“Justin has Norris Trophy potential. I don’t think there are too many people that would disagree with me in that regard.”
Those were the words of then GM, now Co-Head Coach and GM, Craig MacTavish regarding the future of one Justin Tiberius Schultz. Now given what we’ve learned from most Hollywood movies involving time travel, we can all agree that if Marty McFly doesn’t take his Mom to the Enchantment Under The Sea Dance then Justin Schultz will go onto a long prosperous career defending his Norris Trophy every year but if John Connor sends his Dad back in time to save (fertilize) his Mom then Schultz will instead opt to go to Edmonton and become Jultz instead.
Perfectly clear? Good. Now that we have the basics of the infinite possibilities that lay ahead of us in the future we can start talking about very real and definite things that happened in the past. More specifically we can talk about Justin Schultz flushing his Norris Trophy future down the toilet with 3 horrendous plays in 1 game.
I have dubbed the three goals that he was on the ice for “The Pylon”, “The Corner Route”, and “The Jultz”. I will be providing a few screen grabs from the videos that you can find here on Oilers TV.
This was the first goal against and it serves to highlight the softer side of Justin Shultz, the side that only his friends and opposing forwards know about him. The problem here is that Jultz is treated like nothing more than a pylon by the goal scorer.
Here’s Colborne skating towards 19. Note that there are no other Flames for miles in any other direction save for the corner where the puck is located.
Schultz stands his ground between the Flame attacker and his goalie.
Colborne appears to have phased directly through Schultz’ body. He might be an X-Man…or Ghost Dad.
And not to be outdone by Justin Schultz’ complete lack of physical presence, Viktor Fasth takes a mental leave as he determines that the puck must, somehow, be on his right. This is Justin’s party and I don’t want to ruin it with a lot of Fasth talk, but this play looks like a blatant dive in a fixed boxing match. He went down from a phantom punch here. Nobody is this incompetent.
THE CORNER ROUTE
This second goal on the night is my favourite because it starts to incorporate his playing partner into the mix. If, perhaps, you recently suffered a blow to the head and didn’t remember or were in hospital recovering, it is possible that you missed the memo that Craig MacTavish (Co-Coach, GM, Silver Fox) gave Hunt a real number and made him Justin Schultz’ defensive partner.
I can hear you now, “That’s probably not so bad though, I mean they must only play 14-15 minutes a night, right? Right?…Guys?”
It isn’t fair to leave the recently concussed hanging like that. No, Schultz and Hunt aren’t getting limited Ice Time. Justin played more than 20 minutes and Hunt almost 19 against the Flames. This play should probably be brought up at the tribunal that is scheduled at season’s end.
Here is Brad Hunt standing in the Left corner. He’s making a pass to his partner Schultz. Everything is wonderful. Let’s watch our pass.
Here is Justin Schultz. He’s starting to feel uncomfortable because Brad keeps staring at him. He moves the puck up the ice to Arcobello.
Now Arcobello starts feeling doubly uncomfortable because now both Hunt and Schultz are staring at him, unmoving from either corner. He sends the puck over to Perron but maybe because everybody is watching him and he has performance anxiety he puts a little too much on it and Perron can’t handle the pass. Hunt stands in one corner, Schultz remains in the other. The front of the net is emptier than Justin’s Norris potential.
Gaudreau gets the puck. Hunt and Schultz are powerless to get to the front of the net in time. They continue to watch the puck as it slides in through Fasth’s ever open 5-Hole.
Jultzing, for the uninitiated, is the half-hearted lean and one-handed swing (or pointing) of the stick towards a puck carrier that you have no intention of stopping. It is not a catch-all phrase we use to describe a bad play that Justin Schultz makes. It is a very specific action much like “The Carlton” is a very specific Dance move.
This next one combines some of that classic puck-watching that we saw in the last play but adds in a great Jultz. That said, it all starts with Hunt deciding to chase a puck carrier behind the net while making sure he couldn’t possibly make a play on the puck if he wanted.
Hunt follows the Calgary player behind the net. Good! With his stick at waist level the whole time. Bad. At best he can deflect a puck that is fired mid-air, if the opposing player wants to shoot the puck away from the direction of the net. Hunt is doing nothing to prevent a pass to the slot at all. Justin Schultz watches from the front of the net. He doesn’t look around him to see what is going on and he is covering exactly no-one.
The puck goes to the slot, to the surprise of nobody. Hunt’s stick is still mid-air and not in any recognizable passing-lane. Justin Schultz continues to cover nobody but you can see he’s tracking the puck the whole time. You have to watch the video to get the full impact, but at this point in the sequence I’m not convinced that he’s even aware that Glencross is actually there.
This right here is what a grown man Jultzing looks like. It almost looks like he actually wants to play the body, not that he could given that he was covering the front of the net in case the puck was flipped directly over top of the net to a Flame that was possibly invisible.
Not in my lifetime. This is a player with no defensive awareness. None. Additionally, he is less than “Not Physical”, he is actually Anti-Physical in an almost germophobic way. Justin Schultz had a bad night, but in reality this is more of a common occurrence than I’m sure he and his
biggest fan General Manager would like to admit. It’s just that this time he got burned for goals against.
And why does he continue to do it? Well the first two soft/boneheaded plays happened early in the 1st period and he went on to play 20 minutes that night. The only thing he’s learning is that this is exactly how the team wants him to play.