Random Thoughts From Motown Mitch: Oct. 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 Ice, 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 had a pretty good week going 3-1-0 but the last game left a sour taste in Jets fans mouths.  They are 4-3-0 and have already knocked off two of their back-to-backs this season.  Let’s see if they can make some hay on this homestand.  This team needs some practice time.

 The Good:

  • Connor Hellebuyck.  Helle, like all goaltenders, will be the key to any success the Jets have this season and this past week he gave his team a chance to win and backstopped them to three wins in his three starts.
  • Patrik Laine was named the NHL’s SECOND STAR OF THE WEEK.

The Bad:

  • The Jets PP has looked stagnant and predictable.  I would like to see them run the PP the same as last season with Laine on the left side and Scheif in the middle.  I would also like to see Ehlers in Connor’s spot.  

The Ugly:

  • The last 30 minutes of the Penguins game on Sunday.

2.  Jets:  After hearing Patrik Laine’s comments about his play and work ethic last season do you still think Bryan Little was the problem?

3. Jets:  Like a lot of other Jets fans I wanted to see Andrew Copp get a shot at the second-line center and after watching him there for a few games now I think he has been pretty good BUT I don’t think he is a longterm solution. 

 4. Blue Bombers: Winnipeg 35 vs Montreal 24 – This was a very entertaining game that had a lot of great plays from the offense and the defense.  The Bombers (10-6) have kept themselves in the conversation for a home playoff game although it will still be tough to get the bye. 

The Good:

  • The Blue Bomber defense was very good.  For one of the few times this season the front-four, the linebackers, and the secondary had good games at the same time.
  • Justin Medlock was money.
  • Andrew Harris was a beast again with 166 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.  I don’t know where this team would be without him. 

The Bad:

  • Chris Streveler’s decision making.  Every quarterback is going to throw interceptions BUT Streveler has been throwing picks in situations where the team didn’t need to pass the ball.  Now in saying this I’m not sure if this is Streverler’s or LaPo’s doing?

The Ugly:

  • After an excellent two-minute drill to get the team in scoring range before half-time Chris Streveler threw a horrible, ill-advised pass that was picked off in the endzone and probably cost the Bombers three points.

5. Jets:  I like the way Jack Roslovic has taken ownership of the Jets third line.  It is a perfect spot for him to  develop his overall game.  His offensive game is progressing nicely and now he has to work on the defensive part of his game.  He might eventually end up being the second-line center this team has been looking for.  I must admit I’m a little concerned about his size playing in the middle but I can see him there in the future. 

6. Blue Bombers:  Rasheed Bailey may have dropped a couple of catchable balls on Saturday but he contributed more to the offence than Lucky Whitehead did in the last month. 

7. NHL:  The officiating in the NHL  seems to be getting worse and worse.  Nikolaj Ehlers got a penalty for being body-slammed vs Minny on Thursday night.  I would love to have one of the morons from the NHL sit down and explain that call to Jets fans.   

8. Pet Peeve:  I don’t agree with a lot of Paul Maurice’s lineup decisions and the latest decision to send Sami Niku to the Manitoba Moose has me shaking my head as well (although I think I know why the Jets did it) BUT the constant bitching on Twitter about Maurice is getting tired already.   I wonder if the decision had anything to do with this. 
 

9. Blue Bombers:  I know I said last week that I didn’t think Chris Streveler had the goods to be a CFL starter but I have to remind myself that most of his reps during games have been on short-yardage plays and although it seems like he has been around for awhile he still is pretty raw.  I would like to see him back here next season. 

10. Jets:  The Dustin Byfuglien watch.  Friday, on Prime Time Sports, Elliotte Friedman basically said that Buff’s ankle is the reason he asked for the leave of absence to ponder his future.  A lot of us speculated that right from the get-go so my question is why all the cloak and dagger?  Sometimes the TNSE “cone of silence” is an f’n joke.  

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DOES BUFF PLAY THIS SEASON?

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11. NHL:  The league scoring is up and it is probably because of the influx of younger and more skilled players and also because those younger and more skilled players take longer to develop the defensive part of their game.     

12. Jets:  Do you ever wonder how a player like Kyle Connor can be a pretty decent penalty killer but yet couldn’t check his baggage at even strength?

13. Jets:  I’m sorry but Andrew Copp should not be on any team’s powerplay.  

14. Jets:  Carl Dahlstrom isn’t the worst waiver-wire pickup I’ve ever seen.

15. Jets:  Neal Pionk is not a top-pairing defenceman but I think he fits as a middle-pairing guy so it looks like Ville Heinola and Pionk weren’t a bad return for Jacob Trouba after all.

16. Jets:  RIP Ted Green.

17.  Important Dates:

Oct. 19: Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Calgary. (TSN 3)

Oct. 19: Winnipeg Ice host the Saskatoon Blades – 7:30 PM @ Wayne Fleming Arena.

Oct. 20: Winnipeg Ice host the Saskatoon Blades – 7:30 PM @ Wayne Fleming Arena.

18.  Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  3-1-0 … 2.50 GAA … .928 SV%             
  • Laurent Brossoit:  1-2-0 … 4.86 GAA … .850 SV%

19.  Special Teams:  Rule of thumb.  Have the two red numbers total at least 100% when added.  (as your minimum)   I also base the movement (up or down) on the % and not the NHL ranking.

  • PP:  24th at 14.30% up from 23rd at 11.10%     
  • PK: 28th at 69.20% up from 29th at 60.00% 
  • FO:  17th at 49.60% down from 19th at 50.90%

20.  Final Thought:  And finally a BIG THANKS to all the Manitoba Hydro workers who are still battling out there for going well above and beyond their call of duty to restore hydro service to those without.  THANK-YOU.  

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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Thanks, Mitch

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