Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: May 2

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 played three games this past week and won all three giving them a record of 39-32-11 on the season.  It took them all year but they finally put together a 4-game winning streak.  Mercifully this frustrating season is over.   

2. Jets:  Congrats to Eric Comrie on his FIRST NHL SHUTOUT albeit the 4-0 win came against a glorified AHL roster but Comrie was very good and made a few huge saves when needed.  

3. Jets:  On a personal note, Nikolaj Ehlers finished ONE goal short of winning my OVER 28.5 goals for the season bet.  I think Nik could have mustered one more goal for us if he hadn’t missed 20 games.  Oh well, there’s always next season.   

4. WHT:  My mother always said, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.  Now I will confess I didn’t do a very good job of doing this but I expect more from my readers so keep that in mind when you vote LOL.

 

Should I do an audio version of my Random Thoughts to accompany the written version?

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5. Jets:  Josh Morrissey, Kyle Connor, Nikolaj Ehlers, Pierre-Luc Dubois, and Adam Lowry all had very good seasons and will be counted on even more in years to come as they look to be the nucleus of the new core group.  Heavy is the head that wears the crown.  

6. NHL:  My weekly analysis (bitching) about NHL officiating

Friday night versus Calgary, Matthew Tkachuk did the old accidental high-stick act after high-sticking Josh Morrissey in the face and the official bought it.  First of all, nothing that little pecker-head does is accidental and NHL referees should know better.  Secondly and more importantly it is a moot point whether Tkachuk did it accidentally or not, it is a penalty.  Players are responsible for their sticks.

NHL Rulebook Text –

“A “high stick” is one which is carried above the height of the opponent’s shoulders. Players must be in control and responsible for their sticks. However, a player is permitted accidental contact on an opponent if the act is committed as a normal wind up or follow through of a shooting motion, or accidental contact on the opposing center who is bent over during the course of a face-off. A wild swing at a bouncing puck would not be considered a normal wind up or follow through and any contact with an opponent above the height of the shoulders shall be penalized accordingly.”

NHL Rule #60.2 –

NHL Rule #60.2 states that a minor penalty for High Sticking is called when the stick of a player makes contact with a player above the height of the shoulders. A minor penalty of two minutes will be assessed to the player responsible.

High-Sticking is the name of an infraction when a player accidentally, or intentionally, makes contact with an opposing player above his shoulders.  This typically takes place when two players are battling for a puck, one gains possession of it, and the opposing player will try to take it away via a stick-lift.  Sometimes the stick-lift will miss and make contact with a player’s head.  Following that, a High-Sticking penalty will be called.

I could probably write a book on missed penalties and/or bad calls once a month for crying out loud.

7. Jets:  Paul Stastny was one of the Jets’ better faceoff men but yet it took an injury to Mark Scheifele to play him at center where he, Nikolaj Ehlers, and Blake Wheeler were a pretty solid line.  I think Stastny’s play has earned him a contract with the Jets next season and I would be on board with that.       

8 Jets:   I’ve really soured on Dylan DeMelo.  My biggest problem with him isn’t even his fault so I will cut him some slack.  He is a 3rd pairing defenceman that is being asked to punch way above his weight class and play with Josh Morrissey against the other team’s top forwards.  It just goes to show how hard it is to replace players like Dustin Byfuglien and Jacob Trouba.   

9. Jets:  Speaking of Dustin Byfuglien, I wonder if we will ever get the true story of why he abruptly retired before camp a few years back?  Was it his ankle injury, ruffled feathers, or was there much more to it?  I think there was much more to it.                        

10. Jets:  For the record, I am not in favour of trading Mark Scheifele unless the Jets get one hell of a return.  Point per game centers with Scheif’s skills don’t grow on trees and are extremely hard to replace.  Yes, Scheif will have to pay more attention to the defensive part of his game and I’m sure he realizes this but fans seemed to have no problem with Kyle Connor being a black hole defensively for years.  KC’s defensive play has improved this season so it can be done but it is still far from perfect.

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11. Jets:  I am still a supporter of Blake Wheeler and yes, I realize he is a little overpaid but he is far from the Jets’ biggest problem.  He is easily still a top 9 forward that can play on the powerplay.  This Winnipeg fanbase has a penchant for wanting to run players that are still productive out of town.  This team’s biggest problem is production from the bottom 6 forwards, player usage, special teams, and a less complicated defensive system and this all points directly to coaching.  Surprise, surprise.     

12. Ice:  The Winnipeg ICE made short work of the Prince Albert Raiders, eliminating them in 5 games and will play Moose Jaw in the next round starting on Friday night.

Game

Visitor

 

Home

Date

Time

1

Moose Jaw

@

Winnipeg

Friday, May 6

7:00

2

Moose Jaw

@

Winnipeg

Saturday, May 7

7:00

3

Winnipeg

@

Moose Jaw

Tuesday, May 10

7:00

4

Winnipeg

@

Moose Jaw

Wednesday, May 11

7:00

5 *

Moose Jaw

@

Winnipeg

Friday, May 13

7:00

6 *

Winnipeg

@

Moose Jaw

Sunday, May 15

4:00

7 *

Moose Jaw

@

Winnipeg

Tuesday, May 17

7:00

* If necessary

FYI:  Clubs advancing to the second round and Conference Championships will be re-seeded each round based on Regular Season points. The two Conference Champions will advance to the WHL Championship Series, with the Club possessing the most Regular Season points receiving the home-ice advantage

13. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose went 2-1 this past week and finished the season with a record of 41-24-5-2 and a .618 winning percentage.  NOW, it is playoff time.  The Moose start their first-round series at home this Friday versus the Milwaukee Admirals. 

 

Final Regular Season Special Teams:

  • PP:  19.70 up from 19.40 last week.
  • PK:  82.20% down from 82.30 last week.

14. Jets:  My weekly question for Kevin Cheveldayoff/Dave Lowry or Mark Chipman.

Chevy, did Dave Lowry do enough to remove the interim tag from his title?

15. Jets:  Now that the season is over, what would you like to see TNSE do with the Winnipeg Jets?

Your wishes for this off-season for the Winnipeg Jets?

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Based on Mark Chipman’s intermission interview with Sarah Orlesky on Friday night I’d say it’s safe to say Chevy isn’t going anywhere.

UPDATE:

Today, GM Kevin Cheveldayoff confirmed reports that were leaked last night that he has been extended for THREE more seasons as the Winnipeg Jets General Manager.

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

  • Good:  Dylan Samberg continues to make a case for full-time employment next season.  For me, this is a complete no-brainer.
  • Better:  Eric Comrie continued his solid play.   
  • Best:  Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers has always been a good player but now he is on the verge of being elite and with the right usage will get there in my opinion.       

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

  • Good:  Ending the season on a 4=game winning streak.   
  • Bad:  No Jets in the post-season.        
  • Ugly:  The Jets had 13 SOG thru 2 periods versus Seattle and this team thinks it can run and gun?  Luckily they woke up in the 3rd period and beat Seattle, ending the season on a positive note.      

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: 17th at 21.10% same as 21.10 last week. 
  • PK: 28th at 75.00% up from 74.70 last week.
  • FO: 13th at 50.70% same as 50.70 last week.

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  29-27-10 … 2.97 GAA … .910 SV% … Shutouts 4 
  • Eric Comrie:  10-5-1 … 2.58 GAA … .920 SV% … Shutouts 1

20. JetsLast but definitely not least, congratulations to TSN Jets play-by-play man, Dennis Beyak on his retirement.  Dennis came home to Manitoba to become the Jets 2.0’s original tv voice for the past 11 years and had many classic goal calls over that time.  Fittingly he got to end it all with a BANG, BANG, BANG after the Jets came back in the 3rd with 3 straight goals to win it 4-3.  A perfect way to end an imperfect season.     

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Comments

  1. Dave Smith says

    Trade Lowry too. That contract is bad and isn’t going to get any better over the next fours years. Trade it now while you can.

    DeMelo is on a good contract. He’s been better than Schmidt or Dillion and makes half as much. He can play on a top pair and has made everyone he plays with better. On a cap team that hasn’t found many market inefficiencies you need to keep him if you can.

    Bottom line after yesterday’s presser and the news that Chevy is back one thing is clear. This team is a dumpster fire

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      I’m very curious to see what type of coach the bring in …. this team has some good pieces but needs to find out what kind of team they are … it is going to be an interesting off-season for sure …. where have we heard that before?

  2. Hi Mitch, some thoughts on points you’ve raised:
    # 6 officiating. I’m not one of those who feel that referees hold the Jets to a double standard. However, I do fault Dave Lowry for lacking the self-confidence to challenge referees when they make lop-sided calls. It’s a coach’s job to stick up for his players and set the tone for the rest of the team.
    # 11 Blake Wheeler. It’s not his fault but he’s not the KIND of Captain the Jets need. Because the Jets do not play an intimidation game, they need a Captain who will step up and get in the faces of opponents who take liberties. Jamie Benn and Brady Tkachuk are examples. Wheeler isn’t that guy, he’s a finesse player who does not like heavy hitting or fighting. If Byfuglien were still there to t-c-b, Wheeler would be fine as Captain, playing the type of game he wants to play.
    # 15, Kevin Cheveldayoff. What kind of message do you think Mark Chipman is sending? A three-year extension is something you award a GM who has made your team one of the best. The only message I hear is “It’s my team and I’ll do what I want”. It looks like the owner IS the problem and the old Shenkarow days are back again.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Hey Eric … thanks for visiting … I hate how our coaches take being screwed so calmly too at times … it’s like baseball, sometimes you take one for the team.
      As for Blake … its not just him … wnen BUFF left this team shrunk by 6 inches … I’m old school and I like toughness and this team is soft.
      Chipman is buying into the rhetoric that maybe covid was a big part of the problem … His biggest problem is loyalty … we’ll see how loyal he is when it starts affecting attendance and his bottom line.

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