6 (thanks again, Steve Downie).
One can still argue that while the refs are not necessarily calling more penalties than necessary against the Jets, they might not be calling as many as they should be in the Jets' favour.
This leads me to my solution to all referee-related problems: Robots.
You mean to say that robots can't do a linesman's job? Using GPS and bionic arms, they can accomplish all those tasks like determining offside and breaking up fights. I'm not saying, I'm just saying...
Let us know what you think in the comments and the poll.