Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Oct. 18

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 lost their season opener 4-1 versus the Anaheim Ducks and lost game two 4-3 to the San Jose Sharks after coming out strong in both games and then wilting as the game went on.  Losing to two Pacific Division lightweights is a bit concerning going into game three against a good Minnesota Wild team.  There is no way to sugarcoat these first two games.       

2. Jets:  John Gibson 1 Connor Hellebuyck 0 …. Gibson easily won round #1 of the fight for Team USA’s goal crease in the upcoming Olympics.    

3. Jets As expected Evgeny Svechnikov was inked to a one-year, two-way contract with an AAV of $750,000.  I love this signing, I really hope he works out.   

4. Jets:  I’m not just saying this because Kyle Connor scored the first goal in the game and won me $5.00 in my season-long “First Goal of the Game” contest with my buddy Ben on Wednesday BUT I thought this was possibly the best 200 ft game I’ve ever seen him play.  KC actually back-checked hard and made a couple of decent defensive plays and a couple of takeaways.  I thought he did the same in game #2 as well.  I guess he’s taken Paul Maurice’s challenge to heart.  I hope this is the start of a new Kyle Connor.

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PS:  Ben kicked my ass last year in our “First Goal” contest but I beat him the year before. 

5. NHL:  I’ve always liked Andrew Ladd and I hope he can resurrect his career with the Arizona Coyotes.  Ladd potted a goal on Saturday versus Buffalo so he is off to a positive start.   

6. Jets:  Why would Paul Maurice and the Winnipeg Jets play Andrew Copp on the second line where he can ride the coattails of Nikolaj Ehlers and Pierre-Luc Dubois and boost his market value with better offensive numbers?  Andrew Copp is not a legitimate top-six winger but we do have a kid like Cole Perfetti that would make sense to groom in a top-six role.  Kowtowing to Andrew Copp is a no-win situation for the Jets and artificially boosting his stats so he gets paid just makes no sense to me.  

7. Jets:  The Jets home opener is Thursday versus Anaheim and it could be a surly bunch in the stands if they come home 0-3.

8. Jets:  I’ve seen enough of Andrew Copp on the second line to see it’s not going to work.  He needs to go back home on the third line with Adam Lowry.  Paul Maurice should consider trying Cole Perfetti or Evgeny Svechnikov with Pierre-Luc Dubois and Nikolaj Ehlers.  (see #6)   

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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10. Jets:  After two losses in Jetsville it has a different feel.  Normally it would be angst but it seems more like frustration.  I know it’s a tired narrative saying “relax it’s early” but it really is early as this Jets team is a work in progress trying to work in new players and a new system.  My patience meter is set to ten games before I overreact.  

11. NHL:  I’ve watched about a dozen games so far this season and I just shake my head at the lack of consistency in officiating from game to game.  It is amazing what is a penalty in one game and what gets let go in another.  No wonder coaches lose their hair. 

12. Jets:  Brendan Dillon has dealt out some punishing hits early on this season and it’s nice to have some physicality on the back-end but he needs to pick his spots.  He went for a big hit in the SJ game and missed his man and it lead directly to a big goal for the Sharks.      

13. NHL:  Too many fans and some television media put too much emphasis on the greatness of players based on goals scored in 3 on 3 overtime or shootouts.  New Jersey Devil’s tv guys were ready to induct Jack Hughes into the hockey hall of fame after his overtime goal last week.  It was a beauty but relax guys it was scored in a skills competition.

14. Jets:  Cole Perfetti really hasn’t looked out of place in his first two NHL games and it would make more sense if he was playing with PLD and Nik Ehlers.  (see #8)

15. Jets:  Just in case you and a buddy/buddies want to have your own “FIRST GOAL” contest here are the rules we use.  You can tweak them any way you want but here is a starting template.

Rules:  The player you select must score the first, second, or third goal of the game.

Top 6 forwards:

PP and even-strength goals:

1st Goal – $5.00  2nd Goal – $3.00  3rd Goal – $1.00

Bottom 6 forwards and all defencemen:
1st Goal – $10.00  2nd Goal – $6.00  3rd Goal – $2.00

Shorthanded goals:

All players:

1st Goal – $10.00  2nd Goal – $6.00  3rd Goal – $2.00

Powerplay goals:

Bottom 6 forwards and all defencemen:
1st Goal – $10.00  2nd Goal – $6.00  3rd Goal – $2.00

Top 6 forwards:

1st Goal – $5.00  2nd Goal – $3.00  3rd Goal – $1.00  (nothing extra)

Alternate picking first each game.

Can’t take the same player in consecutive games.

16. Jets:  Every fanbase has their whipping boy and early on this season it looks like Blake Wheeler is the choice so far in Jetsville.  I’m not there but I will concede that the team might be better off with him on a different line and he could still run the #1 powerplay.  The captain may want to play with Scheif but the coach’s job is to do what’s best for the team and not what’s best for Blake Wheeler. 

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

  • Good:  The mobility of the Jets blueline this year.  Comparing this group to last year’s is like night and day and should lead to better breakouts and a better transition game.  
  • Bad:  Connor Hellebuyck had bad starts in both games and it was just enough to give two weaker teams momentum after being outplayed early in the game 
  • Ugly:  The special teams and especially the PK that gave up four goals in ten attempts.

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: 31st at 00.00% 
  • PK: 27th at 60.00%  
  • FO: 26th at 47.10%

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  0-2-0 … 4.10 GAA … .849 SV% 
  • Eric Comrie:  0-0-0 … 0.00 GAA … .000 SV%

20. CFL:  The Winnipeg Blue Bombers improved their record to 9-1 after winning a hard-fought game in Edmonton on Friday night.  The Bombers escaped with a 10 point win in a game where they were not at their best.  Edmonton’s defence came to play and the Elks may have deserved a better fate.  They say that good teams find a way to win games ugly and this was certainly the case on this night.  Next up the Blue Bombers host BC on Saturday night.   

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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

In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

If you have any questions, please give me a shout. You can use the comment section or use the #ASKWHTPOD hashtag on Twitter.

If you like our new format, let us know in the comment section or hit me on Twitter at WpgSportsTalk or WpgHockTalk

If you are interested in writing for Winnipeg Sports 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, 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

Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Feb. 15

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 had a terrible week going 1-2-0 in their three games but it was the way they lost and the points they pissed away … again.  The game versus Ottawa on Saturday had shades of the Edmonton loss three Sundays ago, once again losing with under two seconds left in the game and leaving a bitter taste in Jets fans mouths.  Their record is 8-5-1 overall for the season. 

2. Jets:  Pierre-Luc Dubois finally made his debut in a Jets jersey last week and was just starting to get his feet wet playing in two games when a lower body injury kept him out of Saturday’s game and leaving him doubtful for tonight’s game.  Winnipeg Jets fans are chomping at the bit to see the real PLD play and see how much he improves this team.       

3. JetsTucker Poolman finally returned to the lineup after his bout with Covd-19 and looked pretty good but the puzzling thing is Paul Maurice dressed seven defencemen for his return game.  I guess it was just in case Poolman wasn’t up to speed or as a precaution but it left most observers shaking their heads.  If the coach didn’t think Poolman was ready to play then DON’T dress him.  All this did was mess up the forward lines.  Maurice gets a lot of criticism in this town and he brings an awful lot of it upon himself.  Sometimes he just can’t help himself.          

4. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose start their AHL season tonight and I can hardly wait to see Cole Perfetti, Ville Heinola, and Dylan Samberg play.  I bet Pascal Vincent can’t wipe the smile off his face.    

5. Jets:  Nathan Beaulieu has officially become the fanbase’s new whipping boy.  Like I said a couple of weeks ago he has been ok but his ceiling is adequate and that’s not good enough when there are better players waiting in the wings.  Move over Paul Maurice you have company.

6. Jets:  March 7, 2020 was the last time Dylan Samberg suited up for a meaningful hockey game so I can see why the Winnipeg Jets want to get him some playing time with the Manitoba Moose but the opinions are not the same when it comes to Ville Heinola.  Sending Heinola to the Moose has everybody and I mean everybody scratching their heads.  Heinola was an absolute stud at the World Juniors in Edmonton and in his only NHL game versus Ottawa (game 4) he played very well and complimented Josh Morrissey quite nicely.  It is also no coincidence that was Morrissey’s best game of the season.  Once again the Jets brain trust leaves Jets fans shaking their heads.    

7. Jets:  I feel like firing somebody, how about Charlie Huddy?   

8. NHL:  What’s up with Alex Galchenyuk?  He was drafted by Montreal Canadiens, 3rd overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and is now on his 6th NHL team.  When I watch him play I don’t see a bust but for whatever reason he can’t find a home.  

UPDATE:

You might not believe this but Alex Galchenyuk has been traded again before he even reported to Carolina (his 6th team).  Make the Toronto Maple Leafs team number seven.

9. Jets:  I’m not sure there is one Winnipeg Jets fan that would disagree with me when I say Connor Hellebuyck needs to stay in his f’n net.  He single handedly gave away the hockey game on Saturday against Ottawa by playing a puck he didn’t need to with a few seconds left in the game, confusing his defencemen and before you know it … BAM GAME OVER.   

10. Jets:  Kristian Vesalainen’s game is coming along quite nicely and he seems to be gaining a little bit of confidence.  I think he has a top-6 skillset and I can see him being there in a couple of seasons.

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11. NHL:  With the way Covid-19 is spreading its way through the US based NHL teams a Canadian team might win the Stanley Cup by default.               

12. NHL:  Key dates. 

  • Feb. 1 – Teams may start requesting players waive their NMC for the expansion draft
  • Feb. 11 – Deadline to sign Group II RFAs (usually December 1)
  • Mar. 12 – Players on one-year deals can sign extensions (usually Jan. 1)
  • Apr. 12 – Trade Deadline
  • May 8 – End of the regular season
  • May 11 – Playoffs begin
  • July 15 – The latest the Stanley Cup can be awarded
  • July 17 – Expansion draft protection lists tentatively due
  • July 21 – Expansion draft
  • July 23-24 – 2021 NHL Entry Draft
  • July 28 – Free agency opens

13. Jets:  The Jets just went through the softest part of their schedule and have a record of 8-5-1 and it could have and should have been 2-4 points better in my opinion.  Now they are going to have to play some good hockey to make up for those lost points.  They play two games in Edmonton and two games in Vancouver this week and I would like to see at least four more points in the standings this week. 

UPDATE:

The Winnipeg Jets started off their four-game roads trip with a wild 6-5 regulation win over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night.   

14. Jets:  It’s amazing how fast Andrew Ladd fell of the map after he left the Winnipeg Jets as a UFA and signed with the New York Islanders.  In my opinion he was too a good a player to fall from grace as fast as he did.  Too bad, I always like him and his game.

15. Jets:  Schedule

16. Jets:  I love Paul Stastny’s game and I would love to see him re-sign here for a couple more years but not at his current ticket which is $6,500,000 per season.  I could live with that number over two seasons but could Stastny?  I doubt it, somebody will pay him when he becomes a UFA this summer.   

17. Special Teams: Rule of thumb. Have the two red numbers (PK and PP) total at least 100% when added (as your minimum).  I also base the movement (up or down) on the % and not the NHL ranking.

  • PP: 13th at 22.00% up from 20.00% last week.
  • PK: 14th at 81.10 down from 81.30% last week. 
  • FO: 18th at 49 .20 down from 49.70% last week.

These stats are put out by the NHL on their website but I’m not sure whether these overall rankings actually mean anything since teams are only playing games within their division.  This season I believe the stats accumulated are only comparable to the other teams in their division.  I would like to see how the Jets compare to the rest of the Scotia North Division.   

18. Jets: The Jets situational face-off wins are still very poor.  They rarely start the PP with the puck unless Paul Stastny takes the faceoff and they seem to lose every draw on the PK and get hemmed in their own zone for the whole two minutes.  Statistically their penalty kill numbers don’t look bad but that has a lot to do with their goaltending.      

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  6-4-1 … 2.36 GAA … .921 SV% 
  • Laurent Brossoit:  2-1-0 … 2.98 GAA … .918 SV%

20. Jets:  My defence pairings.

Morrissey … DeMelo  

Forbort … Pionk

Heinola … Poolman 

Stanley

Does anybody have a problem with this?

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In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

If you have any questions, please give me a shout. You can use the comment section or use the #ASKWHTPOD hashtag on Twitter.

If you like our new format, let us know in the comment section or hit me on Twitter at WpgSportsTalk or WpgHockTalk

If you are interested in writing for Winnipeg Sports 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, 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

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