Random Thoughts From Motown Mitch: Oct. 8

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.


It is Thanksgiving Day today in Canada and we all have a lot to be thankful for.  I would like to thank all of you that visit our site and support us.  Thank-You!

Today’s narrative:  But it’s early, right? 

1.  Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets split their opening two games of the regular season on the road and are 1-1-0 going into their home opener versus the LA Kings on Tuesday night.  The good news is they are two points better than at this time last season and the bad news is they look absolutely awful defensively.  But it’s early, right?  

2.  CFL:  Winnipeg Blue Bombers 40 – Ottawa Redblacks 32 … in overtime.  The Blue Bombers (7-6) have won three in a row and are now back in the hunt for a playoff position.  They won this game in overtime but they were clearly the better team for most of the night.  The good guys almost let this one slip away with a defensive collapse in the fourth quarter.  This game was eerily similar to their season opening loss versus Edmonton.  We will take the win but man that defence still needs a lot of work.   

3.  Moose:  The Manitoba Moose started their season with two losses on the road versus the Iowa Wild.  The combined score was 12-2.  Ouch!    

4.  Jets:  If it wasn’t for Connor Hellebuyck and his goalposts the Jets could easily be 0-2 again to start their season.  These early season games are still basically pre-season games in my opinion because Paul Maurice never really dressed a veteran line-up in his final pre-season games.    

5. Jets:  This is my early season over-reaction but after two games into the season I think I’m at the point where if I have to watch poor play in the Jets defensive zone I would just as soon watch Sami Niku making those mistakes.  If Joe Morrow or Ben Chiarot don’t clear waivers, so be it.  Tyler Myers hasn’t looked very good and Jacob Trouba is still in his post contract negotiation funk.  I may be a demanding SOB but I don’t think veteran players should look this bad.  But it’s early, right? 

6.  JetsThe Jets need to improve in the face-off circle.  They were 42% on Thursday versus St. Louis and 38% on Saturday versus Dallas.  But it’s early, right?  

7.  Jets:  Quirky fact:  Since the Winnipeg Jets return to the NHL, they still do not have a second round draft pick as a regular in their line-up.  To be fair, the Jets didn’t have second round picks in 2011, 2014, and 2016.   

8.  Blue BombersRichie Hall and the defence almost wasted terrific efforts by Matt Nichols, Darvin Adams, Weston Dressler, and Andrew Harris.  I was hoping the defence had found its mojo but I’m at a point where I still don’t quite trust them yet.          

9.  Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets will be playing the Florida Panthers (Nov. 1 and Nov.2) in Helsinki, Finland, as  part of the NHL’s Global Series?  What are the odds of Sami Niku being on the Jets roster?  I’m going to guess they will be pretty good.  

10.  Jets:  I found Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers’ icetime very puzzling in the Jets first two games. Nik is elite and elite players don’t get 10:31 and 14:24 a night.  But it’s early, right? 

Embed from Getty Images

11.  NHL:  There was a bit of controversy on Wednesday night when Brad Marchand tuned up Washington forward Lars Eller in the third period of a 7-0 game after the Bruins were upset over Eller’s celebration in front of their bench.  Eller said he was gesturing to his own bench and I believe him.  My problem with this incident is that it would have never happened if the player’s benches weren’t on the same side of the ice.  I don’t know why the NHL changed the bench configurations but this has been a pet peeve of mine for years.  Why NHL, why?  There have been so many incidents because of the benches being side by side over the years but I guess Count Chocula likes the NHL getting  negative attention.  You know what they say, negative attention is better than no attention at all.            

12.  CFL:  I think I’m going to mention this every week until I’m committed but I don’t understand the love affair with TSN and Johnny Manziel?   

13.  NFL:  NFL kickers never fail to amaze me.  Carolina Panthers place-kicker, Graham Gano, nailed a 63-yard game winning field goal on the last play of the game and for me that wasn’t even the amazing part.  The amazing part was the ball was still halfway up the posts (uprights) when it crossed over the bar.  It might have been good from 70 yards!       

14.  Blue Bombers:  Over-looked in the Blue Bombers win was Justin Medlock was a perfect six for six in the field goal department.     

15: Jets:  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  Retrospective analysis is a beautiful thing but if you had to do it all over again would you have signed free agents Steve Mason and Dmitry Kulikov?  I know at the time I thought it was a pretty good idea.  

16.  Jets:  Is it just me or does Kyle Connor look a little bit like Josh Donaldson? 

17.  NHL:  I hate Jets games where Brad Watson is one of the referees.  The other night in Dallas was a typical Watson night.  I really think he thinks the fans pay to watch him officiate.

18. Jets:  I’m not a Tyler Myers hater like a lot of Jets fans on Twitter but when he took that high-sticking penalty early in the third period with the Jets down 3-1 and all over the Dallas Stars you should have heard the venom I spewed at him.  That was a play that was completely avoidable and it showed me an absolute lack of hockey sense.  If I was behind the bench, he wouldn’t have seen the ice again that night.  But it’s early, right?          

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

  • PP:  16th at 20.00%     
  • PK:  28th at 66.70%   

20:  Key dates:  

  • Oct. 13:  Winnipeg Blue Bombers (8-7) vs Saskatchewan Roughriders (9-5). 
  • Oct. 9:  Winnipeg Jets home opener vs Los Angeles.

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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. Perhaps the Bombers D was an anomaly in the Edmonton win. Halls’ prevent defense drives me nuts! Its a third and nine in Ottawa, and we give them a 15 yard cushion.

    I thought the Jets could have traded Myers this last summer. Since his first season here, it seems he has had so-so campaigns.

  2. Mitch Kasprick says

    I agree on both points …. you know what they say about “prevent defence” …. it prevents you from winning!

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