Winnipeg Jets: Dustin Byfuglien Finally Playing on His Level

Anthony Capocci@CapocciJETSContributor INovember 21, 2013

WINNIPEG, MB - NOVEMBER 15: Dustin Byfuglien #33 of the Winnipeg Jets celebrates his third period goal against the Philadelphia Flyers with teammates at the bench at the MTS Centre on November 15, 2013 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Lance Thomson/NHLI via Getty Images)
Lance Thomson/Getty Images

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien is finally doing what he does best, and that's scoring goals. Not only does this help everyone who has him in their fantasy hockey pools, but it also helps the Jets win games.

In the first 18 games of the season, Byfuglien had a big zero in the goal category. It's not as if he was invisible, though. He had a solid 11 assists during that goalless stretch, but obviously, piling up assists isn't the forte of Big Buff.

He's a pure offensive defenseman who makes a living by scoring goals.

In the last five games, Byfuglien has scored five times. And just like that, he's only two goals in back of Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, who leads all NHL defensemen in goals with seven.

It was only a matter of time for Byfuglien.

During his 18 game struggle, Byfuglien had 59 shots on goal, but not a single one of them went in the back of the net. He was long overdue for some goals, so it's no surprise that they're coming in bunches now.

Byfuglien's goal production bodes well for his overall game. Everyone knows how ugly it can get for him on the defensive side of it, and for the first 15 or so games, it was pretty ugly. But when he's producing offensively, he plays a much better game on defense.

For Byfuglien, his offense is his best defense.

Byfuglien is regaining confidence and playing with a fire lit under his belt. It also gives the Jets a boost they truly need. The Jets are struggling to score goals and produce offense, so a surging Byfuglien will give the Jets a better chance at winning.

With the Olympics right around the corner, Byfuglien is doing his best to impress. If he keeps dominating, he will be a shoo-in for Team USA…if he isn't already.

Byfuglien's production can only get better from here on out.