Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Feb. 24

Mitch Kasprick is the “Motown Curmudgeon” aka “Motown Mitch”

Odds and Ends, Thoughts and Questions, from this past week in sports –

Just so there’s no confusion when I’m spewing my bias, I am a fan of the Winnipeg Jets, Arizona Coyotes, Manitoba Moose, Winnipeg Ice, and all Team Canada Hockey teams.

I am NOT a fan of Gary Bettman or as I call him, Count Chocula. I am a big believer in the 7Ps. You’ve been warn

1. Jets: The Winnipeg Jets went 2-2-0 this week but the loss yesterday in Buffalo has left a sour, bitter taste in my mouth that I haven’t felt in a long time.  This team has no work ethic and their star players coast around the ice hoping for things to happen instead of busting their asses and making something happen.  The Winnipeg Jets overall record now sits at 32-27-5 and they are currently back on the outside looking in at a Wildcard spot.

2. Jets: I was hoping for three out of four wins last week and a split in the home and home with Washington but now BOTH Washington games are a must.  Good luck with that.  

3. Jets: I know last week I said I didn’t have an opinion on the Paul Maurice 3-year contract extension but there is a downside, now I have to listen to the same crap every game from the same people on Twitter that want him fired.  It really is exhausting. 

4. Jets: Cody Eakin is no good.  Do you know why I know this?  Because some slide-rule from the east that probably has never watched a Golden Nights game said so.  I don’t mind well thought out and rounded evaluation using analytics but some guys base their whole evaluation on a player’s analytics even though the analytics guys will tell it is one tool in the toolbox.  I’m getting extremely sick of these guys.  Get back in your parent’s basement.   

5. Jets: As of this morning the Winnipeg Jets odds of making the playoffs sit at 26.3% and their chances of winning the draft lottery are at 3.3%.

6. Jets: The Winnipeg Jets blueline is okay in small spirts but any time you get extended play from Dmitry Kulikov, Nathan Beaulieu, or even Tucker Poolman the mistakes just pile up.  It is basically Josh on his own and he hasn’t been great.  Neal Pionk has been a nice surprise but he has struggled mightily lately.  Pionk is a #4 dressed up as a #2 and it is showing.  Dylan DeMelo has been a nice surprise but its only been three games.  I’ve seen Dylan Samberg play a few times this season and he might be just what the doctor ordered.  Samberg is a big body that plays a simple, quiet, efficient game.      

7. NHL: Zamboni driver David Ayres having to go in as the emergency back-up on Saturday night in Toronto is a fun story but this should not happen.  With the millions of dollars in the NHL you would think they could have a third goalie under contract and travelling with the team so this doesn’t happen.  I know that it is a rare happening but its not a good look for the league.

8. Jets: The Dustin Byfuglien watch:  Buff has actually made it onto the TSN trade bait board but I can’t see any team trading for him unless they have some inside information.

DOES BUFF PLAY THIS SEASON?

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9. NHL: Gary Bettman and his minions never fail to disappoint.  Department of Player Saftey stooge, George Parros thought that Sens’ forward Scott Sabourin warranted a $1,881 fine for squirting water at Mark Scheifele but Jamie Benn’s predatory hit from behind on Coyotes Oliver Ekman-Larsson got NADDA, SQUAT, NILL.  The worst part was Benn had no intention of playing the puck.   

10. Jets: I really like Jansen Harkins.  I love his work ethic, compete level, and his skillset.  Jansen is a good WHLer and maybe we need more of this type of player on this Jets team instead of the soft pretty boys that are clueless defensively that Chevy seems to gravitate to.  Yes, I said it.  Skill with no will is useless and we seem to have enough of that right now.  

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11. Jets: I wonder if these past four games have changed Chevy’s direction today.  I like the aquisitions of Dylan DeMelo and Cody Eakins but I’m not sure we should be buyers.     

12. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck: 26-20-5 … 2.72 GAA … .918 SV% … 4 shutouts.
  • Laurent Brossoit: 6-7-0 … 3.32 GAA … .893 SV%

13. Special Teams: Rule of thumb. Have the two red numbers (PK and PP) total at least 100% when added. (as your minimum) I also base the movement (up or down) on the % and not the NHL ranking.

  • PP: 14th at 20.50% up from 14h at 19.60%    (thanks Ottawa Senators)
  • PK: 25th at 77.20% up from 28th at 75.30%
  • FO: 14th at 50.10%  up from 16th at 49.90%

14. Jets: It has been a long season and like I mentioned earlier that game in Buffalo left a bitter, bitter taste in my mouth.  I’m not sure how much more Anthony Bitetto and Nathan Beaulieu I can take.  

15. Jets: I don’t know what Blake Wheeler has done to draw the ire of a certain faction of Jets fans.  I wasn’t a fan of the captain in the early years because I thought he was soft and led the league in fly-bys but his game evolved into a solid power forward and one thing you can never accuse him of is not working his ass off.  Is he perfect?  Not at all but maybe some of his younger compatriates could learn something.  Yes, I’m talking to you Mr. Connor, Mr. Roslovic, and Mr. Appleton.  (see #10)   

In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

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Thanks, Mitch

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