December 6, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
"ï"ï HIS NUMBERS:
Goals: 0 Assists: 0 Points: 0 Plus/minus: -1
"ï"ï HIS ICE TIME:
Shifts: 15 Ice time: 15:55
Byfuglien, starting his first game on the wing since helping lead the Chicago Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup in 2010, opened on the right side of Bryan Little and Andrew Ladd on the Jets' top line. He didn't generate a shot on goal in six shifts totalling just under six minutes of ice time.
Nothing that leaps out -- other than the Ladd-Little-Byfuglien trio being on the ice for Michael Ryder's second goal. The one note of significance: When the Jets did get their first power play, Byfuglien was back on the point with Toby Enstrom.
So much for that -- Byfuglien is moved back to the point for an early power play, with Brandon Prust sent off at 21 seconds, and then stays there. But after Alex Galchenyuk is left alone behind him for the Habs' fourth goal, he finds a permanent spot on the bench and does not play for the last 12 minutes of the game.
"ï"ï WHAT WE LIKED:
Zero, to be honest.
"ï"ï WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE:
Byfuglien can still be a difference-maker from the defensive position. Up front, he did little to use his size to create turnovers and his lack of fitness and speed were obvious. Essentially, he looked like a fish out of water and nothing like the power forward who gave Roberto Luongo such fits in the 2010 Western Conference final.
No need for us to weigh in, when Claude Noel did after the game. Here's the boss: "I just didn't think he was very effective up front. I didn't think they (the Ladd-Little-Byfuglien line) had enough speed."
And on the benching: "This isn't the first time they put a puck at the net and he's standing beside the guy without taking the stick. After a while you just can't continue down that road. If you're not going to make changes, then you don't play."
-- Ed Tait
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Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 5, 2013 C3