Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Mar. 7

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 1-1-1 last week and are falling further behind in their chase for the last Wildcard spot.   

The Jets record currently sits at 24-22-10 and they are 8 points behind Nashville for the final wildcard spot and sit sixth in the Central Division. 

2. Jets:  You know the old saying about, “never discuss religion and politics with friends”?  It happened with me last Wednesday when the Winnipeg Free Press’s Jeff Hamilton penned an interesting article about Paul Stastny’s $1000.00 donation to the trucker convoy.  In fairness, Paul Stastny had no idea his name was going to be released yadda yadda but it was.    

In my opinion, one of the problems with sports today is we know too much about our heroes.  Back in the day, we all heard stories but with investigative journalism and social media, there aren’t as many secrets nowadays.  To be honest, I don’t give a shit about a player’s political affiliation, or their religion, what they’re snorting, or who they’re screwing as long as it’s done within the framework of what is acceptable behaviour.  Every sports team is basically a microcosm of society which means if you knew everything about every player you wouldn’t like half your team, so I don’t want to know about their personal lives!  I care about what they do on the playing field and that’s it.  Because of that $1000.00 dollar donation, I now have a different opinion of Paul Stastny and although I respect his right to his beliefs I don’t like that he supported that cause and worse yet I brought politics into my hockey thoughts.        

3. Jets:  I hope all the fans that questioned the Patrik Laine trade realize the gem we got back in Pierre-Luc Dubois.  I will never criticize Laine because he is a dynamic scorer and when he gets on one of his heaters he can carry a team for a couple of weeks but Dubois is a 200 ft center with a different but very good skill-set and is a beast in the tough areas.  It was a win/win trade for both teams.   

4. NHL:  Disgraced former NHL official Tim Peel just confirmed the bias he had been accused of for years in his recent tweet on Twitter.  He was a very bad referee in most fans’ eyes and so bad and should have been canned years ago.  It was a huge break for the NHL when his ill-advised comment was caught on a hot mic just about a year ago.  

If you don’t know about this story or just need to refresh your memory this is what happened.

On March 23, 2021, Tim Peel was caught on a hot mic boasting about whistling a penalty because he “wanted to.”  

Shortly after Nashville forward Viktor Arvidsson was whistled for a tripping penalty on Detroit defenseman Jon Merrill, a rink-side TV microphone picked up Peel saying:

“It wasn’t much, but I wanted to get a f—ing penalty against Nashville early.”

Less than 24 hours later Tim Peel was fired.  Nuff said.

Considering his past, Tim Peel is the last guy throwing shade on any NHL player.  He is such a clown.

5. JetsOn the surface, Connor Hellebuyck’s number’s look okay but anybody that has watched him play would have to honestly say he has been average.  Helle seems to be immune from criticism from this fanbase and saying so automatically makes you a bad fan according to the Jets Twitter police.  For me Connor Hellebuyck is the least of our concerns, I know he will bounce back but being honest doesn’t make you a bad fan.        

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

The officiating in the Montreal game last Tuesday was beyond horrific.  I have never seen that many ticky-tack calls in my life.  The Jets went from a game in Arizona with ZERO powerplays for either team to a game where each team had SIX.  Typical NHL consistency. 

Then on Friday versus Dallas with the score 3-2 for the Jets, Jason Robertson cross-checked Dylan DeMelo square in the back right in front of the official and there was no call and of course, Dallas scored the tying goal.  So much for zero tolerance in enforcing the new cross-checking rule. 

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7. Jets:  FYI:  The Jets now have 7  games left before the trade deadline and I really hope Kevin Cheveldayoff does the right thing and trades the expiring assets and gets the “self-rental” talk out of his head.  Holding on to expiring assets and missing the playoffs would be a case of managerial malpractice and a firing offence in my opinion      

8. Jets:  The Jets’ powerplay went 4 for 6 against Montreal and basically won the hockey game for them.  This has happened only a couple of times this season but it couldn’t have come at a better time, starting the week off with a much-needed win.    

9. Jets:  You’d have to think Evgeny Svechnikov has earned himself a new contract wouldn’t you?  I sure hope Chevy is working on this.

10 Jets:  Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers returned on Friday versus Dallas and got his feet wet playing RW on the 3rd line with Andrew Copp and Adam Lowry but I believe him and Paul Stastny should switch lines as soon as possible.  Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler could use his speed on their line while Stastny should fit in nicely on the 3rd line.

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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 15 points in 14 games and have fallen off their pace for 52 points.  Going into Tuesday’s game versus Tampa the Jets need 37 points in their remaining 26 games.  The improbable keeps getting tougher.                    

12. Ice:  The Winnipeg ICE went 1-0-1-1 and improved their overall record to an impressive 36-9-3-2 on the season.  The ICE are eight points behind first-place Edmonton in the Eastern Conference with five games in hand.  The Edmonton Oil Kings are still the #1 CHL ranked team and the ICE is still #3.  

Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings – Week 18

as of Mar. 2

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

13. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose swept their two games last week versus Rockford on home ice and improved their record to 29-17-2-1 with a .622 winning percentage.  The two wins moved them up to 4th place in the AHL’s Western Conference.  

Special Teams:

  • PP:  20.00 up from 18.00 last week.
  • PK:  81.60% down from 84.40 last week.

14. JetsThe Winnipeg Jets have 26 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 3.4 % 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 8-4 win vs Montreal  … 5.9%

After  4-3 OTL vs Dallas … 5.6%

After 4-1 loss vs NYR … 3.4%

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.

Isn’t it about time you call up David Gustafsson and/or Ville Heinola?  These guys need NHL minutes now.  They have nothing more to prove at the AHL level.

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

  • Good:  The 4-0 start in the 1st period vs Montreal on Tuesday night.
  • Better:  After blowing a 4-0 lead to the Habs the way the Jets came back and scored 4 straight to win 8-4. 
  • Best:  Any day you beat the Montreal Canadiens is a great day for me.  I hate the Habs more than I hate the Oilers and I really hate the Oilers.      

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

  • Good:  The Jets played some pretty good hockey this past week and only had a 1-1-1 record to show for it.    
  • Bad:  Two more shitty goals were given up by Connor Hellebuyck in the 8-4 win vs the Habs on Tuesday night.   
  • Ugly:  The overall bad and inconsistent officiating the Winnipeg Jets receive on a nightly basis.  It seems like the NHL send their D group to officiate Jets games.  I can’t remember the last time Wes McCauley did a game in Winnipeg.   

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: 12th at 22.00% up from 20.70 last week. 
  • PK: 21st at 77.00% up from 76.60 last week.
  • FO: 14th at 50.60% up from 50.40 last week.

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  18-20-9 … 2.95 GAA … .910 SV% … Shutouts 3 
  • Eric Comrie:  6-2-1 … 2.47 GAA … .914 SV%

20. Jets:  The Jets play Tampa at home on Tuesday and then head out on the road for 3 games and once again it is a huge week.  I think they need a minimum of 5 points to keep the most die-hard Jets fan’s hopes alive.   

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