Random Thoughts From Motown Mitch: Apr. 1

Mitch Kasprick is the “Motown Curmudgeon” aka “Motown Mitch”

Odds and Ends, Thoughts and Questions, from this past week in sports – 

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 Blue Bombers, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays, Arizona Diamondbacks, Winnipeg Goldeyes, Toronto Raptors, all curlers from Manitoba, and all Canadian athletes competing on the international stage. 

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.

There will be no rainbows and cotton candy today so if you don’t like your beloved Winnipeg Jets being criticized its best you look away.  Today’s buzzword is “SWITCH”. 

1.  Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets had a miserable week losing their final three home games and have fallen into a first-place tie with Nashville and the St. Louis Blues now nipping at their heels.  The Jets finish off the season with four road games this week and hopefully, they can get enough points to clinch the Central Division.  Their current record is 45-29-4.  

2.  Moose:  The Manitoba Moose are still hanging around a playoff spot after going 1-1-1 this week.  They are currently two points out of the final playoff position but have games in hand on Milwaukee (1) and Texas (2).  With seven games left (H-4 A-3) the Moose still have a decent chance to finish fourth.  Their current record is 34-28-5-2.  

3.  Jets:  Mark Scheifele is my favourite Jets player and it pains me to say this but he looks lazy and soft and disinterested in the defensive part of the game.  Ouch!  I’ve been told that once the playoffs start he’ll flip the “switch” and get into playoff mode.   

4.  JetsThe only good thing to come out of last week’s three Jets losses was the play of Connor Hellebuyck.  Helle seemed to be the only one to get the memo and showed up for all three games.  I guess he found his “switch”.

5.  Jets:  I’m not big on excuses like injuries, schedule, and travel although it is an issue every team goes through.  Right now there is a lot of excuse being made on behalf of our beloved Winnipeg Jets.  At this time of the season and being in the hunt for first place in the Central Division, I found it hard to watch the last three home games and justify any of the excuses.  

6.  Jets:  Jets fans are hanging their hat on a return to form based on the return of Dustin Byfuglien and Josh Morrissey.  Having those two players back will definitely help BUT that won’t change the commitment to team defence by the Jets forwards.  Right now, Mark Scheifele, Kyle Connor, Patrik Laine, and Jack Roslovic (and others) are lost in their own zone and are defensive liabilities.       

7.  NHL After it became apparent that Boston and Toronto were destined to meet again in the first round of the playoffs the current playoff format conversation has become a “hot button” topic out east.  When Nashville and Winnipeg supporters pointed this out last season the narrative was that you were going to have to beat each other eventually anyway.  Eastern bias rears its ugly head again.  

8.  Jets:  PP in a funk?  Having trouble generating shots on goal and getting scoring chances?  Do you have players that haven’t scored in 12-14 games?  Dr. Mitch prescribes a trip to Bell MTS Place to play the Winnipeg Jets.  This will cure all that ails you.         

9.  Jets:  I don’t know what goes on or what is said within the confines of the Jets dressing room and I can’t believe that the Jets recent play and I go back all the way to early January is going over very well with the captain or the coach.  Something is not right with this team and ultimately it is the players’ responsibility to get ready and be invested but it looks like the message is being lost or the players are too stubborn or dumb to get IT.  This is what concerns me.  I keep hearing about this magical “switch”.       

10.  Jets:  I think Paul Maurice is worried about Sami Niku’s lack of physicality on the back-end but with Trouba, Morrissey, Chiarot, and Buff there is more than enough physicality on the back-end.  The Jets could really use Niku’s puck handling skills and offensive game but what do I know?  C’mon PoMo.      

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11.  Blue Jays:  The Jays (2-2) starting rotation of Marcus Stroman, Matt Shoemaker, Aaron Sanchez, and Trent Thornton did not allow a single run in their four-game series versus Detroit this past weekend.  The starters tossed 24 scoreless innings.    

12:  Curling:  I sure hope Canada (Kevin Koe) can get it done at the Men’s World Championships in Lethbridge this week and help erase the disappointment from the Women’s World Championships where Canada (Chelsea Carey) couldn’t even get into a six-team playoff round.    

13:  Jets:  Ben Chiarot is not as bad as some would like you to believe.  He may not be a top-four defenceman but I’ve heard some Jets fans say he is not even an NHL defenceman.  They are wrong.        

14:  NHL:  In my opinion, the only way a new NHL playoff format works is if you follow the NBA model and scrap the divisions and go with two conferences.  Basically, the travel is still within the conferences so the New York playing Los Angeles in the first round excuse is OUT.   

15:  Jays:  Rookie pitcher Trent Thornton became the second pitcher in MLB history to have at least eight strikeouts, no runs, no walks, and two hits or fewer in his MLB debut.  

16:  Jays:  All I’ve heard since the Jays hired Charlie Montoyo as their new manager is how great he is, what a terrific hire it was, and how long overdue this hiring was.  All this praise was coming from all kinds of GMs and MLB executives and it made me wonder what took so long and why didn’t any of those teams hire him?  Good on you Toronto.     

17:  Jays:  I like Teoscar Hernandez but I’m not sure he is ready to be batting in the 3 or 4 spots yet.      

18:  Jets:  My biggest fear going into the playoffs is that this “switch” I keep hearing about hasn’t been flipped for so long this team may have forgotten where it is IF it ever existed.     

19:  Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  32-23-2 … 2.92 GAA … .913 SV% with 2 shutouts.            
  • Laurent Brossoit:  13-6-2 … 2.52 GAA … .925 SV%

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

  • PP:  4th at 25.50% up from 25.30% last week.    
  • PK: 23rd at 79.00% down from 2oth at 79.70 last week.

If you have any questions for Darryl or myself (Mitch) please give us a shout.  You can use the comment section or use the #ASKWHTPOD hashtag on Twitter.  

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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. #18 March 23, 2019 versus Nashville only game in a long time that was almost a must-win

  2. Carol Vermeer says

    Hey Mitch,

    I’m a tough old bird, no worries about being offended by criticism of our Jets, here. I completely agree with you. I am thinking the magic switch is broken and no one knows how to fix it, OH bother! SO bloody FRUSTRATING, it has been a difficult year to watch.
    Also – 100% in agreement re Chiarot. I think he has improved a great deal over the years and deserves to be in the NHL, but yeah, not top 4!! Too many minutes magnifies his deficiencies. Myers and Kulikov though…sigh. OI VEY!
    Sure hope the Moose make it into the playoffs. Berdin is a lot of fun to watch, lots of promise, there.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Myers and Kuli are ok in very small doses … next year Myers is gone and Niku and Poolman should be in.

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