Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Apr. 19

Mitch Kasprick is the “Motown Curmudgeon” aka “Motown Mitch”

Odds and Ends, Thoughts and Questions, from this past week in hockey –

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, and all Team Canada Hockey teams.

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 returned home from a successful (4-1) road trip this week and then stunk the joint out on Saturday night versus a well rested Edmonton Oilers team.  The good guys looked tired and slow in a 3-0 loss.  What is it about these first home games after a road trip?  The Jets are now 4 points behind Toronto for first and 3 points ahead of third place Edmonton.  They play Toronto and Edmonton twice each in their next 4 home games.  These next four games could either clear up the top of the division or muddle it up even more, we’ll see in a couple of weeks.  Their overall record currently sits at 27-15-3. 

2. NHL:  FYI:  Seattle is required to draft 14 forward, 9 defencemen, and 3 goalies according to their expansion agreement AND the Vegas Golden Knights are exempt from the expansion draft per their entry agreement.  The most any team can lose is one player.  

3. JetsThe Winnipeg Jets just finished a stretch of 22 games where 17 were on the road.  They went a very impressive 11-5-1 away from home and 13-7-2 overall in that stretch.  That is a lot of hockey in a 43 days.  The Jets now finish off their season with 9 of 12 at home.     

4. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose only played 1 game last week, a solid 5-1 victory over Belleville.  They start a 5-game series at home this week vs Stockton before closing out their season with seven road games in Toronto and Belleville.  Their overall record improved too .500 at 11-11-2-0.  

5. Jets:  Poll Question:  Should Chevy cut a deal with Seattle GM Ron Francis so the Jets don’t lose a player off their roster in the expansion draft?  In the 2017 Vegas expansion draft the Jets and Vegas cut a deal where the Golden Knights would select Chris Thorburn’s expiring contract.  In the deal they flip-flopped 1st rounders with Winnipeg acquiring the 24th pick (from Vegas, from Columbus) in the 2017 NHL Draft in exchange for the 13th pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, and the Jets third-round selection in 2019.  

Will Chevy or should Chevy cut a deal with Seattle GM Ron Francis so the Jets don't lose a player in the expansion draft?

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6. Jets:  I’m starting to find Kyle Connor’s defensive play or should I say lack of defensive play very tiresome and it’s even worse when he and Mark Scheifele are on the ice together.  It is a real “Catch 22” for Paul Maurice, they are very good together offensively but a gong show in the defensive end.  This is further magnified when Paul Maurice tries to match the Scheifele line vs Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews, it rarely ends well for the Jets.     

7. Jets:  Adam Lowry signed a very “team friendly” five-year contract to remain in Winnipeg.  Lowry will receive $2,500,000, $3,250,000, $4,500,000, $3,25,000, and $2,500,000 over the next five seasons.  The contract has an average annual value of $3,250,000 and contains a modified (6 team) no-trade clause.  There is no doubt that Lowry could have been paid much more money if he went to market, even in this flat cap era.  Sometimes I like to make fun of the Jets “kumbaya” attitude but there is obviously a lot to be said for being happy in your workplace.        

8. Jets:  I thought Logan Stanley had his worst game of the year Saturday vs Edmonton.  It was bound to happen and I’m just waiting for the haters to pounce.

9. Jets:  Saturday night vs Edmonton was the first game I can actually say I was a little disappointed in the play of Pierre-Luc Dubois although he wasn’t alone.  The whole Jets team looked slow and tired and the well rested Oilers really made them look bad at times.  I’m not sure if anybody noticed but Paul Maurice sat PLD for the last half of the third period.  Message sent, now we’ll wait and see how he responds.

10. Jets:  With the acquisition of Jordie Benn at the trade deadline I would like to see a little more competition for play on the 3rd pairing.  I would like to see Ville Heinola, Logan Stanley, and Jordie Benn rotate in and out and you can actually add Derek Forbot to the list.  Forbort’s play is slipping and he could use an occasional night off.

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11. NHL:  There were rumours that Adam Gaudette was the Canucks player that broke protocol and started the spread of Covid throughout the team.  Based on his early exit on trade deadline day (traded to Chicago) I would say that might be a safe observation.  I would say his being traded was probably for his own protection because I’m sure there was a lineup of players that wanted to kick the crap out of him.  I’m looking forward to the first Vancouver/Chicago game next season. 

12. NHL:  Key dates.

  • May 8 – End of the regular season
  • May 11 – Playoffs begin
  • July 15 – The latest the Stanley Cup can be awarded
  • July 17 – Expansion draft protection lists tentatively due
  • July 21 – Expansion draft
  • July 23-24 – 2021 NHL Entry Draft
  • July 28 – Free agency opens

13. Jets: Poll Question:  Last weeks poll question about Chevy and his trade deadline showed that 90% of Jets fans were fine with not trading away 1st round picks and prospects for a rental player.    

Are you ok with the Winnipeg Jets trade deadline day?

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14. NHL:  Ya, the NHL doesn’t have a goal crease problem!  This was from Thursday night this past week.   

    

15. Jets:  Schedule

Update:  The May 7 game vs Ottawa has been re-scheduled to Monday, April 5.  This is due to the two postponed Vancouver games this week.

16. Jets:  Remember the days when “Big Buff” played and Connor McDavid was a non-factor against the Jets? 

17. Jets:  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.

These are the Winnipeg Jets rankings within the seven team Canadian Division.  Since all games played during the regular season are divisional the rest of the league’s numbers don’t really matter.

  • PP: 2nd at 26.10% up from 25.80% last week.
  • PK: 2nd at 80.30 down from 81.00% last week. 
  • FO: 5th at 49.50 up from 49.10% last week.

18. Jets:  I was on the fence when Chevy signed Derek Forbort but he has been a better UFA signing than I originally expected.  I didn’t have very high expectations for him but he has played surprisingly well for the most part.  I think his play has regressed some lately but when I compare him to what we had on our blueline last season he is still an improvement.  Based on his salary ($1,000,000) and his usage, I still think he was a good signing.     

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  21-12-3 … 2.50 GAA … .919 SV% 
  • Laurent Brossoit:  6-3-0 … 2.57 GAA … .916 SV%

20. Jets:  I don’t hate the Nate Thompson signing  as much as I did the day the Jets signed him.  I was livid when Chevy first signed him but he has proved me wrong.  Thompson and Trevor Lewis along Mathieu Perreault/Jansen Harkins have been a solid 4th line.    

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In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

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Thanks, Mitch

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