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Top Guns: Winnipeg Jets Best Defensive Power Players and Penalty Killers

We take a look at some of the Jets top performers in underlying statistics, while also showing where their two UFA additions may fit.

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past three seasons, underlying numbers have increased greatly in understanding for the general public. At the same time, Winnipeg has enjoyed three seasons of the Jets second edition as a NHL franchise.

In this mini-series, Arctic Ice Hockey takes a look at how the Jets' roster has performed in these metrics relative to each other in finding the best of the best.

In this edition, we look at the best power play producers and the best penalty killers who have played at least 100 minutes of 5v4 or 4v5 time in the past 3 seasons.

Power Play (5v4)

Player P/60 FF/20
Dustin Byfuglien 4.63 22.25
Paul Postma (under 100 min) 3.48 18.86
Tobias Enstrom 3.39 22.59
Grant Clitsome 2.63 21.50
Zach Bogosian 2.42 22.56
Jacob Trouba 1.41 22.30

FF/20 is the team's non-blocked shot volume per an 20 minutes of 5v4 time on ice, and best measurement of how the power play unit was performing in creating opportunities.


* Byfuglien is the best point scorer for 5v4 situations and it's not even remotely close. He's almost a third better than the next closest guys. There is a bit of the chicken/egg argument with system though. The Jets power play runs through Byfuglien -which gives him points-, but the power play runs through him because he's that good.

* Postma's sample size is very small. He's finished at a high rate, but the Jets haven't created many chances with him on the ice.

* Enstrom is sometimes given flack for his power play usage, but the Jets create more chances with him on the ice than any other, and he picks up points at a high rate as well.

* Clitsome and Bogosian come out as okay secondary power play options, and for the first time Jacob Trouba is shown to be human after all

Penalty Killers (4v5)

Player Corsi% FA/20
Grant Clitsome 24.2% 20.66
Dustin Byfuglien 20.8% 22.22
Zach Bogosian 16.2% 23.91
Tobias Enstrom 12.9% 23.84
Jacob Trouba 11.7% 22.78
Mark Stuart 10.2% 24.38

FA/20 is the team's non-blocked shot volume per an 20 minutes of 5v4 time on ice, and best measurement of how the penalty kill performed in reducing chances against at the time.


* Odd stats tangent: While non-blocked shots volume for has been the major driver of power play success and best predictor of future power play goals for, non-blocked shots against isn't the best for penalty kill. Corsi% has been shown to be slightly better predictor of future success in predicting penalty kill goals against (with also the team's goaltending skill level). While there is no proven reason why, my guess is it picks out the players willing and able to push the play into their opponents zone than merely dump and change it at first opportunity, which could potentially hurt the next unit's chances against. Short version: FA/20 is more how the Jets did, Corsi% is more likely how the Jets will do.

* Not exactly the order a TSN analyst or random fan on the street would likely tell you...

* Clitsome and Byfuglien come up as the best penalty killers, and their sample sizes are not even that small. It seems counter intuitive, given their reputations each. In fact, Clitsome's and Byfuglien's Corsi% is 1st and 3rd in the NHL over the last three seasons with 150+ 4v5 minutes (sample of 155 players, or 5 per team)

* Bogosian's numbers are top penalty kill unit calibre as well, with the 15th best in the NHL.

* Trouba's and Stuart's numbers don't fair as well. Either would be fine as 4th option for PK on a team, but were used as number 1 + 2 guys for the Jets last season.

* There should be something said about opportunity costs. Your best players tend to be best at everything (with obvious exceptions), but you can't have them on the ice for the full game. In the end, your weaker players have to play. As a coach, you have to make decisions, where would it hurt me the least to put my lesser players on, in order to put my best players on the most often and optimal situations. In the NHL, this often equates to putting lesser skilled players on the PK in order to give more ES and PP TOI to the top players. Whether that truly is right or not is something needing further study...