Random Thoughts From Motown Mitch: Nov. 26

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 road trip with two wins and two losses and now have a record of 13-7-2 at the quarter pole.  They currently hold the first wild-card position.   

2.  Jets:  There were a couple of interesting roster moves last week.

In a not so surprising move, the Jets reassigned Kristian Vesalainen to Jokerit of the KHL.  No harm, no foul here as long as he gets substantial playing time as he would have with the Manitoba Moose.

The Colorado Avalanche placed winger, Marko Dano, on waivers and in a surprise move the Winnipeg Jets claimed him and assigned him to the Manitoba Moose.  I like this move.  Dano has been a good soldier and probably didn’t deserve to be replaced by Brendan Lemieux.  He has a chance to win his job back and should be a highly motivated player.    

3.  Moose:  The Manitoba Moose split a pair of home games last week against a very strong Iowa Wild team and sit with a record of .500 (9-9-1-00.  I mentioned last week the top four teams in each division make the playoffs based on their winning percentage and NOT points but yet the Manitoba Moose and the AHL’s official websites list the standing by points.  It’s things like this that irritate the crap out of an old curmudgeon like me. 

4.  Jets:  I am a big fan of Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers and I have him in one of my keeper fantasy leagues and he’s killing me.  I think he is better than his current point production.  Or is he?    

5.  JetsWe’ve reached the quarter pole of the NHL season and if I were to be completely honest and I think I will, I would say I’m not impressed by Connor Hellebuyck’s season so far.  There, I said it.  In spite of that, the Jets are 13-7-2 thanks mostly to their #1 ranked powerplay.  In fairness, Helle’s numbers aren’t all on him as I think the Jets defensive play in front of him leaves a lot to be desired.  They are extremely sloppy with the puck and poor defensively at times.           

6.  Jets I’m starting to see a bit of a pattern and it is causing me some concern.  The Jets are playing too much on the perimeter looking for the perfect goal.  They need to get into the tough areas and work for those greasy goals.  They try to be a little too fancy at times.                     

7.  NHL:  In a league with Swedes, Finns, Czechs, Russians, Swiss, Canadians, Slovaks, Americans and so on, do we need to hear the anthems of the USA or Canada in NHL rinks every night?  The only things American or Canadian about NHL teams are the cities they play in.  I’m done with anthems unless it is for international competitions.      

8.  Jets:  Is it just me or does it seem like the Jets miss the net an awful lot?        

9.  Jets:  Remember when the Jets NEEDED a second line center?  Paul who?

10.  Jets:  Patrik Laine just concluded one of the greatest road trips I can remember in current NHL history.  Laine and the Jets left Winnipeg on a four-game road trip and #29 scored 3 goals in Vancouver, 2 goals in Calgary, 1 goal in Minnesota, and FIVE goals in St. Louis.  Mr. Laine now leads the NHL with 19 goals.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Patrick Laine will be named the NHL’s “First Star” of the Week. 

Embed from Getty Images

11.  Jets:  Can anybody honestly say they saw 24 points in 22 games for Kyle Connor?  He has been the biggest surprise of the first quarter for me and it’s not just his points.  His defensive play has been really good and a far cry from his rookie year where he looked completely lost.  Colour me impressed.        

12.  Jets:  When I watch Helle and Brossoit handle the puck, I can’t help but wonder why the coaching staff and in particular Wade Flaherty haven’t even remotely improved this part of Helle’s game.  It is such an asset and an important part of the game and Connor Hellebuyck is a tire fire when he leaves his crease.  You would think that after 5-6 years of being a pro there would be some improvement wouldn’t you?     

13.  Jets:  I’m not a big fan of Andrew Copp and I have to admit I actually like Mathieu Perreault better with Adam Lowry and Brandon Tanev.   

14.  Raptors:  The Raptors have done something they have never done in franchise history and that is start the season 16-4!  They are definitely the class of an interesting Eastern Conference this season. 

15. Jets:  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  What do you pay a 50-goal-scorer that can’t check his luggage?

16.  Vikings:  I can smile again.  The Vikings beat division rivals, Green Bay, on Sunday and are still in a “wild-card” position.  The Vikes are 7-5-1 but still have a tough schedule ahead of them.  The good news is they don’t have to worry about the Packers anymore.  They are done like dinner.   

17.  WHT Podcast:  Latest episode here >>>> WHT Podcast 076 

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:  9-6-1 … 2.91 GAA … .910 SV%             
  • Laurent Brossoit:  4-1-1 … 2.05 GAA … .937 SV% 

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

  • PP:  1st at 30.04% down from 33.33% last week.    
  • PK:  10th at 81.60% up from 11th 81.30% last week.   

20:  Key dates:

  • Jan. 1 – Jets can start negotiations with RFA defenceman Jacob Trouba.  

If you like our new format, let us know in the comment section or hit me on twitter at WpgSportsTalk or WpgHockTalk

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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. Here we go Mitch…I have a few bullet points for your observations…
    #2- I love that Dano is back in the organization. I’ve always liked this guy, and I hope he gets moved up soon…so long Lemieux.
    #4- Ehlers is in a funk at the moment, and once he gells with his line, it will be ok. Maurice may have to tinker with an alignment to get him going, but it will come.
    #5- I agree with the anthem ritual, but a wee part of me would miss this. We always play the anthem at our Junior C hockey games, and it almost seems like the calm before the storm. After the anthem, the players are pumped and the crowd is energized.
    #9- I was pissed when Stastney signed with the devils crew in Vegas, but karma is a bitch, and we don’t miss him as much as I thought we would. By the way, Vegas is my most hated team since the NHL gave them ultimate drafting oportunities so they would contend right from the get go. The CFL did the same thing with the Redblacks…made them instant contenders. Meanwhile, all the other established teams without a chapionship have to wallow in “just wait till next year” terrirory.
    #10- Laine is the first star, and he deserves it! He found his groove, and opposing team will have to account for his presence, but that leaves so many more scorers open. This is a nice scenario for Jets fans.
    #11- Kyle Conner is only going to get better…
    #16- Are you posting this just to annoy me?

    Thanks for listening…Cheers, Les.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Thanks for reading and YES I do have a few friends that are “cheeseheads” so I like to poke the bear!!!!!

      • If you want to poke the bear, you might want to select a Chicago fan…On the other hand, it would take me 5 hours to paint a large Packer logo on the side of your house or in your rec room…1 hour if I freehanded it, but it might look a bit cheesy…pun intended, lol!

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