So, not that I was expecting the Jets to come out of Pittsburgh with a win yesterday afternoon, but after a defensive showing as poor as that more than a few questions are being raised.
Firstly, can Dustin Byfuglien pull his head out of his posterior and play the game in a manner befitting someone receiving 5.2 million dollars a year ?
Secondly, what exactly is the culture in that dressing room like ? Is anyone speaking out in the room against the poor play of other players, and if so are these comments just being ignored ?
Lastly, can anyone in that room look Pavelec in the eye and tell him with any modicum of sincerity that they will do their very best next time not to hang him out to dry for 8 goals ?
The team finally scored more than 2 goals in a game, albeit against a very shaky Fleury, and somehow find a way to play so unbelieveably carelessly that they allow a much better Pens team to just score at will.
Byfuglien needs to be brought to task for his play. I know he is a wild card, but lets be honest, I have never seen someone just completely choose to play for himself. The scariest part of it is that I am not entirely sure he even cares how he played. If he does care, things should change in the future, if he doesn't then things will remain the way they are and he will continue to cost his team.
Word around the team is that big Buff is tremendously well liked by the rest of the team. I truly hope that is the case because I would expect someone on that team to take him aside and say "You have GOT to think before acting. You have a ton of talent, but if you don't use your head we will lose every time".
The next few games Buff will be under a microscope. Both from fans and from management. We understand that this guy is a work in progress, but at some point a team will say enough is enough.
Could they choose to move him to a forwad role ? It is a distinct possibility. This team lacks scoring depth and I have always stated that he would be better utilized from the front end.
The other scenario is almost unthinkable at this point but if he doesn't do something substantial defensively or chooses to say no to playing forward, then the team would have to move him. Lord knows he holds value. Considerable value.
For a team looking to build its franchise from the bottom up, and one which is already deep defensively, nothing is out of the realm of possibility.
One thing is for certain. We won't have to wait long to see what both Dustin Byfuglien and the Jets management group are made of.