Random Thoughts From Motown Mitch: Jan. 14

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:  Winnipeg Jets had a busy week with four games and managed 3 wins and 1 loss in spite of some real shoddy play.  The Jets are in the middle of a tough 9 games in 16 days stretch but are still leading the Central Division by two points over the Preds with two games in hand.  The Jets are 15 games over .500 with a record of 29-14-2.   

2.  Moose:  The Manitoba Moose managed to snag 3 of 4 points from Laval this past week and now play four home games this week at Bell MTS Place.  An optimist would say this would be a nice time to rattle of some wins and get back into the playoff race.  The Moose are still in last place in the Central Division with a record of .448 (15-18-2-1).  

3.  Jets:  Patrik Laine is going through a really tough stretch right now because opposing players have figured out how to take away his time and space by pressuring him.  All he has to do is just make quicker decisions.  I realize it’s easier said than done but this is what superstars go through.  It’s all about adjustments.  He’ll figure it out.  He did score a beauty versus Anaheim on Sunday giving him 25 goals on the year.  Not too shabby for a guy struggling. 

4.  BCS Championship I don’t feel so bad about Notre Dame’s loss to Clemson after watching the Tigers dismantle and dominate Alabama.  The Clemson Tigers are a very worthy National Champion.   

5.  NBALet this marinate for a couple of seconds.  Last week, Golden State’s Klay Thompson scored 43 points in a game with no free throws and he only dribbled the ball FOUR times.  That is some serious “catch and shoot”.

6.  Jets:  Winnipeg Jets first-rounder in 2017, Kristian Vesalainen was named the KHL Rookie of the Month for the month of December.  The big winger had 12 points in 16 games for Jokerit Helsinki.    

7.  Jets:  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  Would you ever trade for a player just so your rivals don’t get him?

8.  NHL:  Why is a tripping penalty called almost every time a player inadvertently steps on an opponent’s stick but yet NHL officials let two or three cross-checks go before they call a cross-checking penalty?  

9.  Jets Mark Scheifele’s 46.6% in the faceoff circle needs to improve.  Bryan Little is at 52.5%, Adam Lowry is at 57.2%, and Andrew Copp is 59.3%.         

10.  Jets:  Is there a goaltending controversy in Winnipeg?  The answer is no.  Although at first glance if you compare Helle’s and Brossoit’s numbers it looks like our back-up is out-performing our starter.  Yes, Brossoit’s numbers are good but he has been the benefactor of starting a lot of “cupcake” games.  It’s a different story when you’re asked to be the man.  It’s funny how in sports everybody loves the back-up quarterback and the back-up goalie.  Helle is certainly not in danger of losing his starting job BUT at this point in the season, I would say it’s fair to say he isn’t playing like the “Vezina Trophy Finalist” he was last season.  

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 11.  Jets:  Bryan Little hit a very impressive milestone by notching his 500th point on Friday night versus Detroit.  Little has put up .62 points per game over his career which is nothing to sneeze at.    

12.  Raptors:  Kawhi Leonard put up 41 points on Sunday versus the Washington Wizards while being mugged all night.  I’ve mentioned this before but why is there a different set of rules for players like James Harden or Giannis Antetokounmpo?     

13.  NHL:  Is anybody else tired of hearing about Auton Matthews and Mitch Marner contract talks?  Wasn’t it bad enough listening to William Nylander talks for over THREE months?   

14.  Poll:  I’ve been known to be very critical of NHL officiating but I was wondering if it’s just me?

How do you feel about the officiating in the NHL?

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15:  NHL:  The Tampa Bay Lightning have a ridiculous +56 goal differential so far this season after 46 games.  This is what happens when you get scoring from all four lines.  Very impressive.   

16:   WHT Podcast:  Podcast 081 can be found here >>> 082

17:  Jets:  I’m just going to say this and leave it at that.  I’m not as enamored with Mark Scheifele’s and Blake Wheeler’s defensive play as some of our local media.  

18:  NFL:  Don’t you just cringe every time your team has a 4th and 1 and the QB hands the ball off 6-7 yards deep in the backfield?  

19:  Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  20-13-1 … 2.87 GAA … .908 SV%             
  • Laurent Brossoit:  9-1-1 … 2.10 GAA … .939 SV% 

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

  • PP:  2nd at 28.10% up from 28.00% last week.    
  • PK:  14th at 80.30%  down from 11th at 80.70% 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 

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