Random Thoughts From Motown Mitch: Nov. 12

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 started their four-game homestand with two solid wins last week over Colorado and New Jersey and improved their record to 10-5-1.  The Jets continue their homestand with games versus Washington and Buffalo this week.

2.  Jets:  Winnipeg Jets fans finally got their wish with Sami Niku being recalled from the Manitoba Moose due to the Dmitry Kulikov injury.  Now, the big question is will they play him and with who?   

3.  Moose:  The Manitoba Moose split a two-game series at home last week versus Grand Rapids and now sit in tenth place in the Western Conference with a record of 7-6-0-0.    

4.  CFL: Winnipeg Blue Bombers 23 – Saskatchewan Roughriders 18  The good news first.  The Blue Bombers won and move on to the Western Final next week in Calgary.  The bad news.  If their defence and special teams play like this versus Calgary, they have no chance to win.  Outside of Andrew Harris, I found nothing in this game to lead me to believe they can beat Calgary.   

5.  JetsConnor Hellebuyck is already one of the best goalies in the NHL but if he ever learned to handle the puck he would be elite.  Every time he leaves his crease, I cringe.         

6.  JetsWhewwww!  I was starting to worry a bit but Kristian Vesalainen finally scored his first goal with the Manitoba Moose.  He actually potted two goals versus Grand Rapids on Saturday night in a 6-2 win.                 

7.  NHLTo all radio and television personalities.  

It’s a NET …. NOT a CAGE!

8.  PGAI will not be paying $19.99 to watch Tiger play Phil.  In my opinion, this is one of the worst cash-grabs I’ve ever seen.      

9.  NHL:  I don’t know how many local hockey fans watch Brian Burke’s regular weekly segments on Hockey Central at Noon and Prime Time Sports with Bob McCown but I find this fascinating because he tells stories about backroom dealings within the NHL that we would never get access too.  He makes the “Insiders” look like outsiders.  I find his stories very enlightening.    

10.Blue Bombers:  BEAST

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11.  Jets:  I think Dustin Byfuglien’s hit on Brian Boyle last night was a shoulder on shoulder hit and he gets jumped by two New Jersey players and the Jets end up being short-handed after the dust settles.  I am so sick of Buff being penalized for being big.  Count Chocula and his officials won’t be happy until all players are wearing tutus.        

12.  Quiz question:  Where do the Ottawa Senators play their home games?  

Quiz answer:  The Canadian Tire Fire Centre.  I’m actually a fan of the Sens but I can’t believe the amount of controversy that has surrounded this franchise in the past year. 

13. Blue Bombers:  The Bombers defence only had two things to do on Sunday.  1.  Stay in their lanes and keep Brandon Bridge in the pocket.  2.  Pay one iota of attention to the only receiving threat the Riders had, Naaman Roosevelt.  They failed on both counts.

14.  Raptors:  Please indulge me as I am a huge basketball fan amongst other things.  The Toronto Raptors have the best record in the NBA at 12-1 and are very entertaining to watch and the thing is I’m not sure they have even played their best basketball yet.  Once Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green get fully integrated, this team could be scary.    

15: Jets:  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  Did you call up Sami Niku to play or eat popcorn?  (see #2)        

16.  CFL:  I’ve been wanting a fifth team in the east since I was a kid and it looks like it may be finally happening.  I’m looking forward to the birth of the Atlantic Schooners or the Atlantic Storm!

17.  WHT Podcast:  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:  7-5-1 … 2.85 GAA … .912 SV%             
  • Laurent Brossoit:  3-0-0 … 1.68 GAA … .957 SV% 

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

  • PP:  1st at 34.00% up from 3nd at 33.33% last week.    
  • PK:  16th at 81.00% up from 19th at 78.40% last week.   

20:  Key dates:

  • Nov. 18:  Western Final:  Winnipeg Blue Bombers (10-8) at Calgary Stampeders (13-5). 

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We are looking for writers to cover the Winnipeg Jets, Manitoba Moose, 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. Okay…I’d like your take on the Jeffcoat hit. I don’t blame the ref…his vision was restricted by a Rider player, however, it was a high hit and it landed on Bridges chin, knocking him out of the game. perhaps he was sandwiched by another defensive player , riding him up into Jeffcoats helmet. I don’t think the outcome would have been different, but if my information is correct, the refs have an eye in the sky to monitor these type of situations. The call was missed, but don’t blame the refs. By the way, I like Bridges a lot…one of too few Canadian quarterbacks in this league.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      In real time I thought the hit was fine BUT after seeing the replay it should have been a penalty. I agree with you about Bridges too … a good young QB that needs more playing time. He seems to have all the tools.

  2. Mitchell and Reilly are both free agents after this year. What are your thoughts…do they stay with their respective teams or do they sign elsewhere? Most every team would covet either of these guys. My gut says Reilly will stay with Edmonton, but Mitchell may wander somewhere else.

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