Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Jan. 10

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 split their two games last week beating Arizona 3-1 in Glendale and then getting their asses handed to them 7-1 in Denver.  Now the Jets play one game (vs Detroit) in the next eleven days with four games being postponed.  The Jets record now sits at 16-12-5 and they are 2 points out of the last wildcard position.    

2. Jets:  Even after a 7-1 loss I’m not quite ready to anoint the Colorado Avalanche as God’s gift to hockey. I would like to see the Jets play them at home and with a healthy lineup first.  There is no doubt they have a talented team but we have a HELLE and they don’t AND our interim coach said he wasn’t going to match lines and I’m pretty damn sure he will revisit that ill-advised strategy in future games.  

3. Jets:  Every player has ups and downs during a season and right now Dylan DeMelo is going through his downstage in my opinion.  He hasn’t been bad but he seems a little bit off right now.  The good thing about DD is it won’t last long.      

4. NHL:  With all the covid cases still happening daily and games being postponed why is the NHL even talking about an All-Star game?  YA, let’s all get together and bring Covid-19 home to all 32 teams.  Sound judgement Count Chocula.  

5. JetsDon’t you just love the way Pierre-Luc Dubois doesn’t piss around and just takes the puck to the net?  He was no problem driving the play into the greasy areas and I’ve noticed it rubbing off on his linemates.  The Jets do score some pretty goals but every goal doesn’t have to be a Picasso, they all count the same.    

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

I hated the extra minor penalty Pierre-Luc Dubois received after his hit on Nazem Kadri.  He gets jumped by Logan O’Connor and gets an extra roughing penalty.  PLD should have got the interference penalty and O’Connor should have received the roughing penalty and it should have been four on four.  That was a horseshit call on PLD. 

7. Jets:  Adam Lowry’s 6 points in 33 games isn’t getting it done. 

8. Jets:  Some of the takes I’ve been reading on Twitter, criticizing the Winnipeg Jets for exploring options for home games are amazingly narrow-minded.  The owners have already given the players and fans a year of hockey in empty buildings when they could have just shut it down.  HOW THE HELL DO FANS THINK THE PLAYERS GET PAID?  The NHL isn’t the NFL, it’s a gate-driven league that needs asses in seats to pay the bills.      

9. Jets:  Dave Lowry has made some visible changes to the way the Jets play and it is still a work in progress but he hasn’t solved some of the free pizzas the defencemen deliver every game.  Yes, hockey is a game of mistakes and every team makes them but this blueline turns the puck over an awful lot for a veteran group.  It’s time to start putting “Teflon Charlie” under the microscope.    

10. Jets:  Evgeny Svechinkov should never be on the Jets’ fourth line.  He has shown an offensive upside that needs to be nurtured and developed.  I would love to see him get a shot on the second PP unit.  

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11. NHL:  I hope the league has a better plan for next season because it looks like we will be living with Covid-19 for a couple more years according to medical experts.  Is it time to revisit a Canadian Division again to reduce cross-border travel?  Maybe.

12. Ice:  The Winnipeg ICE were idle last week due to a couple of postponed games.  Their next opportunity to play is Saturday and Sunday at home versus Regina.  Their record is 27-5-2 on the season they still sit in first place in the east.  After week 13 the ICE is still the top-ranked team in the CHL.  

Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings – Week 13

1. Winnipeg ICE
2. Edmonton Oil Kings
3. Kingston Frontenacs
4. Charlottetown Islanders
5. Kamloops Blazers
6. Everett Silvertips
7. Sherbrooke Phoenix
8. North Bay Battalion
9. Quebec Remparts
10. London Knights
HM. Seattle Thunderbirds
HM. Gatineau Olympiques
HM. Mississauga Steelheads

13. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose had a real good week with 2 wins and a SO loss snagging 5 points out of their three games.  The Moose continue their six-game road trip next week with games in Milwaukee and Grand Rapids.  Their record has improved to 18-9-1-1 overall and they sit in 4th place with a .655 winning percentage in the Western Conference. 

14. Jets Cole Perfetti’s name is on Hockey Canada’s long list of players being considered for the Beijing Olympics.  I’m thinking the Winnipeg Jets need him more than Team Canada.        

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

Why all the secrecy about Blake Wheeler’s injury?  It has been exactly one month since his injury and there hasn’t been one update outside of the captain being placed on LTIR.

Finally an update from the coach.  Thanks to Ken Weibe.

16. Jets:  I hate to overstate the obvious but this team needs more from Kristian Vesalainen.  Two goals and one assist in twenty-nine games is brutal.  Actually, the numbers from all of the Winnipeg Jets bottom-six forwards are sub-par.  You can’t win consistently in this league without contributions from the third and fourth lines.   

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

  • Good:  The 1st period vs Colorado.
  • Bad:  The 3rd period vs Colorado.
  • Ugly:  The 2nd period vs Colorado.

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:  21.00% up from  20.80 last week. 
  • PK:  69.60% down from 70.90 last week.
  • FO:  49.90% up from 49.70 last week.

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  13-10-4 … 2.83 GAA … .913 SV% 
  • Eric Comrie:  3-2-1 … 2.53 GAA … .914 SV%

20. Pet Peeve:  Regional media personalities that strut around with a puffed-out chest because of the team they cover like they have something to do with the team’s success.  I’m not going to name names but there are 5 or 6 that drive me up the wall and that’s just in the Eastern Conference.       

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Comments

  1. Point#2…Not matching lines??? WTF!!! So, just roll your lines over and hope for the best? Strategy, properly applied, can play an integral part of coaching…matching lines falls under this category. Sheesh…..

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Hey Les … thanks for stopping by … I was amazed when Dave Lowry said that before the game … why would a coach openly admit that? I know some coaches hate matching lines because their checkers end up playing too much a lot but you can’t let MacKinnon’s line run wild either. 7-1 is what happens when your best players aren’t good defensively. That’s why centers like Messier, Bergeron, Kesler, O’Reilly, Couturier etc are worth their weight in gold.

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