It appears that putting Dustin Byfuglien up as a forward in the 3rd period the other night on Long Island was more than just an experiment.
Byfuglien, according to the tweets compiled below, dressed in a white jersey today during the game-day skate for the Winnipeg Jets, which suggests that he will be a forward this evening and not a defender.
#NHLJets have Buff skating up front this AM. Gagnon, Santorelli and Wright on ice.No Hainsey or Ladd.Mr. Lube game day.— Rick Ralph (@RickRalphTSN) April 4, 2013
#NHLJets Noel ~ Buff will likely be paired with Little and Ladd.— Rick Ralph (@RickRalphTSN) April 4, 2013
And just FYI, Dustin Byfuglien playing forward this morning for #NHLJets #bn— Ed Tait (@WFPEdTait) April 4, 2013
#NHLJets Noel ~ Buff is an option up front.Will he stay there all game?We'll see.— Rick Ralph (@RickRalphTSN) April 4, 2013
#NHLJets skate has Dustin Byfuglien skating as a forward, James Wright has rejoined team, Mike Santorelli and Aaron Gagnon also arrived— Ken Wiebe (@WiebeSunSports) April 4, 2013
The team did not engage in line rushes so the lines for this evening are uncertain at this time, but coach Claude Noel did say that Buff will begin on a line with Andrew Ladd and Bryan Little. If that's the case, which would make sense as that was the lineup the other night in the 3rd period, it's safe to assume that Blake Wheeler will drop down to play with Evander Kane and Olli Jokinen. The bottom six? Who knows.
Guys doing extra conditioning skate for #NHLJets are RW Kyle Wellwood, D Derek Meech, D Arturs Kulda and LW James Wright, who is on IR— Ken Wiebe (@WiebeSunSports) April 4, 2013
It also appears that Kyle Wellwood will be the odd man out tonight, as Aaron Gagnon and Mike Santorelli will be in the lineup, which makes zero sense to me. The Jets were awful the past two games, but Wellwood was one of the lone bright spots as he added two assists and was +3. But he's not good enough to play over an AHLer and a guy that was waived by the Florida freakin' Panthers. Sigh...
So, Jets fans, what say you? Good idea? Bad idea? Is this just making room for Jacob Trouba on the blueline this coming weekend? Let us know in the comments section below.
On a side note, the following tweet did make me chuckle...
Word out of Winnipeg: Byfuglien's skating as a forward at practice. The Brent Burns/Keith Ballard experiment keeps growing (literally)!— Mike Halford (@HalfordPHT) April 4, 2013