Random Thoughts From Motown Mitch: Dec. 10

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:  This past week the Winnipeg Jets finished off their 3-game New York road trip (a sweep) with a win over the Islanders then split the first two games of their 4-game homestand.  They now have a record of 18-9-2.  They are currently one point out of first place in the Central Division with a game in hand.    

2.  Moose:  The Manitoba Moose finished off their 6-game California road trip this past week with a win, a loss, and an overtime loss and currently sit in seventh place in the Central Division with a record of .480 (11-12-2-0).  The good news for Pascal Vincent is they got back a couple of defencemen that were called up by the Jets. 

3.  Jets:  This might be nit-picking but the Winnipeg Jets seem to take a lot of needless icings.

4.  Jets:  Mason Appleton continues to impress me with his play and I’m looking forward to watching his progression but I would like to see Paul Maurice use him in the middle a little bit instead of Jack Roslovic.  I hate making comparisons but I see some Ryan Kessler in him.

5.  JetsThere is no doubt that Tyler Myers has struggled big time this year but I think since the Vancouver game in late November he has been better.  He has simplified his game and made better decisions for the most part.  With Myers, it seems to be that less is definitely more.       

6.  NHLI find it sad that after every big hit in a game, whether it’s a penalty or not, there is talk about whether it should be a suspension.  Sometimes it’s not even a penalty and sometimes it is a penalty BUT not ever penalty is a suspension.  Has hockey’s fanbase gotten this soft?         

7.  NHL Remember when scouts and talking heads were telling us that Noah Hanifan was going to be the next Brian Leetch?  This is why I don’t like comparisons.  I like Noah Hanifan but that type of comparison puts a lot of undue pressure on him.        

8.  NHL:  FYI:  The expansion to Seattle will have the exact same protection rules as the Vegas expansion with the exception that Vegas is exempt from losing any players as per their expansion agreement when entering the league.  Check out this article from June of 2016 >>> HERE             

9.  Jets:  Just because I think Auston Matthews is a better player than Patrik Laine doesn’t mean I don’t love our guy.  Facts are facts.  Matthews is a much more complete player, playing a tougher position and to be honest, I don’t think they’re even close.      

10.  Jets:  Helle is back.  After scuffling around for parts of the early season, Connor Hellebuyck seems to have found his mojo.  Even with all the talent and star power this team has, it only goes as far as Helle takes them.  Helle is starting to look like the goaltender that was a Vezina Trophy finalist last season.

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11.  Jets:  The St. Louis Blues did an amazing job Friday night on their PK taking away Blake Wheeler’s cross-ice passes to Patrik Laine and the slot pass to Mark Scheifele.  The Blues collapsed on those passing lanes leaving Wheeler with the shot and he never shot the puck.  Blake Wheeler actually has a very good shot but he is reluctant to shoot at times.  Shots create rebounds and confusion and sometimes you need a greasy goal to loosen things up.  Every goal can’t be a highlight reel goal.  The Blues PP goal certainly wasn’t.             

12.  Jets:  See, I stopped talking about blown leads and the Jets have stopped blowing leads.  Sometimes I think I’m an evil genius.

13.  Jets:  I thought that in the win versus the New York Islanders this past week that Sami Niku played his best game as a Winnipeg Jets defenceman.  I can hardly wait until he gets more seasoned and he becomes a regular.  He will definitely be in the Jets top six.    

14.  Raptors:  The Toronto Raptors have lost three of their last four games but they still have the best record in the NBA.  In all three losses, they had a chance to win in the final minute of the game so the Raps just need to do a better job of closing out games.

15. Jets:  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  Have you ever considered “offer sheeting” another team’s RFA?

16.  Vikings:  The Vikes are on Monday Night Football tonight with huge playoff implications on the line.  I’m pretty nervous because the road hasn’t been very friendly for Minnesota this season.

17.  WHT Podcast:  Latest episode here >>>> WHT Podcast 078 

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.   

18. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  13-8-1 … 2.80 GAA … .910 SV%             
  • Laurent Brossoit:  5-1-1 … 2.16 GAA … .935 SV% 

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

  • PP:  3rd at 28.70% down from 2nd at 29.10% last week.    
  • PK:  10th at 82.20% down from 8th at 82.10% last week.   

20:  Key dates:

  • Jan. 1 – Jets can start negotiations with RFA defenceman Jacob Trouba.  

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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 


  1. I think the Seattle expansion is a bad idea. First of all, we are still in the midst of the Vegas entry, and secondly, they will be exempt from the expansion rules, despite their generous drafting privilege the knigits enjoyed. I think it is highly unfair to the teams who prudently draft and develop through years of research and cleverly drafting. However, it is becoming abundantly clear that the owners care ONLY about the bottom line, and not for the fans and love of the game. I am starting to become disinterested and by the way, the knigits were a nod to the Monty Python’s Holy Grail.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Hard to argue with $650,000,000 … Not too many owners are going to say no to $20,000,000 of found money

      • Yeah, I see your point, but I’m still hanging on to the old days, when team pride was on equal footing with owners greed…or so it seemed. I realize its always been a money machine for owners, even when there were six teams, but dammit, it pisses me off how an emotional investment into a team evaporates when Count Chocula waves his wand and suddenly, the new team gets exclusive drafting rights which interupts the long term planning of the team you cheer for. The Count is making sure, with the owners blessing, that the new team is competitive to secure a fan base…I know its the business end of things, but it still annoys me.

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