Random Thoughts From Motown Mitch: Dec. 2

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 Ice, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 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.

I write this week’s Random Thoughts with a very heavy heart as WHT’s own Darryl Manchulenko (aka Manny or Chach) passed away this past weekend.  Darryl was a friend, a valued contributor to WHT, and a great WHT Podcast co-host.  His insights and level-headed evaluation will be missed.  I miss him already.  I love you man.

My condolences to Darryl’s wife Val and the rest of his family.

If you knew Darryl and have some fun stories to share please post them in our comment section.   

1. Jets: The Winnipeg Jets had another decent week winning 2 out of 3 on the road and improving their record to 16-10-1.  I’m like a lot of Jets fans I’m surprised but yet not surprised.  This team has too much good young talent to be as bad as the experts thought.

2. Moose: The Moose continued their long road trip with a 2-1 record last week and are now 12-11-0-0 overall for the season. Jansen Harkins is continuing his strong play and is leading the Manitoba Moose and the AHL in scoring. How long before he gets a call-up to the big team?


3. Jets:  Right now Connor Hellebuyck is playing at a higher level than he did in his Vezina Trophy nominated season.  Do I dare say he might be up there for some MVP votes? 

4. Jets:  I feel the need to give Tucker Poolman some major props.  Poolman hasn’t been perfect by any stretch of the imagination but he is punching way above his weight class and pay grade while playing at a high level.  He is doing a terrific job AND especially if you look at where he was at this time last season.  Well done Tucker. 

5. NHL:  The officials (Trevor Hanson and Tom Chmielewski) that worked the Jets at Anaheim game on Friday night should be suspended or demoted for their work in this game.  I will sight two examples that shouldn’t be too hard to forget.

  1. Joona Luoto getting mugged in the corner by FOUR Anaheim Ducks and Luoto getting the only penalty.
  2. Neal Pionk taking 2-3 cross-checks in front of his net with the last one clearly to his throat with an official no more than 15 feet away and NO CALL.

6. Jets:  I’ve seen enough of Logan Shaw for now.  Maybe it is time to see Jansen Harkins and/or Andrei Chibisov? (see #2)   

7. Jets:  Why does it matter if your best player is your goalie?  I can think of worse problems.     

8. Jets:  The Dustin Byfuglien watch.  Pretty quiet on the Buff front.  No sightings so no “BUFFARAZZI” to report this week.


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9. Jets:  Why did it take so long for Paul Maurice to break up the on-ice Mark Scheifele/Blake Wheeler bromance?  The top two lines look really good right now.  Wheeler has done a nice job in between Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers and Jack Roslovic.  That is one fast second line.  

BTW, why is intermission hostess Sarah Orleski allowed to call him Nik?

10. Pet Peeve:  After every Jets loss there is always someone on Twitter calling for Paul Maurice to be fired.  I don’t get it.  There are a few coaches out there on the hot-seat but right now Maurice isn’t one of them.   C’MON MAN.   

11. Jets:  I admit I was wrong about Luca Sbisa.  He has been much better than I expected.  Some times a change of scenery is all a player needs.  Don’t get me wrong, we’re not saying he’s the second coming of Borje Salming but in my opinion, he has been much better than the four-million dollar man Dmitry Kulikov.  

12. Jets:  Those that know me or read here regularly know I’m a huge Bryan Little supporter but when he returns there is no way in hell he goes back to being the second-line center.  Little to 3C and Adam Lowry to 4C is the perfect storm.

13. Jets:  What is going on with Kristian Vesalainen?  Four goals and six assists in twenty-four games with the Moose is not very inspiring.  I wonder if that year back home in Finland last season was a good idea? 

14. This week:

  • Manitoba Moose – Dec. 3, 6, 7
  • Winnipeg Jets – Dec. 3, 5, 8
  • Winnipeg Ice – Dec. 4, 6, 7

15. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  14-7-1 … 2.17 GAA … .934 SV%  (includes last night’s Dallas win)            
  • Laurent Brossoit:  3-3-0 … 3.65 GAA … .885 SV%

16. 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:  24th at 15.50% down from 22nd at 15.50%     
  • PK: 23rd at 76.90% up from 29th at 72.20% 
  • FO: 5th at 51.70% up from 8th at 51.00% 




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

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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


  1. I loved hearing Daryl and his views on the WHT podcasts . Very sad to hear of his passing . RIP Daryl

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Darryl was fun to work with … we hit off right off the bat. Darryl was a great guy and will be missed.

  2. I am very sorry for your loss in a good friend and podcast amigo. True friends cannot be replaced.

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