This series will cover all thirty teams and go over the most important player, and player who’s performance most needs to improve to help the team succeed.
With the move from Atlanta, the team members not only have to get used to a new arena, new city and new climate, they also face the daunting challenge of living up to the expectations of a hockey mad city. Last season this team was in playoff position for much of the year, and then faded. This year they to be consistent all season to get to the playoffs.
Ondrej Pavelec split the crease time with two other goalies last season. This year he needs to seize the pilots seat and fly the team to new heights. With save percentages as high as .924 and .936 in his best months last season, he’s got the goods to get the job done. Without him playing at or near his best the Jets will be landing early in April and spend another long summer refueling.
Former Chicago Blackhawk Dustin Byfuglien was almost two different players last season. In the first three months of the season he scored twelve goals, in the last four, just eight. Maybe it was fatigue as part of the Stanley Cup hangover, maybe the team faltered around him and he couldn’t keep the team going, it doesn’t matter either way. If you had asked anyone on December fifth who their top five picks for Norris Trophy nominees were Big Buff would have been on 9 out of 10 lists, but March 5 he’d have been lucky to make half. If he can play consistently in the second half this year the Jets have a chance at playing in May.