The Winnipeg Jets can look forward to improved defense this season. If for no other reason than health. With the exception of Mark Stuart all the defensemen played a number of games in the middles sixties or lower.  With Evander Kane as yet unsigned things at the other end of the ice could get dicey if he isn’t signed soon, or traded for a similar talent.

Good News

  • No jail time or serious legal problems for Dustin Byfuflien. That and good health could lead to a huge year for the officially 265lb defenseman.
  • If Evander Kane is signed in time to start the season, he could outstrip last years performance, last year he only played 74 games, getting dinged up a couple times.
  • The division still isn’t very strong and two or three strong performances in their own end for the season can have them in the post season.

Bad News

  • The defense is still a question mark. Defense isn’t exactly what they excel at as a unit.
  • Pavelec shows no signs of playing consistently at a high enough level for the team to do anything in the playoffs.
  • The east isn’t really any weaker this year and they finished tied for 10th last year.

Forecast

High: If they can some how score about the same number of goals as last year and eliminate twenty goals against they have a solid shot at the Bubble. Getting down to 226 goals against would be less goals allowed than half of the eastern team who did make the post season last year,

Low: Afterthought. Almost as big as their injuries last year was inconsistency even when most of their best players were playing.

X-Factor

The whole team is an x-factor, Kane’s signing or trade, the health of the defense and Pavelec’s consistency. At times they looked like they could have won the Cup for two and three game stretches last year, and at other times they looked like they’d have trouble winning a series with the Muskegon Lumberjacks.


About Puck Sage

PuckSage.com is a hockey site focusing on the NHL, the playing style of teams and players with analysis and the occasional predictions. If it doesn't involve what happens on ice, I won't be writing about it. About Me: Writer! Here and at HockeyThisWeek.com I write hockey. I can be found on Twitter @PuckSage on Google+ and my Facebook Page is handily listed on the main page here. Hockey lover, cognac drinker, lover of good steak, good music, and things that make me laugh. I hate cats, cat people, sloppy hockey and vegans.

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