The Winnipeg Jets are serious contenders for the Stanley cup this year, and the contribution of the defender Dustin Byfuglien is no stranger to the success of the team.
In the second duel of the series, played at the Bell MTS Place, in Manitoba, Byfuglien has been used for 23 min 51 s by his coach Paul Maurice, a summit within the team. He took the opportunity to distribute eight failed, including one very solid at the expense of Mikko Koivu.
Byfuglien has also been the subject of a standing ovation when his face was shown on the giant screen. Without the applause, his teammates have also paid tribute in their own way.
“It is a nightmare to play against him,” said captain Blake Wheeler, in remarks reported by the network Sportsnet. He can be very dominant. He can control a game with his size and he feels very good at the game. It is unique”.
“In the corners, it is very solid. When he decides to hit someone, this is not fun [for the victim]. It can change the look of a game by his mere presence.”
“It motivates everyone in the locker room, said Nikolaj Ehlers. A defeat [like the one at the expense of Koivu] motivates the supporters. It motivates the team. It motivates me.”
Byfuglien has also been praised by the instructor of the Wild of Minnesota Bruce Boudreau.
“It is everywhere. You need to know where it is when you’re on the ice, ” explained the coach. It can be on the ice for two minutes. It is so imposing that you need to know where it is located.”
Anyway, the main party does not play to attract the praise. At the age of 33, he is well aware that a career as a hockey player does not continue indefinitely. It simply tries to take full advantage of the playoffs.
“It doesn’t happen often, he said. Take advantage of them. While you’re at it, you must give all that thou hast. You never know what can happen.”