Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Jan. 31

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 fanbase including myself were not in a very positive mood after Thursday night’s fiasco at home versus Vancouver and just when you’re ready to write them off they come up with a performance that makes no sense.  The good guys defeated St. Louis 4-1 on the road in one of the better games they’ve played in weeks.  Go figure.  The Jets record sits at a very underwhelming 18-16-7 and they have lots of work to do after the All-Star break to take a run at a wildcard spot.  The Jets are 5 points out of the last wildcard spot and worse yet they have to climb over 5 teams.  I’m not going to lie, it’s a tall order.      

2. Jets: The Winnipeg Jets used to be a hard team to play against but now it seems now anybody and everybody can just waltz into town and do whatever they want without paying a price. This team needs a serious injection of SACK. The Jets have enough size and team toughness to be able to play a heavier game and at times they do BUT not consistently enough in my opinion.

3. Jets:  I’m writing this after the 2nd period of the St. Louis game but the Ville Heinola we’ve seen for two periods is the Heinola we’ve been waiting for.  My opinion didn’t change after three periods either.  Ville was very solid and looked good.  

4. Jets:  Cole Perfetti has settled nicely on to the top line and I hope Dave Lowry is smart enough not to mess with it.

5. JetsI have varying thoughts on the interim coach tag.  Dave Lowry is the coach for the remainder of the season but would it be better to commit to him now so the players don’t look at him as a substitute teacher or are they waiting until the end of the season to get permission from Columbus to talk to Pascal Vincent?  

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

I was so consumed by the Jets’ play that I never had time to bitch about the officiating.  Yes, there were a few ticky-tacky calls I didn’t like but in the grand scheme of things the officials weren’t the Jets’ problem last week.

7. Jets:  All the goodwill Mark Chipman generated in bringing back the Winnipeg Jets left the building with Dustin Byfuglien.  The fanbase does not want to settle for mediocrity anymore.   

8. NHL:  I’ve mentioned this previously in this space but I can’t believe during a pandemic where the NHL decided not to go to the Olympics and cancelled a ton of games they would still have that piece of crap All-Star game and then ask the players to play a compressed schedule.  This league is run by morons.

9. Jets:  This team’s bottom 6 is no better now than the GST line’s heyday.

10. Jets:  I really miss Bryan Little.  Little did the heavy lifting in the early days of Winnipeg Jets 2.0 and really punched above his pay grade.  Some questioned whether he was a true #1 center but that didn’t bother him, he just went out and gave the Jets 100% of what he had.  He was the perfect player (in spite of what Patrik Laine thought) to play behind Mark Scheiflele once Scheif established himself as the top center.  Little was an honest hockey player that didn’t cheat the game.  His career ended way too soon but I won’t forget his contribution to this team. 

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11. Jets:  I don’t understand why Dave Lowry has sat Evgeny Svechnikov when he’s been available.  Svech’s 3 goals and 7 assists are better than the rest of the bottom 6 wannabees.            

12. Ice:  The Winnipeg ICE lost their only game last week 5-4 in a shootout.  Their league-leading record now sits at 29-6-2-1 on the season and they remain the #1 ranked in the CHL. 

January 26, 2022

Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings – Week 13

1. Winnipeg ICE
2. Edmonton Oil Kings
3. Everett Silvertips
4. Charlottetown Islanders
5. Kingston Frontenacs
6. Quebec Remparts
7. Portland Winterhawks
8. Mississauga Steelheads
9. Sherbrooke Phoenix
10. Kamloops Blazers

13. Moose:  The Moose returned home for two games versus Abbotsford this past week and earned a split making their record a very solid 23-11-1-2 overall.  They sit in 4th place with a .662 winning percentage in the AHL’s Western Conference.

Special Teams:

  • PP:  18.40% 
  • PK:  84.40%

14. Jets For a guy that basically runs the 1st unit powerplay, Neal Pionk’s offensive numbers STINK.    

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

Before his injury had Dylan Samberg passed Ville Heinola on the Jets organisational depth chart?

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

  • Good:  After not playing for over a month, Eric Comrie stepped up in a big win in a tough building, ending a six-game losing streak where the Jets only managed  2 out of a possible 12 points.
  • Better:  The play of the Pierre-Luc Dubois, Kyle Connor, and Cole Perfetti.  
  • Best:  The arrival of the real Ville Heinola on Saturday versus St. Louis.  This was for Jets fans that have only heard about Heinola and were a little underwhelmed by his first two games.  He was very good and showed why all his hype is justified.   

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

  • Good:  Beating St. Louis and salvaging what could have been a disastrous week.
  • Bad:  The revolving door of players in and out of the lineup because of Covid-19 and injuries.  
  • Ugly:  The schedule in the second half of the season.  The NHL really missed the boat by having an All-Star game and not using those extra days to spread the schedule out a little bit. 

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:  20.90% up from  20.80 last week. 
  • PK:  73.10% down from 73.20 last week.
  • FO:  50.00% down from 50.10 last week.

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  14-14-6 … 2.93 GAA … .909 SV% … Shutouts 2 
  • Eric Comrie:  4-2-1 … 2.34 GAA … .920 SV%

20. JetsMaybe the Paul Maurice haters might have to concede that he did a better job than they gave him credit for.   

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