while sheppard is off to a disapointing start, part of the problem could be lemaire. jacques is determined to turn jamie into another mikko koivu by making sure his first focus is being responsible defensively - hoping that the offense will eventually come later. sheppard sees very little powerplay time (which would explain his low numbers) but is always on the ice during the penalty kill(which has been pretty good so far). this is a stark contrast to last year when sheppard rarely got minutes late in games or on the PK.
another problem is that the wild are having a hard time scoring goals. with gaborik, burns, and nolan all missing time, the wild have ended up in 28th place in goals/per game. sheppard has been forced to play a checking role with players that show little creativity. i think his biggest problem is confidence. if he was able to get some time and points on the PP, i think you would see a much more confident sheppard. when you see him out there now, he looks like he is just focused on not messing up. he makes good plays but i'd like to see him shoot or take the puck to the net more.