Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Jan. 8

Odds and Ends on the Winnipeg Jets and the NHL –

Some random facts and a few thoughts about the Winnipeg Jets, the Manitoba Moose, and the National Hockey League.

1.   The Winnipeg Jets played three games last week and went 2-0-1 and have improved their record to a solid 25-11-7 for the season.  

2.  After yesterday’s game versus San Jose, the Winnipeg Jets play six of their next seven games on the road AND then play ten in a row and twenty of their last thirty-two games at Bell MTS Place.    

3 The 2018 WJC has come to an end with Team Canada winning the Gold Medal in a very well-played final versus Team Sweden.  It was a very close 1-1 game (Dillon Dube with Canada’s 1st goal) that could have gone either way but Canada’s Tyler Steenbergen scored a goal (his 1st in the tournament) late in the third period and Alex Formenton added an empty-netter for a 3-1 win.  The thing I liked about this Canadian edition was they didn’t have any “star power” but were a very balanced team from top to bottom and that usually is a winning combo. 

4 FYI: The Manitoba Moose had an overtime loss and a win on their mini two-game road trip last week and now have an overall record of 25-6-2-2.  The Moose have set a franchise record for the fewest number of games needed to win 25 games with 25 wins in 35 games.

5.  Congrats to Manitoba Moose Head Coach, Pascal Vincent, goaltender Michael Hutchinson, forward Jack Roslovic, and defenceman Cameron Schilling who will be going to the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic in Utica, N.Y.

6.  I know you can only dress twenty players but I have a hard time believing that Marko Dano was actually below Shawn Matthias on the Jets depth chart?  For me, there is no comparison. 

7.  Mathieu Perreault is relentless and his “give a shit” meter is always on high.  You never see MP with the half-assed fly-by.  If you look in the dictionary under the word “compete” you will see his picture.  I really have a ton of respect for his game.             

8.  Pet peeve:  Adults crucifying an emotional Swedish player for throwing his Silver Medal in that stands after the Gold Medal game versus Canada.  This was a 19-year-old kid for crying out loud. 

9.  Whenever I feel the urge to feel sorry for the Edmonton Oilers and their fans I need to get my wife to give me a good slap and knock some sense back into me.  I am amazed at how they are struggling.  They had back to back 5-0 shutouts thrown at them on home ice.  Then they won a game 2-1 after a shootout.  Then they lost two more games this weekend (5-1 and 4-1)  They have scored 3 goals in their last 5 games.  How is that possible when you have a player like Connor McDavid on your team?    

10.  Buff watch:  The Buff watch is officially over and we knew all good things or in this case, all bad things must come to an end.  FINALLY, in his 30th game, big Buff lit the lamp

Embed from Getty Images

11.  In case you missed my mid-term report cards for the Winnipeg Jets:

see them here >>>> Forwards

see them here >>>> Defence, Goalies, Special Teams 

12. Life after Scheif:  Just thinking out loud here ….. The Jets are 5-0-1 since Mark Scheifele’s injury (I counted the Oilers game) and I kind of like the way the first line is playing sooooo when Scheif comes back what if he plays with Ehlers and Perreault and Bryan Little plays with Armia and Dano?  The Lowry line stays the same.  Now that is a four-line hockey team!  

13.  There is good Buff, bad Buff, mad Buff, and a new one, pouty Buff.  Apparently, Dustin Byfuglien wasn’t thrilled about being on the bench in the closing minutes of the Sabres game on Friday night.  I have no problem with a competitive guy wanting to be out there but Buff has help now and doesn’t have to do it all anymore. 

 

14.  Winnipeg Jets 2017 second-round draft pick, Dylan Samberg was okay at the WJC in the games I saw him play in for Team USA.  I didn’t have very high expectations for him so I was a little surprised by his play, in a good way AND he won a Bronze Medal, so good for him.     

15.  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  If prospects like Jack Roslovic get called up as because of players being placed on the IR, shouldn’t they dress and play?  I can’t believe for one moment practising with the big club is better than playing actual games with the Manitoba Moose.  Young players need to play.  This could have easily been a pet-peeve as well.

Editors Note:

After Adam Lowry was a late scratch on Sunday versus San Jose, Jack Roslovic drew into the lineup, playing 7:57 and 1:21 on the PP.  It was his second NHL game and first at home and he looked very comfortable.  He has NHL speed and bigtime skill so it won’t be long before he will be a regular in the Winnipeg Jets lineup.   

16.  Last week I mentioned that the Winnipeg Jets game versus the Edmonton Oilers was one of the best games I’ve seen them play this season, well Friday’s game against Buffalo was one of the worst.  They were awful and couldn’t stay out of the penalty box but these were games the Jets used to lose.  This team manages to scratch out points when they aren’t at their best and this did not happen much in the past.   

17.  Booing Evander Kane is getting old for me but the guys in the tracksuits behind the Buffalo Sabres bench made me LOL.          

18.  Cleaning up some news from last week.  Michael Hutchinson was selected as the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month for December.  Hutch is the first goaltender since Matt Murray in 2015 (Feb./March) to capture two straight CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month awards.

Hutch posted a 6-1-0-1 (one shutout) record in eight games with a 1.62 goals against average and a .946 save percentage.  His overall record at the time was 14-2-2 record with a 1.77 goals against average, a .947 save percentage and one shutout.  Hutch leads the league in save percentage, is second in goals against average and tied for third in wins.

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  23-4-6 … 2.36 GAA … .923 SV%  … Helle is an amazing 16-1-1 at Bell MTS Place!        
  • Steve Mason:  2-6-1 … 3.47 GAA … .899 SV%

20.  Special Teams:  Rule of thumb.  Have the two red numbers total at least 100% when added.  (as your minimum) 

  • PP:  2nd at 25.00% … up from 4th at 24.10% last week.    
  • PK:  12th at 81.50% … up from 19th at 80.70% last week.  

If you are interested in writing for Winnipeg Hockey Talk or if you know somebody interested, please contact us at:

winnipeghockeytalk@gmail.com  

We are looking for writers to cover the Winnipeg Jets, Manitoba Moose, Manitoba Bisons, Winnipeg AAA, MJHL, MMJHL, KIJHL and Winnipeg High School.

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 

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