Random Thoughts From Motown Mitch: Oct. 29

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 went 2-2-0 last week and now have an overall record of 7-4-1 but it was like a nightmare for me and most Jets fans having to witness losing to the Toronto Maple Leafs twice in one week.  The Saturday night loss still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth after the good guys blew a 2-0 lead in the third period and ended up losing 3-2 in a game they should have at least got a point in.  

2.  Jets:  There is a lot of concern within the Winnipeg Jets fanbase about the play of Patrik Laine so far this season.  At this time last season, Laine had 3 goals and 2 assists AND this year he has 4 goals and 2 assists, so no big whoop BUT the part that has fans concerned is his play in his defensive zone and how easily he loses the puck and puck battles all over the ice.  Yes, he is only twenty-years-old but it’s his third-year and he should be showing signs of improvement in his defensive game.  Laine’s defensive game is worse now than when he was an eighteen-year-old.  Right now he is a very frustrated hockey player.  Maybe this two-game series in Finland will turn things around for him.  He is too good to be in this current funk.            

3.  Moose:  The Manitoba Moose split their two road games this weekend losing to Milwaukee on Saturday (4-1) but rebounded with a shootout win vs Rockford on Sunday (2-1).  Their record is now 4-4-0-0.  The game on Sunday was highlighted by Mikhail Berdin winning his first AHL game in his first AHL start.    

4.  CFL: Winnipeg Blue Bombers 29 – Calgary Stampeders 21  The Blue Bombers (10-7) have clinched a playoff berth for the third year in a row after rattling off five straight wins.  Their latest conquest was a rare victory over Bo-Levy Mitchell in the friendly confines of IGF.  It was a solid victory over the top team in the west.  Some will be quick to point out that the Stamps didn’t have their optimum line-up on the field.  BOO-HOO!  Tell me how many times the Winnipeg Blue Bombers dressed their optimum line-up?  That is the nature of football.  The Bombers controlled their own destiny and got it done.  Way to go boys. 

5.  VikingsFirst the good news; Minnesota wide receiver Adam Thielen extended his consecutive 100 yards per game receiving streak to eight games.  Now the bad news; his fumble late in the first half really turned the game around for the New Orleans Saints and the Saints went on to win 30-20 and that play was definitely the turning point.  Arrrggggg.

6.  JetsWith all due respect to Adam Lowry, Bryan Little is still the Jets best defensive center.  This team is pretty leaky in their own end right now and I don’t know what the Jets would do without him.           

7.  MLB:  The World Series ended this weekend with Boston winning in five games and like I said last week I couldn’t think of two teams I could care less about never mind cheer for.  Well, it didn’t take long for me to pick a side.  I found myself pulling for the Dodgers.  I guess my AL East hatred of the Red Sox trumps everything.    

8.  JetsThere is a lot of talk in Jetsville that the Jets should have taken Sami Niku and Kristian Vesalainen to Finland for the Global Series since it would be a once in a lifetime opportunity for them to play in their homeland wearing their Winnipeg Jets colours.  I don’t necessarily disagree with that sentiment so I will play “Devils Advocate” here for a second.  If they weren’t ready to play with the big club last week, what makes them ready to play this week?      

9.  Jets:  Following up on the above thought about player moves, I’m wondering when Nic Petan gets his first taste of regular season action.    

10. Blue Bombers:  Matt Nichols had one of his best passing games in the past couple of years throwing for 358 yards and two touchdowns.  The Blue Bomber offence was solid and really picked it up in the second half and I don’t think I’ve seen Nichols play with this much confidence since last season.  The timing couldn’t have come at a better time.

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11.  Jets:  The Jets go into this week’s two-game series in Finland with a 7-4-1 record and in third place in the Central Division but yet something is still not quite right with the team.  They’re a little off right now.  I can hardly wait to see this team when they’re firing on all cylinders.    

12.  Raptors:  The Toronto Raptors are 6-0 and off to a terrific start but for me the biggest difference I see in this team since the big trade is they are now developing a defensive identity without impacting their offence. 

13.  Jets:  I would like Count Chocula and his band of stripped idiots explain to me the difference between Brandon Tanev’s hit from behind on Ryan O’Reilly and Nazim Kadri’s hit from behind on Jacob Trouba?  Don’t tell me it was because Trouba is big and strong and got up right away you gutless cowards?  Kadri should have been tossed and once again it just shows the inconsistency of NHL “beer league” officiating.     

14.  Blue Bombers:  The Winnipeg Blue Bombers defence had some very good moments in the win versus Calgary but they were also a bit leaky at times Friday night.  They benefited from a couple of timely turnovers and a very questionable goal-line call by the officials.  I really loved the pressure they put on Bo-Levi Mitchell but their “bend but don’t break” defence is still too risky for my liking.    

15: Jets:  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  My wife and I have a rule in our house that we don’t throw anything out until we’ve replaced it.  It’s a solid practice and makes a lot of sense.  I wasn’t the biggest Toby Enstrom fan but I did recognize and appreciate the strong points in his game.  It looks like you threw Toby out without replacing him first.  Did you really think that replacing Enstrom from within was the answer?  Ben Chiarot and Joe Morrow are depth players that can rotate in and out of the 5-6 role and since you already have Tyler Myers and Dmitry Kulikov there (5-6 role), what were you thinking?  There is still a massive hole in the 4 slot and if the Jets get any injuries to their top three defencemen I feel sorry for Connor Hellebuyck.       

16.  Jets:  I’ve noticed that on my Twitter timeline the hate for Brandon Tanev has really dissipated but it has really ramped up for Tyler Myers.  Every fanbase has their whipping boy.  Tag, Tyler, you’re it.   

17.  Blue Bombers:  With nothing to lose or nothing to gain, I would like to see Mike O’Shea sit Nichols, Harris, Dressler, Adams, etc. this weekend vs Edmonton.

18.  MLB:  David Ortiz’s (aka Big Papi) over the top cheering for the Red Sox while working on Fox Sports broadcasts is a joke and unprofessional.  I could see it if he was working on a regional feed but not on a national broadcast.  Oh ya, I hate Boston.

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  4-4-1 … 3.00 GAA … .907 SV%             
  • Laurent Brossoit:  3-0-0 … 1.68 GAA … .957 SV% 

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

  • PP:  3rd at 31.40% down from 3rd at 35.00% last week.    
  • PK:  10th at 82.90% down from 9th at 83.30% last week.   

21:  Key dates:

  • Nov. 3:  Winnipeg Blue Bombers (10-7) at Edmonton Eskimos (8-9). 
  • Nov. 1 &2:  NHL Global Series in Finland – Winnipeg Jets versus Florida Panthers.

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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 


  1. Okay Mitch…I’ll breakdown my comments by points…
    #1. My landlord for my shop is a big leafs fan…to loose two is unbearable. My autographed picture of Johnny Bower is on the line for who gets further in the playoffs.
    #2. My sentiments exactly…give the kid a shot of showing his skills at home. Big Buff yelling at him was an eye opener. Dude, keep your feet moving…standard minor hockey rule.
    #4. I have always thought that Bo Levi Mitchell was over-rated…he has always had an amazing support cast and a defense to back him up. His stats are amazing, but throw him in B.C. or Montreal for his career and we are talking a different story. His skills are good, but not amazing.
    #5. Sucks to be a Vikings fan…GO PACKERS!
    #10. Bombers are doing the right things at the right time!
    #13. Don’t get me started on the Count.
    #17. I’d give the starters a taste of action in Edmonton, but give the backups, especially Strevlor some big time action.
    #19. Hellebuyck and Brossoirt are a great tandem.
    In a nutshell, Bombers good, Jets need to tweek their game, Packers awesome, and say hi to your wife…she manages your show. Love the weekly posts, by the way! I would tap into your site anytime!

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Why did Ty Montgomery bring that ball out of the end zone? Thanks for reading …tell your friends, maybe I will become famous in Morris LOL

  2. Good article. Sorry I only read the Jets posts. I know more about Paw Patrol ( I have little kids) than the Bombers , baseball or anything but hockey. With that said, I’m in the camp of ‘give Laine a bit of time’ He’s a young, unique tallent and is going to get his game back. He’s not going to be Austin Mathews, but he’s got the potential to be a regular game changing piece on this strong, deep team. He’ll turn it around. I’d be more worried about Helebuyck not living up to last year. Again, he’ll likely rebound. If he doesn’t, we’ve got an issue. But on The topic of goalies, LoBro has got to be the biggest surprise of the season. Only 3 games, but he looks as cool as a cucumber, and much like Hele did last year. Maybe he’s a player after all. Also, Scheifele, Josh Mo, Lowry and Tanev, for the first few games are playing up to and well past expectations. Hoping some of the other guys find some more puck luck. It’s a deep team, so if a few more player get hot, we could go on a good run.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      thanks for reading Brady … the offensive part of a player’s game will always sort it itself out but playing good defensive play doesn’t require any special talent, just hard work … all I want to see is a total commitment to solid defensive play from everybody because their natural talent will always eventually win out and this team is dripping with talent

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