TobiasEnstrom

 

Tobias Enstrom has been one of the most enigmatic fantasy players this season.

 

Winston Churchill once said “It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”

 

While he was talking about Russia, he could have just as easily been talking about Tobias Enstrom.

 

The Winnipeg Jets defencemen is one of the most confusing players to figure out. Enstrom gets plenty of ice time and plays with the Jets top players. But he seems to get mired in cold streaks that fit right in with the frigid temperatures of Winnipeg.

 

 

So far this season, Enstrom has only two goals and 10 points. He’s on pace for 23 points. That’s a far drop from the back-to-back 50-point season Enstrom put up a few years ago. Teammate Grant Clitsome now has more points this season than Enstrom.

 

What’s the reason for his decline? Can we ever figure out the Enstrom riddle?

 

Let’s start by looking at his most frequent defence partners this season, according to Frozen Pool.

 

Frequency

Strength

Line Combination

40.85%

EV

33 BYFUGLIEN,DUSTIN - 39 ENSTROM,TOBIAS

26.56%

EV

44 BOGOSIAN,ZACH - 39 ENSTROM,TOBIAS

11.61%

PP

33 BYFUGLIEN,DUSTIN - 39 ENSTROM,TOBIAS

5.46%

EV

7 ELLERBY,KEATON - 39 ENSTROM,TOBIAS

3.72%

EV

39 ENSTROM,TOBIAS - 8 TROUBA,JACOB

2.76%

SH

33 BYFUGLIEN,DUSTIN - 39 ENSTROM,TOBIAS

2.11%

SH

44 BOGOSIAN,ZACH - 39 ENSTROM,TOBIAS

1.1%

SH

39 ENSTROM,TOBIAS - 8 TROUBA,JACOB

1.04%

PP

44 BOGOSIAN,ZACH - 39 ENSTROM,TOBIAS

 

So he’s playing a lot with Big Buff, who is racking up the points. Why isn’t Enstrom getting any of that puck luck? You would think he would get a few points just by passing to Byfuglien for the one-timer, but that’s just not happening.

 

The strange thing is that Enstrom has been on the ice for 17 of Byfuglien’s 24 points.

 

Total Points for Dustin Byfuglien : 24

Str

On Ice Line Combination

Points

%Total
Points

PP

BYFUGLIEN,DUSTIN - ENSTROM,TOBIAS

11

45.83%

EV

BYFUGLIEN,DUSTIN - ENSTROM,TOBIAS

5

20.83%

EV

BYFUGLIEN,DUSTIN - CLITSOME,GRANT

4

16.67%

EV

BYFUGLIEN,DUSTIN - STUART,MARK

2

8.33%

EV

BYFUGLIEN,DUSTIN - ELLERBY,KEATON

1

4.17%

PP

BYFUGLIEN,DUSTIN - ELLERBY,KEATON - ENSTROM,TOBIAS

1

4.17%

 

So Enstrom is on the ice plenty when the Jets score. He’s just not touching the puck before it goes in the net.

 

Enstrom is getting plenty of ice time in all sorts of situations. This season, he’s averaging 23:57 of ice time per game (second on the Jets to Byfuglien’s 26:45), 3:37 of power play ice time per game (second to Buff’s 3:41 per game), and just 1:33 shorthanded (10th on the team and fifth amongst Jets defencemen).

 

His overall ice time is up almost two minutes from last season, when he had 15 points in 22 games. When Enstrom put up his career high of 51 points in 2010-11, he was averaging 23:41 minutes of ice time per game, and 4:32 of power play ice time.

 

No matter how good or how bad Enstrom is, his ice time is consistent season to season.

 

According to Behind the Net, Enstrom’s top linemates this season (in order) have been Byfuglien, Zach Bogosian, Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little, Olli Jokinen, Andrew Ladd and Evander Kane. These players are the tops on the Jets in points, yet Enstrom isn’t cashing in on the opportunity. 

 

Enstrom is getting plenty of opportunities to put up points. Why isn’t he?

 

One of the main culprits is his shots. In his career season, Enstrom averaged 1.5 shots a game. This year, he’s down a little bit to 1.2 shots per game, taking just 44 shots (that’s good for third on the team amongst defencemen, and 88th in the league).

 

In 15 of his 36 games, Enstrom hasn’t even taken a shot. I believe he’s deferring to Byfuglien too much. Big Buff is averaging 3.5 shots a game this season. Enstrom needs to steal some of those shots away. Even if he doesn’t score, it could help with a tip-in or a rebound goal.

 

Enstrom’s shooting percentage is a career low right now, at just 4.5 per cent. His career average is 6.6 per cent, and in his career season in 2010-11, it was 8.9 per cent.

 

The other problem is Enstrom is as streaky a player as you’re going to find. This season, he put up six points in his first five games. Since then, he has four points in 31 games.

 

This isn’t a new occurrence for Enstrom. In 2012-13 (although an injury year in a shortened season saw him play only 22 games), Enstrom had 13 points in his first 10 games, but just two points in the rest of his games. In 2011-12, he would have points in five straight, and follow that up with two points in his next 16 games.

 

In 2010-11 (again, during his best year points wise), Enstrom put together hot streaks of six points in five games and 18 points in 14 games, but finished the season with no points in his last nine games. Even as far back as 2009-10, when he had a 50-point season, he was doing much of the same: Hot streaks of nine points in six games and five points in four games, followed by two points in his last 11 games.

 

Most of the time, it’s frustrating to be an Enstrom owner. When he’s not getting points, he doesn’t help in other categories. He’s a minus-four this season (and has only been a plus player in eight games this year). He has 24 penalty minutes, and is on pace for 55, which would be a career high. And Enstrom has only 17 hits.

 

The only positive is his blocked shots, where Enstrom has 54 in 36 games this season. But the good isn’t enough to outweigh the bad.

 

This means there’s plenty of good news for Enstrom owners. Eventually he’s going to go on another hot streak. When he does, it’s a good opportunity to make sure he’s in your line up each day. And just as he starts to get cold, it’s a good time to sell him before other owners wise up.


Previously in Frozen Pool Forensics:


P.A. Parenteau

Kyle Turris


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