Random Thoughts From Motown Mitch: Nov. 5

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 split their two games with the Florida Panthers in the Global Series in Helsinki, Finland last week and come home with a ho-hum record of 8-5-1.  The Jets don’t play their next game until Friday so there is lots of time in Jetsville to stew over the last game.  Talk radio should be interesting this week and I’m sure it will all center around the rookie Brendan Lemieux.    

2.  Jets:  A local reporter asked head coach Paul Maurice Do you expect Laine to show Barkov who’s the daddy here in Finland”?  Check out Maurice’s reaction, it’s priceless.  

3.  Moose:  The Manitoba Moose finished off their three-game road trip with an impressive win in Milwaukee then headed home and split a weekend series with the Chicago Wolves.   A couple of highlights were C.J Suess and Mason Appleton both scoring their 6th goals of the year and rookie goaltender Mikhail Berdin (3-0) posting his third win of the season.  The Moose record is now 6-5-0-0.    

4.  CFL: Winnipeg Blue Bombers 24 – Edmonton Eskimos 33  The Blue Bombers (10-8) wrapped up their regular season with a very solid effort and maybe one of their games I enjoyed the most this year.  The Big Blue went into Edmonton with a team of second stringers and practice roster players and gave the Eskimos, who dressed all of their starters, all they could handle.  I think the Bombers could have beaten Edmonton if they let Chris Streveler play the whole game.  

5.  Vikings:  SKOL … Vikings 24 – Lions 9  The Vikings (5-3-1) defense posted 10 sacks versus an injury-riddled Detroit Lions offensive line.  I actually felt sorry for Mathew Stafford as he had zero time to throw a pass.  

6.  JetsI don’t want to be accused of having retrospective analysis so I want to preface this by saying I stated these views with friends before game two of the Global Series.

  • I would not have started Connor Hellebuyck in game two for two reasons.  History shows his numbers aren’t very good in back to back games and he had a very heavy and busy workload in the first game.  He wasn’t bad in game two but he was a little off in my opinion.
  • I would have sat Brendan Lemieux and not Jack Roslovic based strictly on skill level.  I know Paul Maurice likes Lemieux’s sandpaper in the lineup at times but that wasn’t needed in this game.                    

7.  JetsFourth-line players shouldn’t cost you a hockey game but that is exactly what happened on Friday versus Florida.  Brendan Lemieux took two BAD penalties that lead to two PP goals by the Panthers in a 4-2 loss.  Lemieux is taking a lot of heat in Winnipeg and rightfully so.  Part of this is on PoMo as well for having him in the line-up.  Lemieux will be having a phone hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety and is looking at a max suspension of six games.  After he serves his suspension, he should be sent directly back to the AHL’s Manitoba Moose.  For me, he is no loss and a fringe NHLer at best.  If it wasn’t for his bloodlines he wouldn’t even be on an NHL teams radar.  The curmudgeon has spoken.  Bye-bye. 

UPDATE:    

Brendan Lemieux has been suspended two games for his hit on Florida Panthers forward Vincent Trocheck.

Did the NHL get it right?  Your thoughts?

8.  JetsRight now Blake Wheeler and Patrik Laine are living on the PP and not getting much done five on five.  The powerplay is running at an incredible rate right now but what happens when the PP runs into a rough patch?  It happens to every team and we need some even strength scoring out of these two.     

9.  Jets:  I’ve never been a big fan of rolling four lines in a hockey game unless you have a nice lead, or you’re playing on back to back nights, or the team is in a busy part of the schedule.  I like rolling three lines and getting my top players on the ice more frequently.  Agree or disagree?   

10. Jets:  Well, it looks like Patrik Laine won the “who’s the daddy” title over Aleksander Barkov in Helsinki last week.  After scoring a hattrick in the first game and a beauty snipe in the second game, Laine had fours goals in the two-game series.  Laine has actually scored more goals in Finland this season than he has in North America.  (see #2) 

11.  NHL:  How does Count Chocula get into the Hockey Hall Of Fame when there were THREE work stoppages during his tenure on his resume AND with one resulting in canceling an entire season?      

12.  Raptors:  Toronto fans are in love with their new toy, Kawhi Leonard, but Danny Green has been a terrific acquisition as well.  They both can score but their defensive play is just as impressive.  The Raptors actually have guys that can play defence now!

13.  Blue Bombers:  I know I stated last week in this space that I didn’t want to see any of the Blue Bombers big guns playing in this meaningless season finale but I have to give big props to Mike O’Shea for letting Andrew Harris get his touches so he could win the rushing title.  Harris only needed 8 yards to win the rushing title and he made short work of that by running for four yards on his first carry and then ripped off a 31-yard beauty to get the job done.  He saluted his offensive line and then took the rest of the game off.

14.  Raptors:  The Toronto Raptors and their fans are finally seeing the Serge Ibaka they traded for last February.  Ibaka has been very good defensively as well as putting up 17 points per game.  Last night in Los Angeles, he put up a career-high 34 points and 10 boards versus the Lakers.   

15: Jets:  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  You guys actually agreed to this schedule?           

16.  CFL:  Does anybody else wonder why the play clock runs on converts in the CFL?    

17.  Blue Bombers:  Congrats to Andrew Harris on his second consecutive rushing title.  The strange thing is Harris does not have a bonus clause in his contract for winning the rushing title.

18. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  5-5-1 … 3.01 GAA … .907 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:  2nd at 33.33% up from 3rd at 31.40% last week.    
  • PK:  19th at 78.40% down from 10th at 82.90% last week.   

20:  Key dates:

  • Nov. 11:  Western Semi-final:  Winnipeg Blue Bombers (10-8) at Saskatchewan Roughriders (12-6). 

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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 

Comments

  1. NHL got it right, no injury no NHL history, even if Twitter thinks who his Dad is should count. LOL I think how Paul Maurice treats him going forward will be interesting.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      I can’t help but wonder if his name wasn’t Lemieux would he even be relative? See what I did there? LOL

  2. I haven’t supported the Blue Bombers in the last 20 years.

    QUICK: What have I missed??

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