Byfuglien doesn’t seem happy

- April 7th, 2013

The Jets held an optional practice on Sunday morning at MTS Centre, and about half the team took part.

One notable participant was defenceman Dustin Byfuglien, who met with the media after the skate. He didn’t seem overly happy with his situation, either. He was thrown up to forward last week, and he got only 17:48 of ice time in Saturday’s win over Philadelphia. He never sees that little ice time when playing defence. His partner, Toby Enstrom, was down on the minutes, too, getting just 18:51.

Another interesting part about Byfuglien’s meeting with the media today was that he said he hadn’t really had a conversation with head coach Claude Noel about what he needs to do to improve. Alex Burmistrov said the same thing when he got benched about a month ago. It makes you wonder about the lines of communication going on behind closed doors.

A few other news and notes from Sunday:

• The Jets finally announced the signing of Finnish netminder Juho Olkinuora, who spent the past two years at the University of Denver. He will report to the St. John’s IceCaps.

• If Olkinuora ever amounts to anything, he’ll be able to tell the funny story about how the Jets spelled his name wrong in the press release: Olikinuora.

• Here’s a link to Olkinuora making a great save a couple months back against the North Dakota Fighting Sioux.

• Had a good chat with Bryan Little today about the importance of his line down the stretch. He admitted that it’s on them to perform, and he sounded ready for the challenge, too. I then dug into the stats to see just how much the team relies on Little, Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler, and it’s just as everyone suspected: A LOT. Although it’s more about Little and Wheeler than it is Ladd. That story will be in Monday’s Sun.

• Little also said he needs to shoot more, which he did on Winnipeg’s fourth goal on Saturday. Look for him to fire the rubber more down the stretch.

• The Ottawa Senators lost 2-1 to the Florida Panthers on Sunday afternoon. Is there a chance that they fall out of the playoff picture? Is there a chance that their injuries could finally catch up with them? They better hope not, because they’ve played so well without so many big guns that they deserve to be in the post-season.

• It was the first of two days off for the Jets, who haven’t had two days in a row between home games in nearly two months. They will practise on Monday morning at MTS Centre to get ready for the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.

Categories: Hockey

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