Random Thoughts From Motown Mitch: Oct. 22

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.

Today’s narrative:  but yet the Jets are 5-2-1

UPDATE:

After last nights 5-4 overtime win over St. Louis the Winnipeg Jets are now 6-2-1 but the narrative is still the same.

1.  Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets went 2-0-1 last week and now have an overall record of 5-2-1.  The marquee game of the week was versus the Edmonton Oilers and things looked pretty good after two periods.  The Jets were up 4-1 but managed to blow that lead and ended up losing in overtime.  They forgot the Oilers have the best player on the planet and somehow they didn’t see fit to keep an eye on him.  I don’t know if I blame the coaches for not having a plan or the players for not executing it but whichever it was, it was ugly … but yet the Jets are 5-2-1.

2.  Jets:  I wonder if other NHL fanbases pine over ex-players as much as Winnipeg’s.             

3.  Moose:  The Manitoba Moose had a good weekend by beating San Antonio twice and improving their record to 3-3-0-0.     

4.  Jets:  The Jets send Kristian Vesalainen down to the Manitoba Moose this past week and he posted four helpers in two games.  I like that he didn’t balk at the assignment.  It’s a heck of a lot easier to get called up from across the hall than from the KHL.  I have to think he was promised or slightly promised he wouldn’t be there for long.    

5.  VikingsMinnesota wide receiver Adam Theilen became the first player in the “Super Bowl Era” to record 100 yards receiving in each of his team’s first seven games.  Not bad for an undrafted player that made it to Vikings main camp in 2013 after attending a couple regional free agent tryout camps.  

6.  JetsI wonder how Kurt Overhardt feels about his prized client, JacobTrouba, being behind Josh Morrissey, Dustin Byfuglien, and Tyler Myers on the Jets PP depth chart.  He is also probably behind Sami Niku the moment he gets called up. 

I like to poke fun at Jacob Trouba’s expense with my Twitter friends but I really like Jake.  I actually just traded for him last week in one of my keeper fantasy pools.              

7.  MLB:  The World Series starts on Tuesday night and I can’t think of two teams I could care less about never mind cheer for.  I guess it basically comes down to who I hate the least.    

8.  JetsAuston Matthews and Patrik Laine will be forever linked and compared after going #1 and #2 in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft and I’m sure the media will try to hype that quite a bit this week when Toronto comes to town.  Right now, this battle isn’t even close.  I love Patrik Laine but Auston Matthews’ play is blowing our guy out of the water.

9.  Jets:  The Jets are in the middle of the pack (17th) in faceoff percentage at 50% but center Adam Lowry is killing it right now at 58.3% at the faceoff dot.      

10.  Jets:  Everybody has theories about Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers play early this year but I still see a lot of good things in his game.  Nik is a thoroughbred that needs to run and trying to turn him into a straight-line, north/south, dump and chase, soulless robot, is not the answer.  Although Nik hasn’t scored in ions, I think he will be fine … but yet the Jets are 5-2-1.

Embed from Getty Images

11.  NHL:  It looks like NHL expansion to Seattle is all but a done deal.  I don’t see the NHL Board of Governors turning their noses up at a $650, 000,000 expansion fee.  Do you?     

12.  Raptors:  The Toronto Raptors started out their season with three games in four nights and managed to win all three and even more impressive is the fact they did it without star forward Kawhi Leonard in game three.  Raptor fans really like their new toy (Kawhi) and were chanting MVP, MVP, during the two home games but make no mistake about it, Kyle Lowry was the best player on the floor in the Raptors’ first three games.         

13.  Jets:  Patrik Laine and Blake Wheeler have contributed and been pretty good on the Jets power-play BUT those two (plus a few others) have been woeful in their own end all season … but yet the Jets are 5-2-1.   

14.  Blue Bombers:  The Winnipeg Blue Bombers will be back at it this weekend and they didn’t get much help from the out-of-town scoreboard during their bye week.  I believe they control their own destiny and can clinch a playoff spot with one more win.  It also looks like they will be the visiting team in either the West or East semi-final.    

15: Jets:  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  Is Paul Maurice playing Josh Morrissey on the first unit powerplay your way of trying to irritate Kurt Overhardt and Jacob Trouba?  Maybe just a little bit?    

16.  Jets:  It is funny how things can change in a couple of short years.  Right now if it wasn’t for better than average special teams and better than average goaltending, the Jets would be lucky to be 2-5-1 … but yet the Jets are 5-2-1.   

17.  NHL:  I promised myself I wasn’t going to piss and moan about NHL officiating before the 10-game mark but I can’t help myself.  The officiating in the NHL is horrendous and in my opinion, the NHL has a serious officiating problem.  It is by far the worst officiated of all the major sports.  There is absolutely no consistency from night to night and some of the penalties they call are almost laughable while they missing blatant or flagrant calls.             

18. MLB:  Does anybody else find it strange that baseball players are the only ones of all the major sports leagues that don’t shake hands at the end of a series?

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

  • PP:  3rd at 35.00% up from 14th at 25.00% last week.    
  • PK:  9th at 83.30% down from 7th at 86.40% last week.   

20:  Key dates:

  • Oct. 22:  The third anniversary of my wife’s (Phyllis Kasprick) first hole-in-one at the Arizona Golf Resort.  It was on the 105-yard 14th hole with a smooth 7-iron.    
  • Oct. 26:  Winnipeg Blue Bombers (9-7) vs Calgary Stampeders (12-3). 
  • Nov. 1 &2:  NHL Global Series in Finland – Winnipeg Jets versus Florida Panthers.

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Thanks, Mitch 

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