ANALYSIS: Jets’ Morrissey is as good as any defender in NHL

analysis: jets’ morrissey is as good as any defender in nhl

Paul Edmonds Jets Report

It was around this time last year that Jets defenceman Josh Morrissey found himself frequently amid conversations as a possible Norris trophy candidate.

The talk was locally driven, of course, but the sentiment was frankly well deserved and didn’t escape national reach. but in the end the honour went to San Jose’s — and now Pittsburgh’s — Erik Karlsson, who produced the league’s first 100-point season by a d-man in 31 years.

Fast forward almost 12 months later and we revisit the subject, not because Morrissey is atop the NHL’s point leaders from the blue line, but rather because what he provides the Jets every game is invaluable.

If Connor Hellebuyck, Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor are considered major assets to the team at their positions, then Morrissey is equally as important. and his play isn’t just a one-way street! He’s as good at defending as he is producing points. and without him, the Jets are different and their success this season isn’t as copious.

His skating, stick and game awareness are as elite as anyone’s in the league, allowing the eight-year veteran to consistently escape traffic, move up and down the ice effortlessly and make plays.

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Including Tuesday night’s win over St. Louis, Morrissey has now produced 11 assists in the last five games and his point total on the team is more than double that of anyone else on the blue line. But he’s also arguably the team’s best defender with an ability to gain positioning and out maneuver on the league’s best, whom he plays against nightly.

Now, the Norris trophy — rightly or wrongly — has become frequently awarded to the defenceman who amasses the most points. And an argument can be made that if you have the puck, the other team doesn’t.

But from this chair, Morrissey is as good as anyone in the league at playing defence. And while he might not be in the discussions this season for the Norris like he was last, it certainly doesn’t diminish his value to the Jets or mean that we won’t be having this same conversation again, 12 months from now.

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