Random Thoughts From Motown Mitch: Oct. 21

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 potentially disastrous week adverted with an exciting 1-0 shootout win over the Edmonton McDavids on Sunday night.  They finished the week 1-3-0 and now have a record overall of 5-5-0.  

 The Good:

  • Connor Hellebuyck was good all week but never really got much goal support.  
  • The Jets showed that they can actually play team defence.  I guess the Oilers got their attention.

The Bad:

  • The Jets 5v5 scoring has been non-existant on their homestand.  I’m tired of hearing how they have no problem scoring.  NEWS FLASH:  This team is having trouble scoring.

The Ugly:

  • The Jets PK is a joke.  The passive, sagging style is hard to watch.  You basically don’t get anything done in this world by being passive.  The Jets PK needs to be more aggressive and start pressuring the puck more.  It’s not rocket science.

2.  Jets: It pains me to say this BUT Josh shouldn’t be running the first unit powerplay.  The first unit seems to run more efficiently with a right-handed shooting defenceman.  I would like to see Neal Pionk there.

3. Jets:  Andrew Copp has done a good job centering the Jets’ second line.  They (Kyle Connor and Nik Ehlers) have dominated their opponents in almost every facet of the game except the score sheet.  Nice Corsi numbers are one thing but putting the puck in the net is another.  Bryan Little might not be your cup of tea at center but Andrew Copp is not the answer either.  I’m sorry.

 4. Blue Bombers: Winnipeg 33 at Calgary 37 – This was a very entertaining game and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers played hard BUT I never felt at any time that they could win this game.  The score actually flattered them.  The Blue Bombers just aren’t a very good football team.    

The Good:

  • The Blue Bomber running game was very good but it is like bringing a knife to a gunfight.
  • Justin Medlock was outstanding in all phases of the game.
  • Chris Strevceler competed and left it all out on the field.  There is no questioning his heart.

The Bad:

  • The Blue Bomber defence was awful again.  It sounds like a broken record but this defence rarely gives this team a chance to win.
  • The o-line never gets much criticism but they can’t pass block.  Streveler is under constant pressure and his passing game suffers because of this..

The Ugly:

  • Lack of scoring in the second half again.  

5. Jets:  I wonder if the Winnipeg Jets will regret the Kyle Connor contract especially since it was primarily based on his production while playing with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler? 

6. ATP Tennis:  Congrats to Denis Shapovalov on his first ATP win at the Stockholm Open on Sunday.  The 20-year-old Canadian, who was playing his first ATP final, beat 2017 Paris Masters runner-up Filip Krajinovic.  Shapo was the #4 seed.

7. Jets:  Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice got his 700th NHL coaching win vs the Oilers on Sunday.  Congrats PoMo.    

8. Pet Peeve:  The offside challenge.

9. Blue Bombers:  Twenty-nine years and counting since the last Grey Cup for the home team.  That is hard to believe in a league where there is only nine teams (eight for a few seasons).   

10. Jets:  The Dustin Byfuglien watch.  ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

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11. Jets:  I liked the lineup the Jets used on Sunday vs Edmonton but it is too bad it takes injuries for PoMo to get it right.     

12. Jets:  I’m down on Mason Appleton right now.  I don’t think he has been very good at all.  IMHO it is time for more minutes and development in the AHL.   

13. Jets:  In a season with tons of turmoil on the Jets blueline, Tucker Poolman has been a shining light.  Poolman has been punching above his weight class and he has done a pretty good job of holding his own.  It is pretty tough going from the AHL to playing against the toughest match-ups every night.     

14. Jets:  I will fight to the death in my narrative that Josh was/is better than Jake BUT I have to admit that Josh has been very ordinary so far this season.  

15. Jets:  Blake Wheeler seems a little off so far this season even for a notoriously slow starter.   

16. Jets:  I don’t think Mathieu Perreault is a fourth-line player BUT I don’t know where I would play him in this lineup.  

17.  Important Dates:

Oct. 25: Winnipeg Blue Bombers host Calgary. (TSN 3)

Oct. 26: Heritage Classic – JETS VS FLAMES at Mosaic Stadium, Regina.  

18.  Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  4-3-0 … 2.28 GAA … .929 SV%             
  • Laurent Brossoit:  1-2-0 … 4.86 GAA … .850 SV%

19.  Special Teams:  Rule of thumb.  Have the two red numbers (PK and PP) 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:  20th at 18.20% up from 24th at 14.30%     
  • PK: 31st at 61.10% down from 28th at 69.20% 
  • FO:  12th at 51.10% up from 17th at 49.60%

20.  Final Thought:  I wonder how long Kevin Cheveldayoff goes with the status quo before making a move IF he even makes a move?  Most experts (whoever they are) seem to think it is at the twenty-game mark. 

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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