It's season three in Winnipeg and enough time has passed since the Jets returned to start a should, would, and could list for the team and franchise of the past two and change seasons as well as towards the present and future of the team.
Jacob Trouba should be in the running for the Calder Memorial Trophy.
I have already written about this topic earlier in the season and still believe in it wholeheartedly. See what exact details I said in the article (dated December 13).
Al Montoya should be the starter for more than one game in a row.
I'm sick of saying it and wondering if Claude Noel has a hot clue on what to do with goalies.
Ondrej Pavelec has shown his true colours again this season and you cannot blame the Jets inconsistent and sometimes downtright awful defense for it.
Pavelec does not make the big save at crunch time – he isn't a big time goalie and his numbers througout his QMJHL, AHL, and NHL career show it (even en route to the Calder Cup in 2008).
Montoya, who hasn't really been given a fair chance in Winnipeg, remains a winning goalie as the backup and fails to get a back-to-back start and only has gotten into back-to-back games recently after helping the Jets finally defeat the Minnesota Wild and then getting the start in Colorado.
It blows my mind why Noel would start Pavelec (aside from his big contract) and his 3.03 goals against average and .902 save percentage over Montoya's 2.14 goals against average and .923 save percentage.
But wait, you say: Montoya hasn't played many of the big teams that's why his stats are better.
Nay, he has beaten teams such as Tampa Bay and Minnesota and has faced Chicago twice – once starting.
Include three games where he had to take Pavelec out of the game – two of which were already out of reach.
If Pavelec is going to get better, he needs to be pushed to play better and Montoya needs to start getting the starts he deserves and has earned.
Dustin Byfuglien should get traded before his value plummets.
There is only so much time before Dustin Byfuglien's value starts to go down and fast.
Byfuglien has had a very comfy first six seasons in the NHL and season number seven isn't feeling so comfy anymore.
Sure, he has a Stanley Cup ring, but that was on a team where he provided secondary scoring – not being a number one defenseman. You know Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook right? Yeah, they were the two top defensemen – both better than any Jets defenders.
And you know Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, and Patrick Sharp too? Yeah the Jets could have their best new player if they picked any one of them. Byfuglien (and even Andrew Ladd) were third line scoring for that 2010 Stanley Cup team.
Not saying Byfuglien isn't skilled or a big presence on the Jets blueline, but with him as secondary or tertiary scoring on a Stanley Cup champion team three years ago, what's to say he is going to lead the Jets to the playoffs as the number one defenseman?
I'm going to go with he isn't the guy to do it. A guy more like Jacob Trouba or Zach Bogosian may be a better bet.
For Byufligen, at 28, he can still get value and if traded to an Eastern Conference team, any damage coming back at the Jets during game play would be minimized.
I'm sorry, but fans love him but still can't stand him. If the Jets want to win, they need someone with more fire in their game and attitude than a Dustin Byfuglien.
The Jets could make the playoffs if they could all stay healthy
I truly believe Zach Bogosian and Jim Slater make the Jets a better team.
Can they be a playoff team? Absolutely – any team can make the playoffs if they play together and play smart and play a system that counteracts whatever is going on with their divisional rivals offense.
With the additions that GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has made over the past two seasons, this team is better than it was in Atlanta, but still has the core of that same Thrasher team – the one who didn't make the playoffs.
There is a reason this is a could make the playoffs and not a should or a would in past seasons – it's because something is blocking them from making the playoffs – is it coaching? Is it special teams? Is it goaltending or defense? Do they need more offense?
To all: Yes.
If they could be better every night they could make the playoffs. But will they?
Alexander Burmistrov and Evander Kane would have been better players if he had played in the AHL first.
Not much we can do here, but with 31 points in 40 games in the KHL with Kazan Ak-Bars, many should wonder what would have been with Burmistrov if he had been developed the same way Mark Scheifele was or even Jacob Trouba – being sent to the AHL or kept in junior the year after drafted.
Burmistrov had only 20 points – seven goals – in 74 games in his rookie season in Atlanta in 2010-11.
You could even ask that of Evander Kane who had 26 points – 14 goals – in 66 games in his rookie season.
Thing is, Mark Scheifele through 40 games in his official rookie season has 18 points – four more than Kane and two less than Burmistrov.
Even Jacob Trouba has nine points in 23 games this year.
Burmistrov had 0.27 points per game in his rookie season while Kane had 0.39 points per game in his first year.
Scheifele is currently at 0.45 points per game and Trouba is currently at 0.391.
With the new system and philosophy in this franchise in Winnipeg this would not happen again as seen with Scheifele and Trouba. But only the rest of the season will tell if Scheifele and Trouba will be better rookies than Burmistrov and Kane and also better players beyond this year.