Random Thoughts From Motown Mitch: Dec. 3

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 finished their four-game week with three wins and a loss and now have a record of 16-8-2.  They are currently in third place in the Central Division.    

2.  Jets:  To absolutely nobody’s surprise except maybe for fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Patrik Laine was named the NHL’s Player of the Month for November.  Laine’s 18 goals in 12 games narrowly edged out Matthews 2 November goals in his return to the Leafs lineup this past Wednesday.   

3.  Moose:  The Manitoba Moose are currently on a six-game California road trip and so far they are 1-2-0-0 with three games left.  It’s getting tougher with the number of players they are losing due to call-ups by the Winnipeg Jets.  The Moose are currently in seventh place in the Central Division with a record of .477 (10-11-1-0). 

4.  Jets:  Mason Appleton was called up by the Winnipeg Jets and managed an assist in his NHL debut versus the Devils on Saturday night.  He looked very comfortable on the newly created fourth line with Jack Roslovic and Mathieu Perreault.  This newly formed fourth line looked very good this weekend and I think going forward this means that Nik Petan and Brendan Lemieux will be eating lots of popcorn during Jets games.  

5.  JetsBen Chiarot is quietly playing some pretty good hockey right now and he looks very confident.  Yes, he is probably a third pairing defenceman but it’s not his fault he is forced into top-four minutes.        

6.  NHLNow with William Nylander signed we can look forward to eight months of talk about how much money the Leafs are going to pay Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.               

7.  NHL Count Chocula and his brainless trust need to call referee Francois St. Laurent on the carpet for his embellishment call on Bryan Little Saturday night.  I’ve seen a lot of horrid calls in the league BUT that one was really awful.  In this same game St. Laurent and his partner Trevor Hanson stood there and watched Taylor Hall cross-check Josh Morrissey from behind in overtime … with NO call.  I guess dangerous hits only count in regulation play.  I’ve said once, twice, a million times, that the NHL has an officiating problem and it starts at the top.          

8.  NHL:  The NHL is expected to approve the expansion to Seattle at the Board of Governor meetings this week (Tuesday) with the biggest question being whether they start play in the 2020-21 or 2021-22 season?  With the expansion parameters being the same as the Vegas expansion, it should start interesting conversations on the NHL teams protection lists.  Let the conversations begin.            

9.  Jets:  Laurent Brossoit has a quietness and calm to his game that exudes confidence.  I don’t believe this is the Brossoit I was watching with the Edmonton Oilers last year.  If it is, I’m shocked they let him go although nothing the Oilers do surprises me anymore.    

10.  Jets:  Mark Scheifele’s 16 goals this season are being a little over-shadowed because of the month that Patrik Laine had in November.  Scheif is quietly becoming a super-star in the NHL but he is an under-rated sniper.  He definitely has a 50-goal-year in him. 

UPDATE:  

With five goals and three assists for eight points in 4 games, last week Mark Scheifele has been named the NHL’s “First Star of the Week”!

Embed from Getty Images

11.  Jets:  There are a lot of players in the NHL that can pass the puck but I don’t think there are any wingers that do it better than Blake Wheeler.  He has teed up some beauties this season.      

12.  Jets:  I’m not going to mention the TWO more blown leads last week.  Maybe if I don’t mention them, they will stop happening.    

13.  NCAA Football:  I have to give the 13-member College Playoff Selection Committee a tip of the hat for not being hoodwinked into giving “two-loss” Georgia (11-2) the fourth seed in this year’s College Playoffs.  There were some “numbers” and “arguments” that even with their two losses they are still one of the best teams in the nation.  That may be true BUT, they just lost their conference final to Alabama (13-0) who had to play their backup QB late in the game.  How many more kicks at the cat do they deserve?  I don’t know about you but I’m tired of the SEC bias.  Bye-Bye, Georgia, hello Oklahoma!

#1 Alabama (13-0) will play #4 OKC (12-1) and #2 Clemson (13-0) will play #3 Notre Dame (12-0).     

14.  Raptors:  The Toronto Raptors are off to a 20-4 start and early on they’re looking like serious contenders.  They are a fun team to watch and actually play defence now.  I get a different vibe from this group and I think they can go deep this year but we’ve been down this road before so I am going to be quietly optimistic. 

15. Jets:  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  I’m guessing that you and a lot of other NHL GMs are really thrilled that Kyle Dumbass gave RFA William Nylander $6,900,000 for six years?

16.  Vikings:  I’m glad nobody was home while I was watching the Vikings lose to the New England Patriots on Sunday afternoon.  I hate the cheating Patriots and the bad words coming out of my mouth would not have gone over well with Mrs. Curmudgeon.    

17.  WHT Podcast:  Latest episode here >>>> WHT Podcast 077 

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:  11-7-1 … 3.07 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:  2nd at 29.10% down from 30.04% last week.    
  • PK:  8th at 82.10% up from 10th 81.60% 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 
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Comments

  1. Hi Mitch… hope you and yours are in great form…I have some comments per points that inspire me…
    #2- The love affair with Mathews in the media is getting old. He’s very good…we get it, but if Simmons gushes ad nauseum about him, I’ll just loose it.
    #4- Appleton seems to surpass Petan and Lemieux, and the latter can take a seat. Since Petan has had multiple chances with the big club, it may be time to dangle him as trade bait.
    #5-Ben Charoit is a hitting machine! The penalty in New Jersey late in the game was lame at best. He also impressed me in the playoffs last year.
    #6-Anything with this signing is going to be way over analyzed by The Toronto Sports Network ad nauseum.
    #7-You nailed it perfectly.
    #9-Brossoit is an awesome backup!
    #11,12,15…totally agree. Dumbass has now thrown negotiations with free agents out the window, setting a precident for the next batch to overcharge. Dumb rookie mistake for a G.M.
    #16-I was cheering for the Vikings…I hate the cheating Pats…I can’t believe the Packers sucked so much this year. By the way, a Vikings logo is just as easy to paint on your wall…LOL!

    Thanks for your time Mitch…

  2. Mitch Kasprick says

    It wouldn’t break my heart to see that Vikings logo LOL

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