Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Feb. 28

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

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

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 warned.

1. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets went 1-2-1 on their 4-game road trip last week and finished the month of February with an underwhelming 5-5-2 record. 

The good guys start off the month with four straight games at home and 10 out 16 in March.    

The Jets record is currently 23-21-9.  They are 6 points behind Dallas for the final wildcard spot and sit sixth in the Central Division. 

The Jets play Montreal on Tuesday and Dallas on Friday.  To say these two games are huge would be a massive understatement.  These two games will could go a long way in determining whether Chevy sells at the deadline.  

2. Jets:  Neal Pionk and Dylan DeMelo’s play sure has gone downhill since they signed their new contracts.  Hopefully this is just a blip on the radar.     

3. Jets:  In my humble opinion Brendan Dillon is grossly underrated and he is one defenceman I’d be in no hurry to trade.  Dillon has 1 goal and 15 helpers for 16 points on the season and does not play in any offensive situations.  He is a decent puck-mover and has an edge to his game. 

4. NHL:  Does anybody outside the two teams and their fanbases playing in the “Stadium Series” games care anymore?     

5. JetsThis Jets team need a few more PLD and Brendan Dillon types …. guys that will go to the net and guys that will clear the front of the net … we have too many perimeter figure skaters and too many lightweights on the back end … it’s time for big boy hockey again in Winnipeg.  I tweeted this on Twitter and got quite a few varying ideas and opinions.  I have nothing against small skill players as long as they have a lot of compete in their game.  I’m tired of soft play and especially from our veterans, big or small.

6. NHL:  My weekly bitch-fest about NHL officiating.

The officiating in Dallas Wednesday night was one-sided and horrible.  Just when I think it can’t get any worse, it does.

Then on Sunday in Glendale neither the Jets or Coyotes had a powerplay.  I saw plenty of penalties but I guess the men in stripes couldn’t be bothered.  

7. Jets:  FYI:  The Jets play 10 games before the trade deadline with 6 at home but with some tough opposition coming to town.     

8. Jets:  Is Dave Lowry too similar to Paul Maurice in concept and too familiar to the players to be considered a new voice?    

9. Jets:  Are the Jets showcasing Nathan Beaulieu or is Dave Lowry sending a message to Logan Stanley?  It could be a bit of both. 

Embed from Getty Images

 

10 Jets:  This quote by Winston Churchill and also used by Joe Pesci in the movie Kennedy perfectly describes Kyle Connor.

  It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

How can such a poor defensive player at 5 on 5 be such a good penalty killer?  It is baffling but true, KC’s speed and quickness is one of the reasons for the team’s improved PK numbers.  Go figure.

11. Jets:  95 point update:  I figured the Jets needed approx 52 points in their final 40 games to have a shot at a wildcard spot.  As of today they have earned 12 points in 11 games and have fallen off their pace for 52 points.  Going into Tuesday’s game versus Montreal the Jets need 40 points in their remaining 29 games.  Very improbabable but not impossible.                   

12. Ice:  The Winnipeg ICE went 3-2 this past week and finished their 7-game road trip with a 4-3 record.  The ICE record sits at 35-9-2-1 on the season and they are six points behind first place Edmonton in the Eastern Conference with five games in hand.  As I predicted last week the  Edmonton Oil Kings took over the #1 CHL ranking with the ICE slipping to #3.  

Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings – Week 17

As of Feb. 23

1. Edmonton Oil Kings
2. Everett Silvertips
3. Winnipeg ICE
4. Charlottetown Islanders
5. Hamilton Bulldogs
6. Shawinigan Cataractes
7. Portland Winterhawks
8. Kamloops Blazers
9. Kingston Frontenacs
10. Flint Firebirds

13. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose  had a rough week going 1-3 and will continue their 9-game homestand with a couple more home games this week.  Their record is still a respectable 27-17-2-1 with a .606 winning percentage but they’ve dropped to 5th place in the AHL’s Western Conference.  

Special Teams:

  • PP:  18.80 up from 18.50 last week.
  • PK:  81.40% down from 84.10 last week.

14. JetsThe Winnipeg Jets have 29 games left in the season and the big question is whether they are buyers or sellers? 

According to moneypuck.com the Winnipeg Jets chances of making the playoffs sits at 6% as of Sunday night.  Of course this number is very fluid and it changes with each win or loss by the Jets and the teams they are chasing.  It is fun to watch.

Updated game by game odds:

After 3-1 loss in Calgary … 11.6%

After 3-2 OTL in Dallas … 10.4%

After 6-2 loss in Denver … 4.4%

After 5-3 win in Glendale … 6.0%  

FYI:  Monday, March 21 – Trade Deadline (3 p.m. ET)

Based on the Jets current position in the standings should they be buyers or sellers?

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15. Jets:  My weekly question for Kevin Cheveldayoff and/or Dave Lowry.

Coach Lowry, now that Evgeny Svechnikov has re-established himself on the top line with Pierre-Luc Dubois and Kyle Connor, where are you going to play Andrew Copp and Cole Perfetti? 

16. Jets:  The Good, Better, Best this past week.

  • Good:  Evgeny Svechnikov’s play since being reunited with PLD and KC.
  • Better:  Eric Comrie shutting the door in the 3rd period versus the Coyotes and especially in the last couple of minutes when they pulled their goalie.  TWO BIG SAVES.
  • Best:  The amount of “give a shit” in Pierre-Luc Dubois’s game.  PLD was a beast in the Colorado game.     

17. Jets:  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly this past week.

  • Good:  The Jets 1st period vs Colorado on Friday night.  
  • Bad:  Two more shitty goals given up by Connor Hellebuyck in the 6-3 loss to the Avalanche.  
  • Ugly:  The Jets total collapse in the 2nd and 3rd period vs Colorado.  It was frustrating and hard to watch.  

18. Jets:  Special Teams: Rule of thumb. Have the two red numbers (PK and PP) total at least 100% when added (as your minimum). 

  • PP: 14th at 20.70% down  from 21.20 last week. 
  • PK: 22nd at 76.60% up from 75.20 last week.
  • FO: 15th at 50.40% same as 50.40 last week.

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  17-19-8 … 2.88 GAA … .912 SV% … Shutouts 3 
  • Eric Comrie:  6-2-1 … 2.47 GAA … .914 SV%

20. Jets:  The Jets penalty killing unit has really improved their kill percentage and league ranking over the past month and a half.  It has been a lot more aggressive in challenging the man with the puck instead of collapsing into a passive box.  (see #10)

Comments

  1. Hi Mitch…Your point #8 is spot on. Lowrey is too similar to Maurice to be considered a new voice, and I suspect the Jets will be looking for a new coach, and hopefully, some new staff, once the season ends. One thing that bugs me is that Helly gets thrown in as a starter in game after game after game. Comrie has exceeded my expectations, and should be starting more games, just to give Helly a rest. Some nights he looks just too tired, and for the staff to expect him to perform at a high level when playing him consistently is asking too much.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      HEY Les … thanks for stopping by … I was not sure about Comrie but he has exceeded my expectations and he hasn’t given me a reason to doubt him so like you said, play him a little more … there is no doubt HELLE is overworked. I hope this team can at least win enough games to tease us … I hate meaningless games.

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