No Kane big gain in Jets’ locker-room
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/02/2015 (3029 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
TORONTO — There’s more order and less drama inside the Winnipeg Jets, defenceman Dustin Byfuglien suggested this week.
The discussion was a follow-up to this week’s praise for Byfuglien by Jets coach Paul Maurice, citing the big man’s big role in terms of leadership.
Since being moved back to defence in early December, Byfuglien has emerged as an all-star calibre blue-liner — 14 goals and 40 points — but he said coaching decisions were only the first step.
“Oh, it’s really just that we’re doing more winning, doing the right things as a team and there’s a lot less s–t going on around here than in the past,” Byfuglien said. “It’s us doing the right things and everyone kind of buying in and doing the right things. That makes it easy on everyone.
“That makes everyone a little happier.”
The inference was things are more settled within the locker-room after last week’s blockbuster trade. The Jets dealt forward Evander Kane and defenceman Zach Bogosian along with prospect goalie Jason Kasdorf to Buffalo for forward Drew Stafford, defenceman Tyler Myers, two prospects and a first-round pick this year.
“I mean, it really doesn’t matter who you have in the locker-room,” Byfuglien said.
“You’ve got a job to do. The team, the way we look at it, I wouldn’t say that we’re much deeper than we were. We picked up some good players, don’t get me wrong, but we got rid of two good players, too. We covered ourselves. We got some different characters. Stafford brings a lot and Myers brings quite a lot, too. That’ s definitely good for us and that’s going to help us down the line.”
Prior to departing on this week’s road trip that went to Washington (Thursday’s 5-1 loss) and ends tonight in Toronto against the Maple Leafs (6 p.m., CBC, TSN 1290), Maurice said the following about Byfuglien:
“He’s been a great leader in our room… Everybody knows Dustin likes to play D, but he doesn’t make anybody pay when he has to go up front.
“He’s the reason, I think, we’ve handled our adversity so well, with our injuries.”
Byfuglien, not known to be shy with his teammates, was fairly bashful about the praise that’s been voiced about his leadership role.
“Everyone kind of has a role and it’s just my own little way of doing it,” he said. “When it’s time to get on the ice, it’s time to work. Little things go a long ways with some parts.”
His on-off switch in terms of personality is no issue, he said.
“No, not really,” he said. “Most of the time it’s just going to be pretty loose, but when it’s time to get out there on the ice and work, well, that’s time to work.