Random Thoughts From Motown Mitch: Apr. 15

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.

1.  Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets opened the 2019 playoffs with back to back losses at home and had their fanbase on full tilt until they managed a win in game 3 in St. Louis.  They’re not out of the woods yet but at least they have a pulse.  Connor Hellebuyck crapped the bed in game two when the Jets were probably the better team.  It reminded me a lot of the Vegas series where the bad goals he gave up took the air out of the building.  There is no way to sugar coat his play.  He cost his team game two.  

2.  Moose:  The Manitoba Moose won two out of three road games this week and missed the playoffs by TWO points.  Pascal Vincent did a remarkable job just getting the Moose into a situation where they were playing meaningful hockey on their final week of the season.  Overall, the Moose had a very good season finishing with a record of 39-30-5-2.  

3.  Jets:  Nik Ehlers is one of my favourite players and I think he has played pretty well in the first three games of this series but the Jets need some scoring from him.  Going into his fourth playoff series he has yet to score a goal. 

4.  JetsAm I one of the few people left in Winnipeg that respect what Bryan Little brings to the table every night?     

5.  Jets:  To Jets fans calling for Laurent Brossoit to start in game four, please stop.  

6.  IIHF:  The IIHF owes the Finnish hockey team a Gold Medal.  Overturning Finland’s overtime goal by a video review in the Women’s World Championship Final was borderline criminal.  There was no explanation or any justification whatsoever to rob the host nation of their first ever World Championship.  It was a travesty in my opinion.         

7.  NHL I give Evander Kane huge props for standing up to Ryan Reaves.  Lots of guys beak at the benches but Kane had the balls to drop the gloves.  

8.  Jets:  In game three of the Blues series, the Jets might have played the best period of hockey I’ve seen from them in months and yet they end up being down 1-0 after the period.  I thought for sure that would have crushed them but it didn’t and they kept pressing and came away with a convincing 6-3 victory.  Now, can the Jets take game four?  Stay tuned.     

9.  Jets:  Connor Hellebuyck needs to go to a puck handling guru because he is absolutely pathetic when handling the puck and does nothing but confuse his defencemen and put them in awkward situations.  Puck handing for goalies is a huge part of today’s game.  Watch out for Manitoba Moose goalie Mikhail Berdin, he handles the puck better than some of the Jets defencemen.

10.  Jets:  I always want the Jets to win but I take great pleasure when Patrik Laine scores because he represents the future and what he “can be” for the Winnipeg Jets.  The best days are still yet to come Jets fans.

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11. PGA:  I was never a Tiger Woods guy but now that he is a 43-year-old in a game dominated by a bunch of young studs I found myself pulling for him extremely hard.  I have nothing against the new crop of superstars but this was like a victory for the old guys.  I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a lump in my throat when his family was waiting to embrace him after the final hole.  It also goes to show how much it meant to the players as there were quite a few waiting to congratulate him as he was on his way to sign his scorecard.  It was actually very moving.   

12:  Curling:  Congrats to Skip Kerri Einarson, third Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard and lead Briane Meilleur on winning the Pinty’s Player Championship this past weekend.  It’s always a big deal when our local teams win and this was a nice way to end the season for the newly formed team in 2019.

13:  PGA:  Don’t underestimate how much having Joey LaCava on the bag meant in Tiger’s win at Augusta.  LaCava has a Master’s win (1992) under his belt while looping for Fred Couples            

14:  NHL:  The NHL Draft Lottery was held this past week and the big winners were New Jersey, New York, and Chicago.  This current system is still flawed because the teams it is meant to help rarely win the lottery.  I also think that too many teams are involved.  The spirit of the draft is compromised and needs to be overhauled AGAIN!

15:  Jays:  The Vladdy watch is officially on.  He might be just enough to make Blue Jays games interesting this season   

16:  Jets:  I think the criticism of Kevin Hayes was a little premature after only two games of the series but that’s what happens with a fragile fanbase.      

17:  Raptors:  Different team but the same result.  This team has trouble winning the opening game of a playoff series.       

18:  NHL:  The NHL wants headshots out of the game but yet only give Joe Thornton a minor penalty for his headshot on Vegas’s Tomas Nosek.  I thought it could have easily been a match penalty.    

19:  Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  1-2 … 3.05 GAA … .897 SV%         

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

  • PP:  3rd at 33.33    
  • PK: 8th at 83.30

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 

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