Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Nov. 22

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 improved their overall record to 9-4-4 on the season.  The Jets play at home Monday night versus the Penguins then head back on the road for 3 games this week (Columbus, Minny, and Calgary) with a back to backs on Friday/Saturday.  

2. Jets:  The highlight of last week’s games was the Jets’ 5-2 win over the Edmonton McWhiners and that win helped them finish their 7-game homestand with an impressive 5-1-1 record.  Any day we beat the Oilers is a good day in my books. 

3. Jets:  Are you kidding me?  FYI, these rankings came out on Tuesday so whatever happened after Tuesday’s 5-2 win over Edmonton is irrelevant.  As far as I’m concerned ESPN’s rankings are a joke and they have no credibility.  


4.  Jets:  I’m getting a little concerned about the number of two on ones the Jets are giving up because of Josh Morrissey’s ill-advised pinches.  Being aggressive in the offensive zone is part of the game now and every defenceman is going to get burned every once in a while but it’s becoming a regular thing with Josh. 

5. Jets:  It doesn’t matter what line Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers plays on, they automatically become a threat.  Ehlers is a line driver and isn’t linemate dependant like a lot of wingers in the NHL.  He is an outstanding puck handler and one of the NHL’s leaders in zone entries every season.         

6. Jets:  Regulars that visit here know how much I hate the NHL’s officiating and on Friday night in Vancouver they didn’t disappoint.  Winnipeg Jets never had one powerplay opportunity in a game where the Jets forwards were interfered with countless times in front of Thatcher Demko.  This league is such a joke.

7. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets played 125 minutes of hockey in their home and home series with the Edmonton Oilers last week and only gave up THREE goals and only ONE at even strength.  Again, ONE at even strength.  Let that marinate for a bit.  The Jets came away with three points and probably should have taken four and looked very good doing so.  The scary thing is this team is not clicking on all cylinders and is still a work in progress.      

8. Jets:  If you want a good chuckle watch this. 

9. Jets:  Going into camp most Winnipeg Jets fans think this is the biggest talking point.  The concern seems to be waning in light of Eric Comrie’s play so far this season although I still need to see more and against some tougher competition BUT so far, so good.  We will probably run this poll for a couple more weeks before retiring it but the angst meter has started going a little more in Comrie’s favour.  His numbers are actually pretty good and he has played very well overall but I just don’t like small goalies.  He still scares me to death every start but that’s me.

Will Eric Comrie last the seaon as Jets back-up goalie?

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10. Jets:  I see the hate for Blake Wheeler has amped up again from the same vocal minority that has been on him for years.  Yes, the captain is off to a slow start but keep in mind he missed a handful of games due to Covid.  He probably isn’t a top-line right-winger anymore but he certainly isn’t ready for the rocking chair yet either.  One of his biggest strengths was running the #1 unit’s powerplay from the right half-wall but for some strange reason, Paul Maurice has him in the left goal-line bumper spot which is a complete waste of his passing ability.  I’ve also heard his detractors say he is too slow which is complete bullshit.  He is faster than Andrew Copp and nobody has ever accused Anze Kopitar of being slow although I’ve seen glaciers move faster.  The captain hasn’t been putting up points at his usual rate but it’s not from lack of chances.  I’m not ready to write him off yet.

11. Jets:  I really like the current configuration of the Jets’ third line right now.  Jansen Harkin, Adam Lowry, and Evgeny Svechnikov have a nice mix of skill and grind in their game and they spend a lot of time in the offensive end of the ice.  It seems like Lowry has to adapt to breaking in new linemates every season but he continues to be a beast and one of the Jets’ most reliable players.  We are lucky to have him.

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12. Ice:  The Winnipeg ICE won both of their road games last week and improved their overall record to 19-1-0 on the season.  Matt Savoie, Mike Milne, and Connor McClennon are one, two, three in the WHL’s scoring race.  The ICE are still the top-ranked team in the CHL.  It’s a great time to be a Winnipeg sports fan.   

CHL Top 10 for Week #7:

    • 1. Winnipeg ICE
    • 2. Everett Silvertips
    • 3. London Knights
    • 4. Kamloops Blazers
    • 5. Edmonton Oil Kings
    • 6. Sherbrooke Phoenix
    • 7. Charlottetown Islanders
    • 8. Ottawa 67’s
    • 9. Rimouski Oceanic
    • 10. Kingston Frontenacs

13. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose had a good week going 2-1-0-0 in their three-game series with the Milwaukee Admirals and now have an overall record of 9-6-1-0 and sit 5th in the Western Conference.  A fun fact about this team is that there are four defencemen in their top eight scorers.

14. Jets:  I hate the Winnipeg Jets penalty killing and I have for years. It is passive and basically relies on Connor Hellebuyck to stand on his head. This team’s PK has been hovering around the basement all season but yet the Jets AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose has the #1 PK in the AHL.  I don’t know who the Jets’ PK coach is but enough is enough.  It’s time for a different vision.

15. Jets:  My weekly question for Kevin Cheveldayoff and Paul Maurice.
Does Riley Nash or Dominic Toninato bring more to the table than David Gustafsson would?

16. Jets:  Attendance:  Winnipeg Jets attendance has never been an issue or a talking point but after a year with no fans, with people still a little hesitant on attending games because of covid, and maybe some fan backlash toward TNSE and Kevin Cheveldayoff, the attendance is down and I’m a little concerned.  I’ve gone through the pain of losing an NHL team and once in a lifetime is enough for me.  Yes, we have rich owners but the club still needs to be viable on its own merits.

Vs Edmonton Oilers – 13,473

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

  • Good:  The home-ice win versus the Oilers.  
  • Bad:  The penalty killing is a joke.  It’s like groundhog day.  Nuff said.            
  • Ugly:  The Jets’ powerplay was 4th at 28.10% two weeks ago.  It’s been awful lately and in my opinion, it cost them the Oilers game on Thursday night.        

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 … 21.30% down from 8th at … 23.70 last week. 
  • PK:  31st at … 63.80% down from 30th … 65.80 last week.
  • FO:  21st at … 48.70% down from … 50.30 last week.

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  6-2-4 … 2.62 GAA … .918 SV% 
  • Eric Comrie:  3-2-0 … 2.19 GAA … .920 SV%

20. CFL:  The Winnipeg Blue Bombers finished their regular season with a 13-12 loss in Calgary on Saturday night and now it’s on to the Western Final at home in two weeks.  We are now waiting to see if we go into that game with a full complement of healthy players.   

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PS:  Winnipeg Hockey Talk needs someone interested in writing about the Winnipeg Ice.  If you are interested contact me (Mitch) at winnipeghockeytalk@gmail.com

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If you have any thoughts on any of these comments or questions, please let me know. We would love to hear your opinions.

Thanks, Mitch

Comments

  1. patti dawn swansson says

    I agree, Mitch, Blake Wheeler is still a useful player.
    Not sure what Anze Kopitar/glaciers has to do with it, but the captain is not what I’d call fleet. If he’s faster than Andrew Copp, fine, but it’s not putting points on the scoresheet.
    Wheeler’s TOI doesn’t match his production. Do you realize he had more TOI last Thursday than Connor McDavid? That’s insane.
    He’s had two exceptional seasons in his NHL career, and I’m sure he’ll still have some big nights. Maybe he’ll go off on the Penguins tonight. But they’ll be rare.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      You’re right PDS, but I find a lot of the criticism directed at him is not on him. His salary is on Chevy, his icetime for the most part is on PoMo, his useage on the PP is on the PP coach. He is responsible for the dumb penalties and poor defensive zone coverage.
      Like you mentioned when TOI and then salary don’t match production players are under the microscope and rightfully so.
      Funny thing I was harder on him years ago during his infamous “fly-by” days. It used to drive me crazy and he was my target on Twitter on many nights.
      Thanks for stopping by Patti Dawn.

      • patti dawn swansson says

        The salary and term are definitely on Chevy and Chipman. The term to me, was the worst part of his contract. Why a five-year extension at his age? There’s 3 more years of this kind of production? Good luck with that.
        The TOI is definitely on Maurice. Were he producing at a top-line rate, fine. But he’s producing at a 4th-line rate.
        It’s just wrong.
        Anyway, hopefully his numbers improve.
        Always happy to drop by. I’ve always been a regular visitor.

        • Mitch Kasprick says

          Bang on about the term … he wasn’t going anywhere anyway … go two years and then one year at a time. It worked for Tommy Lasorda LOL

  2. Wayne Gagnon says

    Just throwing this out there, but do you think Greenway could be the thunder the Jets need? I think with the assets we have it could be a win win for Winnipeg and for the Wild. Who would the Wild ask for and can we afford him?

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Hey Wayne, thanks for dropping by. With the assett capital the Jets have they could get a lot of good players but I’m not sure the Wild would trade him and especially within the division plus I doubt a move like this has even crossed the brain trust’s minds. They will try and add some depth for playoffs but I fear it will be a bunch of no-talent plugs. We will see in March.

      • Wayne Gagnon says

        I really hope the Jets make something happen! The 1.0 version of the Jets made a splash a couple of times. I loved having Phil Housley but not at the cost of Ducky and I still have nightmares about the Babych trade! My point is someone of note might have to be moved with a prospect…maybe Copp or Stastny.

        • Mitch Kasprick says

          Right now this team has to figure out what they are and go from there … I loved the way they have been playing until last night. The couldn’t match Pitt’s work ethic and it looked like they couldn’t care to. Talent is nice but if it doesn’t compete hard it’s useless. I thought PLD and Adam Lowry were ok but the rest coasted.

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