Random Thoughts From Motown Mitch: Nov. 19

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 homestand with a 2-1 shootout loss versus the Buffalo Sabres but secured seven out of eight points in the friendly confines of Bell MTS Place.  The good-guys improved their record to 11-5-2 and now go on a four-game road trip out west with games in Vancouver, Calgary, Minnesota, and St. Louis.  NO gimmees there. 

2.  Jets:  I thought the Winnipeg Jets might have dressed Sami Niku for one of their home games last week but they didn’t but I will be shocked if he doesn’t make his season debut on their up coming four-game road trip. 

3.  Moose:  The Manitoba Moose went 1-2-1-0 on their four-game road trip and sit in sixth place in the Central Division with a  .500 record of 8-8-1-0.  Remember that the standings aren’t based on points but winning percentage with the top four teams in each division making the playoffs.  This is done because AHL teams don’t all play the same number of games.  

4.  CFL: Winnipeg Blue Bombers 14 – Calgary Stampeders 22  The Blue Bombers lost a football game that was there for the taking but yet I never felt they had a chance to win even when the score was 14-11 for Calgary in the fourth quarter.  The Calgary defence owned the Bombers and it wasn’t pretty to watch.  The Stamps were able to put pressure on Matt Nichols all game with basically a four-man rush and the rest of their defence was able to blanket the Bombers receivers.  Paul LaPolice and his offence looked predictable and slow.  This game needed more Chris Steveler.  This now makes 28 years without a Grey Cup.  I guess there’s always next year.     

5.  JetsLaurent Brossoit had another stellar game Friday night versus Buffalo only giving up one goal in a 2-1 shootout loss and although he isn’t going to challenge Connor Hellebuyck for the #1 job, he is making a good case for a contract extension.         

6.  JetsHmmmmm.  The Jets called Kristian Vesalainen up to the big club before his “out clause” kicked in at midnight on Friday.  There were reports earlier in the day that Vesalainen’s KHL rights had been acquired by Jokerit, his hometown team in Finland and he would be reporting there.  I guess Chevy and PoMo had other ideas.  Stay tuned.                     

7.  NHLI guess Barry Trotz is a pretty good coach.  After the New York Islanders lost John Tavares to free agency, did anybody see the Isles getting off to a 10-7-2 start.  I sure as heck didn’t.

8.  CFL I wonder if the CFL will be having a talk with Calgary coach Dave Dickinson about his comments that CFL officials favour Canadian coaches.       

9.  Jets:  Does Paul Maurice have something against Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers?  He had one measly 30-second shift in overtime versus the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night AND the Jets went SEVEN shooters deep in the shootout and Nik wasn’t one of them.  WHAT THE @&^%&$#+@$&  PoMo?

10.  Jets:  I really liked the Jets four lines in the Buffalo game on Friday night and especially the “fourth line” of  Nik Petan, Jack Roslovic, and Mathieu Perreault.  I don’t know if you can call a line with MP the fourth line but we will for argument’s sake.

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11.  Jets:  The masses were calling for a suspension to Josh Morrissey after his hit on Washington’s T. J. Oshie on Wednesday night.  It was two guys competing in the corner and unfortunately T. J. was on the wrong side of this exchange.  The NHL can’t take the physicality out of the game away.  If they do that, we will basically have women’s hockey.  Maybe that’s Count Chocula’s goal.  The evil genius.       

12.  Blue Bombers:  Losing is always tough and especially in a playoff game but for me losing to a veteran team that is much better does take some of the sting out of it.  On the bright side, we did beat Saskatchewan IN Saskatchewan in the Western Semi-Final.   

13. Blue Bombers:  Paul LaPolice sure picked a bad time to go ultra conservative.  I thought the play calling was predictable.   

14.  Raptors:  The Raptors new toy, Kawhi Leonard, had the ball and the game in his hands late in two games this past week and didn’t get it done.  He has been good but he still isn’t all the way back.      

15: Jets:  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  Why would you have ever agreed to give Kristian Vesalainen an “out clause” in the first year of his ELC (entry-level contract)?  Was that a deal breaker in him signing his first NHL contract?  I can’t believe that. 

16.  Blue Bombers:  I’m not a Mike O’Shea fan but I’m not a hater either and I think it’s unfair to blame him for the Bombers 28-year Grey Cup drought.  O’Shea is responsible for the past five years and during his tenure the team has been trending in the right direction so maybe the villagers should put away their torches and wait a while before running him out-of-town.  

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:  8-5-1 … 2.72 GAA … .915 SV%             
  • Laurent Brossoit:  3-0-1 … 1.48 GAA … .959 SV% 

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

  • PP:  1st at 33.33% same as last week at 33.33%.    
  • PK:  11th at 81.30% up from 16th at 81.00% last week.   

20:  Key dates:

  • Nov. 25:  The Grey Cup:  Ottawa vs Calgary  

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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. How long will it be for Peter Chiarelli to get the boot? I thought after last year he was toast, and there are a few good coaches out there. How can a roster of number one picks be so mismanaged and for how long? McDavid needs someone other than Lucic who can keep up with him, yet you don’t want to rob the second line of their offense. Good thing I’m not an Oiler fan, like my son and grandson…sucks to be them.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Peter Chiarelli is on a short leash … a GM usually gets two firings before he gets the boot

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