September 27, 2012
Jets' Byfuglien wants to be in Norris discussion
By KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency
MINNEAPOLIS - Although he’s not consumed by the pursuit of individual awards, Dustin Byfuglien would like to work his way into the Norris Trophy discussion one day.
“You think about it,” Byfuglien said on Tuesday afternoon at St. Louis Park Rec Center. “It’s always been a thought that it would be nice to win, but it’s not something I push to do. I go out there, I do my job and I just have fun with the boys.”
The Winnipeg Jets defenceman was tied for second in scoring among NHL blue-liners last season with 53 points in 66 games, but understands he needs to continue to work on his play away from the puck.
Having longtime NHLer and Jets assistant coach Charlie Huddy as a resource has certainly helped Byfuglien take strides in that area of his game.
“He’s been there and done so much,” said Byfuglien. “He’s been around so many great players. Any little details he gives you, he’s trying to help and making you better. You take what he gives you and he can help you in so many ways.”
His goals for the upcoming season, whenever it gets going, are simple.
“Just try to get the team going right away,” said Byfuglien. “You always set goals for yourself to do things and once you get there, you make new ones. Just keep gradually getting better. This year, I’ll be working on staying on the plus-side of the plus/minus (he was minus-8 last season).
“You try not to set goals so high that you get frustrated or get mad at yourself. Set little ones and when you achieve them, set new ones.”
Byfuglien’s skill-set is respected by opponents as well.
“He’s got great hockey sense,” said Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise. “He moves around very well for a guy his size and he makes really good plays with the puck.
“The one thing I noticed the most this year playing against him is that when he’s playing the point, he’s really good at getting his shots through to the net. You try to get into the shot lane but he never puts his head down. He always sees where you are and has got that ability to shoot around you. It’s a big part of how he gets those points from the blue-line.”