Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Oct. 25

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. 

UPDATE:

Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman has resigned after the findings from the sexual assault scandal were released.  The investigation into the allegations began in August led by former federal prosecutor Reid Schar.

Kevin Cheveldayoff previosly stated he had no knowledge of any allegations involving Mr. Aldrich until he was asked if he was aware of anything just prior to the conclusion of his employment with the Chicago Blackhawks.

This story is far from over and could reach as far as Florida (Panthers) and Winnipeg (Jets).  There will be more news coming soon but things don’t look good for Panthers coach Joel Quennevile and maybe even Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff.

1. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets went 2-0-1 last week getting back to .500 and eased a bit of the angst around town.  The Jets did play a lot better in stretches but are very far from a finished product.  They now head back to California for three more games before returning home for a seven-game homestand.  Their record currently sits at 2-2-1. 

Update:

The National Hockey League announced earlier today that Winnipeg Jets forward Kyle Connor has been named the NHL’s First Star of the Week for the week ending October 24, 2021.  Congrats KC.

2. Jets:  John Gibson 1 Connor Hellebuyck 1 …. Helle easily won round #2 of the fight for Team USA’s goal crease in the upcoming Olympics.    

3. Jets Sometimes Paul Maurice makes it just too easy.  Replacing Blake Wheeler (out with covid) on the first unit powerplay with Riley Nash is his latest head-scratcher.  Just because he is right-handed?    

4. Jets:  The sky is falling, the sky is falling!  Yup, Cole Perfetti was assigned to the Manitoba Moose.    

5. NHL:  They couldn’t get Evander Kane on gambling allegations, they couldn’t get him on spousal abuse allegations but the NHL nailed him for something stupid like him using a fake covid vaccine card.  C’mon Evander, really?  He has been suspended for 21 games and is probably done in the NHL.  The Sharks players have publicly said they don’t want him back and I don’t think teams are lining up to give him 3rd, 4th chance.  Good luck in the KHL Comrade Kane.   

6. Jets:  Pierre-Luc Dubois has scored in four straight games and finally looks to be comfortable as a Winnipeg Jet.  PLD has a nice mix of skill, speed, and strength in his game and it’s been on display so far this season. 

7. Jets:  Kristian Vesalainen scored his first NHL goal on Saturday night and his line (with Adam Lowry and Jansen Harkins) were dangerous all night.  This was definitely their strongest game of the season.  Hopefully, there’s more to come and now that Ves has scored his first goal maybe he can relax and start sniping.

8. Jets:  Regular readers here know I’m not an Andrew Copp is a “top-6” guy and he didn’t do anything to change my opinion in his first two games of the season playing on a line with PLD and Nikolaj Ehlers BUT I must admit he was very good in Minny playing with Scheif and KC and Thursday night with Paul Stastny and Nik Ehlers.  Copp isn’t the most skilled forward on the team but he balances that out by being responsible defensively.  No, I haven’t been abducted by aliens, it’s still me.   

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9. Jets:  Going into camp most Winnipeg Jets fans think this is the biggest talking point.

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

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Looking at the Jets schedule it looks like Eric Comrie’s first start should be Nov. 5 versus Chicago or Nov.6 versus the Islanders.    

10. Jets:  The Jets passive penalty kill drives me crazy.  There are times when they are two feet away from a player that can be challenged and they collapse into a passive position.  This team relies way toooooooo much on Connor Hellebuyck on their PK and even when Helle is at his best the Jets PK falls into the middle of the pack statistically in the NHL.  The last few seasons the problem hasn’t been the personnel, it’s been the system.       

11. Jets:  I don’t get all the angst because Cole Perfetti was assigned to the Manitoba Moose.  I’d rather see him play big minutes as a center and learn that position in the AHL rather than playing lesser minutes in the NHL as a winger.  To be honest I think he could play in the Jets’ top 9 forward groups but I get why he was sent down.  (see #4)     

12. NHL:  The Vegas Golden Bettmans need to turf those gold helmets, they are beyond FUGLY.  They wore them again last week and I haven’t heard one positive review from anybody.  Surprise, surprise.

13. NHL:  To Gary Bettman:  Put the player’s benches on opposite sides of the ice like they used to be and were meant to be.  The excuse that the home team has an advantage because the penalty box is closer to the home team’s bench is beyond lame.  Even if it is a slight advantage, who cares, it is part of being the home team and last time I checked ALL 32 NHL teams play 41 home games.  Sounds even to me.  

14. Jets:  Unpopular take but I don’t think Josh Morrissey has had the great start everybody thinks he has.  He is off to a better start offensively with two goals already but he has only been average at best in his own end.  Yes, he is breaking in a new partner but he is struggling mightily in front of Connor Hellebuyck in the physical game.  A lot of the goals have beaten Helle because Josh can’t move guys in front or tie up their sticks.  Helle can’t stop what he can’t see.  Neal Pionk has been equally bad.  It really showed versus Minny where the Wild owned the front of Helle’s crease.     

15. Jets:  The line of Pierre-Luc Dubois, Kyle Connor and Evgeny Svechnikov have looked very good in their two games together and myself along with other fans in Jetsville are now wondering if they continue to play well together what Paul Maurice does when Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele return to the lineup?      

16. Jets:  Don’t ask me because I can’t explain Paul Maurice’s decision to dress 11 forwards and 7 defencemen.   

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

  • Good:  The improving powerplay.   
  • Bad:  Opposition camping out in front of Helle.     
  • Ugly:  The number of turnovers/giveaways by a veteran defence corp.   

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:  11th at … 26.30% up from 31st … 00.00 last week.
  • PK:  30th at … 54.60% up from 27th … 60.00 last week.
  • FO:  20th at … 48.90% up from 26th … 00.00 last week.

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  2-2-1 … 3.80 GAA … .886 SV% 
  • Eric Comrie:  0-0-0 … 0.00 GAA … .000 SV%

20. CFL:  The Winnipeg Blue Bombers improved their record to 10-1 after humiliating the BC Lions 45-0 on Saturday night.  The Bombers have now officially clinched home-field for the Western Final.  This is probably the most dominating defensive effort I have seen from a Winnipeg Blue Bomber team and this team has had some great defences over the years.*

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

In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

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We are looking for writers to cover the Winnipeg Jets, Manitoba Moose, The Winnipeg ICE, Manitoba Bisons, Winnipeg AAA, MJHL, MMJHL, KIJHL, and Winnipeg High School or any sports team in town.

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. Great read as always.
    As far as Perfetti goes I think it comes down to this team once again not putting the best players available in the lineup. If this team is serious about contending this year or any year having a fourth line with Nash and Toninado isn’t going to cut it. And playing then 5-6 minutes a night isn’t great either.
    I think we have also reached peak PoMo with the 11/7 thing. As with most pro teams these guys think they are the smartest guys in the room. Which is fine if you can back it up with something to back it up with. I also include Chipman in this.

  2. Mitch Kasprick says

    Thank-you and thanks for stopping by Dave
    I find it hard to believe that David Gustafsson can’t do more than Toninato or Nash … he was too good for the AHL last year … I’m back and forth on Perfetti … if they truly want him as a center at the NHL level I get it.

  3. Like #10 a thousand times! I’ve been saying this for 3 years. It’s not the players, it’s the system and Pomo refuses to change it. Until that changes the personnel on the pk won’t matter. I also agree with your comment on Gus. He brings more to the table than Nash for sure.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Hey Ron, thanks for stopping by … there are lots of players that will bobble the puck when challenged but the Jets PK treat every player in the league like Connor McDavid … if GUS was up he would be by default be one of their better faceoff men … it’s so frustarating losing ever draw on the PK.

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