Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Nov. 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 went 2-0-1 last week and improved their overall record to a very sneaky 8-3-3 on the season.  With one more game left in their 7-game homestand, the Jets are 4-1-1 in the first six games with a huge match-up versus the Edmonton McDavids on Tuesday night.  

2. Jets:  Every once in a while you get “goalied” and there is nothing you can do about it.  The Jets got “goalied” by Jordan Binnington last Tuesday and outside of a weak opening goal that Connor Hellebuyck whiffed on the Jets played extremely well and I have no complaints about their effort.  They definitely deserved a better fate.    

3. Jets:  Hockey is a game of mistakes.  There is no such thing as a perfect game without mistakes and the Winnipeg Jets still make their share but I believe they have greatly reduced their errors and it has shown so far this season and it should continue to get better.    

4.  NHL:  After watching Jordan Binnington’s effort against us last Tuesday I am now convinced he has to be the front-runner for Team Canada’s #1 goalie for the upcoming Olympics.  He was a little lucky but he was a lot very good.  (see #2) 

5. NHL:  The NHL might need to rethink their Covid protocols because it seems to be getting out of control.  It is getting serious enough that it may affect Olympic participation.  With only 50-60% of Americans vaccinated, it looks like Covid will be around for a while.  My body, my choice though, right?     

6. NHL:  Regulars that visit her know my stance on NHL officiating.  The officiating really irritated me for the games that involved the NYI, St. Louis Blues, and the LA Kings recently.  It pisses me off when plodding teams are allowed to come into our building and get away with their style of play.  The Winnipeg Jets are a fast, skilled, skating team that had to endure countless interference, clutching, and grabbing infractions going uncalled in those two games.  There would be a hockey summit if this went on in Edmonton with the GOLDEN CHILD.  Actually, I think there was in the off-season.  I’m sick of the double standards and inconsistencies in this league.  Ask Nik Ehers what he thought of the officiating after getting kneed by Brendan Lemieux with no call on Saturday night.       

7. Jets:  Why do NHL coaches worry about having a defenceman on the ice in 3 on 3 overtime?  Overtime is not about playing defence, it is about puck possession and speed.  You should put your best players on the ice regardless of position.     

8. Jets:  Kyle Connor is off to the best start of his NHL career.  He is 6th in scoring with 11 goals and 8 assists for 19 points in 14 games.  KC has never had this kind of success playing without Mark Scheifele.  In the past any time KC was moved off the Scheifele line he went ice cold.  KC used to be linemate dependant but now he is becoming a line driver.    

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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.

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

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10. Jets:  Kristian Vesalainen is slowly and I mean slowly starting to show a little bit of his offensive skill that made him a late 1st round draft pick.  I have all the patience for him in the world because he looks to have some offensive upside.  Patience grasshopper.  

11. Jets:  When Paul Maurice gets the itch to put Kyle Connor back with 55 and 26 and you know it is just a matter of time I hope that he considers giving Nikolaj Ehlers a shot playing there first.  I would love to see how many goals Ehlers would score playing with an elite center. 

After I wrote this earlier in the week PoMo actually played Ehlers with Scheif and Wheeler.  I’m not sure how long it will last but it made for a nice OT winner versus LA on Saturday night.      

12. Ice:  The Winnipeg ICE went 3-0 last week improving their overall record to 17-1.  The ICE are still in first spot in the CHL’s weekly rankings. (updated Wednesdays)  Notice that 4 of the top-5 teams are all from the WHL.  This should make for some interesting competition.  The ICE’s only loss so far was to the #5 ranked Oil Kings in Edmonton.   

Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings – Week 6

2. London Knights
3. Kamloops Blazers
4. Everett Silvertips
5. Edmonton Oil Kings
6. Sherbrooke Phoenix
7. Quebec Remparts
8. Shawinigan Cataractes
9. Seattle Thunderbirds
10. Soo Greyhounds

 

UPDATE: ICE sweep WHL weekly awards-

The Western Hockey League announced today that Winnipeg ICE goaltender Gage Alexander has been named WHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending November 14, 2021.

AND

The Western Hockey League announced today that Winnipeg ICE forward Matthew Savoie has been named WHL Player of the Week for the week ending November 14, 2021.

13. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose went 2-1-0-0 last week and finished their 6-game road trip with a modest 3-2-1-0 record and now sit with an overall record of 7-5-1-0.  A couple of Jets top prospects (Ville Heinola and David Gustafsson) lead the team in scoring with 10 points.  Goaltenders Mikhail Berdin and Arvid Holm both have a SV% under .900 which will need to improve if the Moose want to be taken seriously as a contender in the Western Conference.

 

14. Jets:  PROPS to CJOB’s Kelley Moore on coining the phrase “Pionkian Pirouette” after Neal Pionk’s spin-o-rama goal versus the St. Louis Blues this past Tuesday.

 

15. Jets:  My weekly question for Kevin Cheveldayoff and Paul Maurice. 

Why is Ville Heinola still in the AHL?  

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 St. Louis Blues – 14,004

Vs San Jose Sharks – 14,229 

Vs Los Angeles Kings –  13,776  

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

  • Good:  The line of Dubois, Svechnikov, and Connor has taken over as the #1 line.  Update: PoMo has switched up Evgeny Svechnikov and Blake Wheeler on this line as of Monday morning’s practice.  Go figure.  
  • Bad:  NHL officiating. (I sound like a broken record)         
  • Ugly:  Connor Hellebuyck’s puck handling.      

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:  8th at … 23.70% down from 4th at … 28.10 last week.
  • PK:  30th at … 65.80% up from 32nd … 65.70 last week.
  • FO:  14th at … 50.30% down from … 50.90 last week.

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  5-2-3 … 2.87 GAA … .911 SV% 
  • Eric Comrie:  3-1-0 … 1.98 GAA … .926 SV%

20. CFL:  While resting a few starters, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers lost 28-14 in a meaningless game to Montreal last week but one thing was abundantly clear, if Zach Collaros ever gets injured this team is in a world of hurt.  Mr. third and one, Sean McGuire may be able to get one yard when he needs to but as a passer he is an absolute train wreck.  I’m not interested in hearing about McGuire’s lack of playing time and the poor weather conditions BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, the bottom line is Sean McGuire was awful.  They don’t call me a curmudgeon for nothing.   

*

 

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: Aug. 23

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:  It was pretty quiet in Jetsville and around the NHL this week but there were a couple minor things to report.   

2. Jets:  Evgeny Svechnikov (the Detroit one) has signed a one-year contract for the 2021-22 season with the Mantoba Moose and will be on a PTO with the Winnipeg Jets.  It is being reported that if he shows up at camp healthy after having off-season surgery he will be signed to a two-way contract with the Jets.  I don’t see a downside to this signing. 

3. Jets:  The Svechnikov signing is an interesting, low risk signing by the Winnipeg Jets.  Svechnikov, who turns 25 on Oct. 31 was one of the younger free agents out there that still had some upside.  He has some familiarity with a friendly face in Winnipeg as he played with centre Pierre-Luc Dubois in junior with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.  Svechkikov is a left shot winger who plays on the right side and at 6’3 and 210 lbs will add some size and skill to whatever line he joins.

4. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets signed 2021 3rd rounder Dmitry Kuzmin to a three-year, entry-level contract with an average annual value in the NHL of $866,667.  He tallied 12 points (3G, 9A) in 46 games with Dinamo-Molodechno of the Belarus league. He also had five points (1G, 4A) in five games for Belarus at the U18 World Championship.  This upcoming season Kuzmin will be playing defence for the OHL’s Flint Firebirds.

5. NHL:  The NHL sent a memo updating vaccination requirements to its teams:

“Any person whose job, role, position or access entails or entitles them to have personal interactions (within 12 feet) with Club Hockey Operations personnel (including Players) are required to be Fully Vaccinated.”  

The first thought that came to mind was why is everybody involved with the teams required to be vaccinated with the exception of the players?  This makes ZERO sense to me.  Then this got me wondering if I would want to know which players on my team weren’t vaccinated and how I would feel about them if I knew? 

Would you want to know the vaccination status of your favourite teams players and would it change how you feel about them?

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6. Jets:  Evgeny Svechnikov and PLD played together off and on in Cape Breton and put up some big numbers as linemates.  Maybe being reunited can give them both a kick-start next season. (see #3) 

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7. IIHF:  Team Canada is off to a 2-0 start at the 2021 WWC.  This team is still a work in progress and not the official team heading to the Olympics and to me they look a little slow and tentative in the scoring areas but I really like the team’s overall speed.  I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product.    

8. Jets:  Andrew Copp mentioned in an interview last week that he had spent a couple of days with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler working with Adam Oates.  I wonder what this was all about?  I wonder if they are thinking of making hybrid lines that add a solid defensive presence to a weaker offensive combo OR I am I just reading way too much into this?  Copp/Scheifele/Wheeler would be an interesting line and would allow the Jets to spread their forward depth through all four lines.  I still think Andrew Copp is bottom six forward but Scheif and Wheeler could use some help defensively on the left side and they aren’t going to get that from Kyle Connor.  KC can score but this line line doesn’t score enough at even strength to justify them playing together anymore.  Their 5v5 play has been getting woprse and worse every season for the past four years.

9. NHL:  The Buffalo Sabres 2021 first overall pick, Owen Power, has decided to go hold off turning pro and is going back to Michigan for one more season.  Even though the Sabres are a bit of a tire fire I’m still surprised as not too many first overall picks delay turning pro right after being drafted. 

10. 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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11. IIHF:  I really enjoy ex-Team Canada defenceman (or is it defencewoman) Tessa Bonhomme’s work on TSN’s women’s hockey broadcasts.  I love analysis from someone who has actually been in the trenches and especially someone that’s gone toe to toe for Canada at this level.      

12. Jets:  Another little tidbit about Evgeny Scechnikov, he was originally drafted by Detroit in the first round (19th overall), two picks after Kyle Connor in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

13. NHL:  For those of you that like to partake in a little sports betting, single game wagering in Canada starts on Aug 27. 

14. IIHF:  I was looking for information about Team Canada on the TSN website and I must say I was extremely disappointed with their content or lack of content and especially since they are the official network of the World Women’s Hockey Championship.  Hopefully it will get better as the tournament unfolds.

15. CFL:  The Winnipeg Blue Bombers record dropped to 2-1 after stinking the joint out on Saturday afternoon in Toronto.  They were thoroughly outplayed from start to finish and in spite of this they were still in this game with under two minutes to play.  This team is 2-1 and their best football is still ahead of them.  The Blue Bombers kicking game terrifies me.  JUSTIN MEDLOCK …. WHERE ARE YOU?      

 

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: Aug. 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:  I’ve been hearing about this mythical season called “The Summer of Chevy” for a few years now and I think it has finally arrived.  Winnipeg Jets GM, Keven Cheveldayoff had a very productive few days last week. 

  • Monday:  Paul Stastny has agreed to a one-year deal worth $3,750,000.
  • Monday:  The Winnipeg Jets trade a second-round pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft and a second-round pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft for defenceman Brenden Dillon from the Washington Capitals. 
  • Tuesday:  Jets Acquire defenceman Nate Schmidt from the Vancouver Canucks for a third-round pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. 
  • Saturday:  Jets sign serviceable bottom-six C/RW Riley Nash to a 1-year, $750,000 deal.   

Kevin Cheveldayoff really changed the look of the Jets blueline with the additions of Brenden Dillon and Nate Schmidt and the best thing is it didn’t cost him anything off the NHL roster and bringing back Paul Stastny on a one-year deal was a no-brainer.  

After seeing what other GMs were paying for UFA defencemen Chevy definitely went in the right direction.

2. NHL:  Enjoy that six year $5,500,000 per season Philip Danault contract LA Kings.  Free Agent Frenzy, where NHL GMs lose touch with reality.  

3. Jets:  Does anyody actually think that Eric Comrie will last the season as Connor Hellebuyck’s back-up in goal?

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

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4. NHL:  It is officially RFA offer sheet season.  I won’t hold my breath because there are actually more Loch Ness Monster sightings than there are NHL offer sheets but if there is the compensation is listed below.

FYI – Offer Sheet (AAV) Compensation:

  • $1,395,053 or below: None
  • Over $1,395,053 to $2,113,716: 3rd round pick
  • Over $2,113,716 to $4,227,437: 2nd round pick
  • Over $4,227,437 to $6,341,152: 1st, 3rd round picks
  • Over $6,341,152 to $8,454,871: 1st, 2nd, 3rd round picks
  • Over $8,454,871 to $10,568,589: (2) 1st, 2nd, 3rd round picks
  • Over $10,568,589: (4) 1st round picks

5. Jets:  Based on Chevy’s signings last week I’m sure even PoMo can’t screw this up, so the microscope is definitely on Mr. Maurice. Paul, you are on the clock.      

6. NHL:  I have a feeling there may be hockey without fans again in some NHL cities.  I don’t like what’s going on down south with covid 19 and also here in Canada (Alberta).  I sure hope I’m wrong.

7. Jets:  In my very humble opinion I believe in time David Gustafsson can match and exceed what Andrew Copp brings to the table for the Winnipeg Jets.  He just needs a couple seasons under his belt.  If Kurt Overhardt wants to be unreasonable and play hardball then trade Copp’s ass.  If he is willing to do something in the range of Adam Lowry’s contract then welcome back.  If not, take Copp’s money and invest it elsewhere.    

8. Jets:  So long and farewell to Mathieu Perreault.  MP is heading to La belle province to play for the Habs.  I would have liked him re-signing in Winnipeg but who can blame a French-Canadian kid for wanting to play in his home province.  Good luck MP, you were a beauty.

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9. NHLBased on some of the trades made last week it is quite apparent that cap space is a bigger commodity than actual players right now.

Shayne Gostisbehere to Arizona for nothing.

Marc-Andre Fluery to Chicago for nothing.

Tyler Johnson to Chicago for nothing. 

Nate Schmidt to Winnipeg for a 3rd rounder. 

and on and on.

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10. Jets:  This 👇

Morrissey/Schmidt

Dillon/Pionk

Stanley/DeMelo

sure looks better than this 👇 

Morrissey/DeMelo

Forbort/Pionk

Stanley/Poolman

11. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets have signed Riley Nash to a one-year deal and I beleive he should add a solid defensive presence to the Jets bottom six.  His numbers were brutal in Columbus last season but then who’s weren’t.  Nash is just 3 years removed from a 15 goal, 41 point season with Boston in 76 games.  If Nash can replicate half of that he will be a huge upgrade over Trevor Lewis or Nate Thompson.    

12. IIHF:  I bet everybody probably forgot but the Women’s World Hockey Championships start in Calgary in 3 weeks.  I’m totally down for some August hockey. 

13. Jets:  THE POLL RESULTS ARE IN

Are Paul Maurice’s or Kevin Cheveldayoff’s jobs in jeopardy?

Yes … Paul Maurice should be let go. (49%, 159 Votes)
Yes … Paul Maurice and Kevin Cheveldayoff should be let go. (20%, 63Votes)
No … I’m happy with the team’s leadership and direction. (17%, 56 Votes)
No … Sweeping the Oilers bought everybody some time. (14%, 45 Votes)

14. NHLEvander … what are you doing?  Evander Kane was one of my favourite Winnipeg Jets, I loved everything about his game although his alledged off-ice antics were getting tiresome.  Now he is being investigated for betting on NHL games and games he was playing in.  Now, these are accusations from his soon-to-be ex-wife so take this with a grain of salt but with Evander it always seems where there’s smoke there’s fire.  These are serious accusations and I sure hope they are false.

15. Jets:  Before all of GM, Kevin Cheveldayoff’s trades and UFA signings this past week the Winnipeg Jets odds to win the Stanley Cup were +4000 according to  https://www.sportsbettingdime.com/nhl/stanley-cup-odds/ but I wonder what they are now?  Stay tuned.

16. NHL:  Even with a flat cap it looks like the top players are still getting paid while the bottom of the roster players are forced to settle for the scraps if you can call $750,000 scraps.  

17. Jets:  My preference would be to use Mark Scheifele, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Paul Stastny, and Adam Lowry as our four centers and work from there.  I’m sure Paul Maurice could move Stastny into the top six when he needs to shorten the bench.

18. NHL:  I mentioned last week that I find outsiders that don’t watch your team on a nightly basis really overrate or underrate certain players.  The lastest is Oliver-Ekman Larsson.  Vancouver thinks they are getting OEL from 3-4 years ago but he hasn’t been right for quite some time and the Canucks moved out Nate Schmidt to make room for him.  I’m glad they did because I’d rather have Schmidt.  

19: Jets:  Andrew Copp and Neal Pionk have both elected to file for salary arbitration but both players can continue to negotiate with the team until their arbitration date.  The arbitration hearings will take place between August 11-26.

20: Jets:  Kevin Cheveldayoffs fan approval rating has never been as high as it is right now.  (see #1 and #13)

 

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: May 3

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 finished one of their most embarrassing stretches in 2.0 history last week going 0-5 on their last homestand, losing 3 games to Edmonton and 2 games to Toronto.  Even more disturbing was they only scored 6 goals in those 5 games, the goaltending was sub-par, and they had minimal push-back as the Leafs and Oilers toyed with them in their own barn.  Thank goodness there were no fans in the building because it might have gotten ugly.  A lot of Jets fans are trying to put on a brave face and say things will be ok once the playoffs start etc. etc. but there is a lot of gloom and doom amongst the fanbase right now.  

UPDATE:  After a tough 2-1 loss in Ottawa last night the Winnipeg Jets losing streak is now SEVEN games.  The Jets went 0 for 6 on the PP and gave up a shorthanded goal.  I think that says it all.

2. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets went 0-3 last week and don’t have to worry about first or second place anymore.  That ship has sailed.  Now they are only two points ahead of Montreal for third place.  Wow, how the mighty have fallen.  The free-falling Jets now sit at 27-20-3. 

3. JetsThe bloom is definitely off the rose as far as Derek Forbort is concerned.  Has now entered Anthony Bitetto and Nathan Beaulieu country as far as the Jets fanbase is concerned.  

4. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose had a good week snagging 5 of 6 points from the Stockton Heat and now have finished their monster 7-game homestand with a solid 9-5-2-1 record improving their overall record to 15-11-2-1 on the season.  The Cole Perfetti watch now has him at 8 goals, 15 assists, for 23 points in 29 games.

UPDATE:  The American Hockey League announced today Moose forward Cole Perfetti has been named the CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month for April.  Perfetti, 19, tied for the lead among AHL rookies, and the Moose, in scoring in April.  He recorded 13 points (4G, 9A) in just nine games. 

5. Jets:  Poll Question:  Should Chevy cut a deal with Seattle GM Ron Francis so the Jets don’t lose a player off their roster in the expansion draft?  In the 2017 Vegas expansion draft the Jets and Vegas cut a deal where the Golden Knights would select Chris Thorburn’s expiring contract.  In the deal they flip-flopped 1st rounders with Winnipeg acquiring the 24th pick (from Vegas, from Columbus) in the 2017 NHL Draft in exchange for the 13th pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, and the Jets third-round selection in 2019.  

Will Chevy or should Chevy cut a deal with Seattle GM Ron Francis so the Jets don't lose a player in the expansion draft?

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6. Jets:  The biggest thing I’ve noticed during this bad stretch for the home team beside their ongoing poor defensive play is their offence is struggling because they spend far to much time on the perimeter.  This team likes to score off the rush but when that’s not happening they seem to lack the grind to score the greasy goals.  The only players that regularly go to the tough areas and get their noses dirty are Mathieu Perreault, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Adam Lowry, and Mason Appleton.  Teams are starting to adjust their game plans from regular season to playoff mode and the Winnipeg Jets haven’t or can’t match those adjustments.  They have three weeks to figure it or it will be another early exit from the playoffs and then heads should roll …. if Mark Chipman has the balls.

7. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets blueline has been a source of concern all season but to be honest I think this team’s biggest problem isn’t the actual players but the deployment of the players.  Tucker Poolman is taking a lot of heat but is it his fault he is on the top pairing?  Derek Forbort’s play has really gone downhill in the last few weeks but he is still being trotted out alongside Neal Pionk every night.  Right now, Jordie Benn might actually be playing better than the beleaguered Derek Forbort.  Why is Dylan DeMelo still playing in the third pairing?  Why aren’t Ville Heinola and Logan Stanley playing more?  Hell, Sami Niku couldn’t be as bad as Forbort lately.  The biggest problem with the Jets blueline seems to be the guy or guys behind the bench.  I can’t believe the suits all agree on the deployment of the team’s defencemen and if they do the problem is even worse than we could imagine.   

8. Jets:  Does Kyle Connor still play for the Jets?  Is he the “Seven Million Dollar Man” or the “Invisible Man”?  I’ve tried real hard to change my attitude when it comes to KC but it is stretches like his current slide (one assist in six games), that validate my opinion that he is an overpaid one-dimensional hockey player and when that one dimension disappears he is absolutely useless.  He brings nothing else to the table if he’s not scoring.       

9. Jets:  I like the new Jets powerplay setup with Blake Wheeler on the right-side half wall and Neal Pionk on the point but for the life of me I can’t understand why Kyle Connor,  the team’s top sniper is sitting on the bench in favour of ANDREW COPP?  What the hell is wrong with Paul Maurice?  Are the Jets paying Kyle Connor over 7 million dollars a year to get 20 seconds on the second PP unit? 

10. Jets:  I love Connor Hellebuyck’s positive attitude and his belief in himself and his teammates but I can’t help but wonder how he really feels about his team’s play in front of him most nights.  He is definitely a little off right now but I never doubt his ability to rebound.  As always, this Winnipeg Jets team only goes as far as Helle takes them.   

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11. NHL:  Your referees are LOL laughable.  Only NBA officiating is worse and that’s nothing to be proud of.  Their bar is set so low.  It was bad enough the Jets stunk on their 5-game homestand but they weren’t the only ones that stunk in the building.  

12. NHL:  Key dates.

  • May 16 – End of the regular season
  • May ?? – 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:  Is Paul Maurice’s job in jeopardy.  Is Kevin Cheveldayoff’s job in jeopardy?

After being swept in the second round by Montreal should heads roll?

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14. Jets:  Enough already with the Andrew Copp in the top six and on the powerplay.  He is a very good third line winger and with Adam Lowry and Mason Appleton he is part of one of the very best third lines in the NHL.  (see#9)   

15. Jets:  Schedule

Update:  The May 7 game vs Ottawa has been re-scheduled to Monday, April 5.  This is due to the two postponed Vancouver games this week.

16. Jets:  Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers is one of my favourite Jets players and he could possibly be the team MVP but there is no way that his absence and Adam Lowry’s absence should impact this team as much as it seems it has.  Where is all this alleged depth this team has?    

17. Jets:  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.

These are the Winnipeg Jets rankings within the seven team Canadian Division.  Since all games played during the regular season are divisional the rest of the league’s numbers don’t really matter.

  • PP: 2nd at 25.00% down from 25.20% last week.
  • PK: 2nd at 79.10 up from 81.10% last week. 
  • FO: 5th at 49.90 up from 49.60% last week.

18. Jets:  I’m not big on firing coaches and GMs after a tough stretch like the Winnipeg Jets are going through right now but the warts and warning signs we’ve been seeing for the past 3 seasons are on full display right now and if this Jets team had any other goaltender than Connor Hellebuyck, Paul Maurice and Kevin Cheveldayoff might have been gone long ago.  This organisation needs somebody like a President of Hockey Operations for the coach and GM answer to and not an owner that still thinks he’s running an AHL team.  Mark Chipman is too damn loyal and doesn’t have the stones to make the hard decisions.  Getting past the first round ONCE in twelve years would have had most GMs canned years ago.  This fanbase deserves better.    

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  21-16-3 … 2.72 GAA … .912 SV% 
  • Laurent Brossoit:  6-4-0 … 2.39 GAA … .922 SV%

20. Jets:  EVERYBODY GETS INJURIES.  EVERYBODY IS DEALING WITH A TOUGH COMPRESSED SCHEDULE.  EVERYBODY IS BORED, FEELING CONFINED AND SICK OF COVID-19.  ENOUGH ALREADY.  PUT YOUR BIG BOY PANTS ON AND PLAY HOCKEY.  NO MORE EXCUSES.  

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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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Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Feb. 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 had a real good week going 3-1-0 on their four-game road trip, splitting their two-game set with Edmonton and sweeping their two games versus Vancouver.  Their record is 11-6-1 overall for the season.

2. Jets:  Pierre-Luc Dubois finally got back into the lineup Sunday night and was a major impact with 2 goals and a helper including the OT winner.  Sunday night PLD officially became a Winnipeg Jets fan fave.  I’m happy for the Jets fans that didn’t know much about him.  This performance might help take the sting out of trading Patrik Laine.      

3. JetsI think most Jets fans would agree Neal Pionk really struggled in the bubble this past summer but he actually had a pretty good first season with the Winnipeg Jets and to this point his second season looks to be even better.  I’m still puzzled why Paul Maurice doesn’t have him quarterbacking the first unit powerplay though.  I think he is the better option over Josh Morrissey.  (see the poll question at #13)

4. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose finished their first week of play with a 2-2-0 record after splitting their four-game homestand with the Toronto Marlies.  It was good seeing prospects Cole Perfetti, Dylan Samberg, and Ville Heinola finally playing.  I had not seen Samberg play in over a year and I forgot what an underrated puck mover he is.    

5. Jets:  Like I mentioned last week, Nathan Beaulieu has officially become the fanbase’s new whipping boy but Nate Thompson is right behind him and he hasn’t really done anything wrong outside of the fact he is in the lineup over some fans favourites.  FYI, it’s not his fault.  

6. Jets:  I don’t think he has done this before but on Sunday night Paul Maurice did something I have wondered about for a few years.  Why don’t coaches start three forwards in overtime a lot more often?  He started Pierre-Luc Dubois, Mark Scheifele, and Blake Wheeler in OT vs Vancouver and Dubois popped the game winner 27 seconds later.  I don’t think this will be a regular thing but I liked it.      

7. Jets:  I am getting a little tired of hearing how bad the Winnipeg Jets analytics are because their underwhelming Corsi and Fenwick numbers can be very misleading.  The Jets aren’t a high volume shots and attempts team because they pass up shooting situations looking for a better play unlike other teams that are considered “possession teams” that fire the puck on net from all angles every chance they get.   A lot of these shots look good in the shot metrics but how many are actually good scoring chances?  For me shot volume is not possession, possessing the puck is possession.  Players like Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler, KyleConnor, Nick Ehlers, Paul Stastny seldom ever think shot first.  They will carry the puck, cycle the puck, look for teammates, curl when crossing the blueline while players on other teams shoot on net (Evander Kane) as soon as they cross the blueline.  Watch the Jets on their zone entries and keep this in mind when they show the shot metrics in-between periods.  The metrics don’t always tell the true story and especially with this Jets team.  Take this from an old WHA Jets fan that watched that team score 5-6 goals a night they didn’t shoot a lot.  Their possession was actually possession, not shot volume, although on a lot of nights they had that too.     

8. Jets:  It’s time for Logan Stanley to get back into the lineup.  Tucker Poolman and Nathan Beaulieu aren’t good enough to be playing regularly over Stanley. 

9. Jets:  After looking a little sluggish early in the season, Blake Wheeler seems to have found his giddy-up once again.  It is quite obvious now that Wheeler was playing through something but the past couple of games he looks more like himself.  The criticism he is/was receiving was very unfair and especially when we don’t know the whole story.        

10. NHL: A huge congratulations to Winnipegger, Travis Zajac on his 1000th NHL game on Sunday afternoon, all with the New Jersey Devils.  Travis is one of my favourite Winnipeg hockey players going all the way back to his AAA Bantam days with the Winnipeg Hawks.  He was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in 2004 in the first round, 20th overall and has put up pretty solid numbers over his NHL career with 197 goal and 337 assists totaling 534 points in the regular season and in 57 playoff games he has 11 goals and 17 assists for 28 points. 

Embed from Getty Images

11. NHL:  PLEASE fix your officials.  In the Jets game last week versus Ottawa the two referees sucked on their whistles the whole game ignoring obvious infractions and in the Jets next game against Edmonton they were whistle happy and calling phantom penalties.  There is no consistency from game to game which really frustrates players and fans alike.  

12. NHL:  Key dates.

  • 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: Poll Question:

Who would you prefer running the Winnipeg Jets #1 powerplay?

View Results

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14. NHL:  I’m sure by now everyone has an opinion about the eight hour weather delay at the NHL’s outdoor game in Lake Tahoe.  On Saturday, after finishing the first period the game had to be delayed because the clear skies and sunshine turned the ice into slush.  The panel and the announcers on the NBC broadcast asked more than once “how could the NHL have planned for this?”.  REALLY?  It never occurred to Gary Bettman and the NHL that the sun might magically come out in the middle of the day?  Didn’t this actually happen in Winnipeg during the Heritage Classic?  Sometimes “Count Chocula” just makes it too easy to to crap on him.

On a positive note, it sure was a magnificent setting.  Who needs fans?

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15. Jets:  Schedule

16. Jets:  I wish Jets fans would just pull for the players in the lineup instead of bitching about the players not in the lineup.  (see #5)   

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.

These are the Winnipeg Jets rankings within the seven team Canadian Division.  Since all games played during the regular season are divisional the rest of the league’s numbers don’t really matter.

  • PP: 3rd at 22.80% up from 20.00% last week.
  • PK: 2nd at 80.40 down from 81.00% last week. 
  • FO: 5th at 48 .70 down from 49.20% last week.

18. Jets:  Jets fans are wondering who broke Josh Morrissey?  He has been good, bad, and indifferent all season.  He is definitely off. 

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  8-5-1 … 2.64 GAA … .916 SV% 
  • Laurent Brossoit:  3-1-0 … 2.24 GAA … .935 SV%

20. NHL:  Why doesn’t the NHL include playoff games when talking about a player’s total games played?  (see #10)

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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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