Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Apr. 16

Odds and Ends on the Winnipeg Jets and the NHL –

Some random facts and a few thoughts about the Winnipeg Jets, the Manitoba Moose, and the National Hockey League.  

1.  The Winnipeg Jets have started their first playoff series since 2015-16 and have accomplished their first goal, winning the franchises FIRST playoff game.  The Jets have won their two home games and Minnesota has won their first game to this point of the series. 

2.  The Manitoba Moose won two of their final three regular season games and finished with a record of 42-26-4-4.  They finished third in the Central Division and will face the Grand Rapids Griffins in the opening round of the AHL playoffs. 

MOOSE PLAYOFF SCHEDULE  (all times are CT)
Game 1 April 21, 2018, SATURDAY 2 P.M. BELL MTS PLACE
Game 2 April 22, 2018, SUNDAY 2 P.M. BELL MTS PLACE
Game 3 April 25, 2018, WEDNESDAY 6 P.M. VAN ANDEL ARENA
Game 4* April 26, 2018, THURSDAY 6 P.M. VAN ANDEL ARENA
Game 5* April 30, 2018, MONDAY 6 P.M. VAN ANDEL ARENA
*If necessary

3 The Jets held serve in their first two home games and although they were up two games to zero, I was uncomfortable at how long Devan Dubnyk kept them hanging around in both games.       

4.   Manitoba Moose players, forward Mason Appleton and defenceman Sami Niku have added more accolades since our last post.  Mason Appleton has been voted the winner of the Dudley (Red) Garrett Award as the AHL’s Outstanding Rookie and Sami Niku has been voted the 2017-18 Eddie Shore Award winner as the AHL’s outstanding defenceman.  The rich just keep getting richer. 

5.  In game three, the Minnesota Wild were leading the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 in the second period but the momentum was starting to change in the Jets favour and when the Jets needed a save and they didn’t get it.  I think it would be fair to say that Devan Dubnyk has been the best goalie so far in this series but I’m expecting Connor Hellebuyck to be a brick wall in game four.  (see #3)      

6.  Drew Doughty gets a one-game a suspension for a questionable hit on Vegas forward Will Carrier and I don’t think he warranted or deserved to be suspended.  In another game, Nashville defenceman Roman Josi hits Colorado defenceman Tyson Barrie with a blatant head-shot that wasn’t even penalized or reviewed.  How is it possible for this to happen in this era of instant analysis?        

7.  Was it just me or did there seem to be a lot more after the whistle bravado in game three than there was in the first two games in Winnipeg?  I thought the officials gave the Wild a lot more rope and allowed them to take more liberties in this game and I thought they got away with quite a bit in the first two games.

8.  I can’t say I’m surprised at the results after the first three games of the Jets/Wild series but I can’t help but wonder how much the travel delays factored into the result in game three?   

9. I don’t want to overreact because it’s still early in the series BUT the Winnipeg Jets are going to need some scoring from their top line 5 on 5 and especially on the road.              

10.  A lot of Winnipeg Jets fans were very upset the good guys lost game three but did anybody really think we were going to sweep the Minnesota Wild?     

11.  Washington is down 2-0 in their series versus Columbus after losing BOTH home games!  I wonder what the angst level is in DC?

12.  Pet Peeve:  I was hoping I was going to be wrong but the officiating in the first three games of the first round of the NHL playoffs has been absolutely awful.  There has been ZERO consistency from game to game and series to series.           

13.  I remember a game in Chicago where Hawks forward Bryan Bickell was running around taking liberties and hitting every Jets player in sight until Anthony Peluso “tuned him up” and put a stop to his nonsense.  The Jets went on to win that game.  Watching Marcus Foligno running around doing the same thing in game three brought back my primal urges and I was hoping somebody would step up and neuter him but the Jets don’t have any disposable players like that anymore in their lineup.  Buff could take care of him but the Jets can’t afford him wasting his time on a punk like Foligno.  Sometimes I long for the old days!

14.  Vegas is up 3-0 in their series versus Los Angeles.  I still don’t get it.

15.  Auston Matthews is really under the microscope right now.  It will be interesting to see how Toronto responds being down two games and heading back to Toronto.

16.  Jacob Trouba has been okay so far after three games but his lack of physical play is concerning for me and makes me wonder if he is playing hurt? 

17.  I don’t know why I still get amazed at how fast certain segments of our fanbase turn on Ben Chiarot.  Ya, he was why the Winnipeg Jets lost 6-2 Sunday night.

18.  Winnipeg Jets special teams have been nothing to write home about after three games and will need to improve if they want to have a long playoff run.  I know it’s still early but that narrative gets old very quick.    

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  2-1 … 3.40 GAA … .847 SV%             
  • Steve Mason:  0-0 … 0.00 GAA … 1.000 SV% 

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

  • PP:  11th at 20.00%     
  • PK:  12th at 62.50%   

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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 

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