Byfuglien keeps it simple

TED WYMAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:18 PM ET

WINNIPEG - It’s no coincidence that the Jets recent defensive improvement has come at a time when Dustin Byfuglien has both simplified and elevated his game.

Byfuglien has been much more responsible in his own zone over the last three games and has been taking fewer offensive risks, which has made life easier on the other Jets blue-liners and goaltender Ondrej Pavelec.

“Clearly he understands what’s at stake here and he’s putting his game out there, which is perfect,” Jets coach Claude Noel said Wednesday.

“He played responsible (against Boston), he played heavy, he made good decisions. He played a 1-0 game. Some risk, but not too much. He had some shots on net and was dangerous.”

Byfuglien, who has a team-worst minus-8 rating but is plus-2 over the last three games, puts it down to just using his head.

“You’ve just got to be smart about things,” Byfuglien said. “There’s still a lot of things to work on and get smarter at and just keep it simple. Definitely, it’s something I’ve been trying to work on.”

Byfuglien’s defence partner Johnny Oduya has seen a noticeable difference.

“I know he’s working on his game,” Oduya said. “He’s a high-impact player, one of the better players on our team and a leader. He’s been really good lately and that makes it pretty easy for me to


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