Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Apr. 2

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 beat Boston this past Tuesday night and swept their six-game homestand.  They split their two road games last week and now have an overall record of 48-20-10.  Twenty-eight games over the Bettman .500 and eighteen games over the real .500.  What a great season.         

2.  The Manitoba Moose went ZERO for four last week and are in danger of falling as far as third place in the AHL Central division.  They now have an overall record of 39-24-4-4.  The call-ups by the parent club have really caught up with the Moose.  Such is the fate of a minor league affiliate.  

3The Winnipeg Jets have called up Sami Niku from the Manitoba Moose but the million dollar question is will they dress him?  Fifty-two points in seventy-one games is a new Manitoba Moose record for defencemen.  He also leads the AHL in defenceman scoring.  

4.  My love/hate relationship continues with Joel Armia.  I just can’t figure him out.    

5.  I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again.  Michael Hutchinson is the Jets best goaltender NOT on the big club.  Others won’t say it but I will.  Eric Comrie is not an NHL goaltender and I’ll be amazed if he ever plays for anybody in the show.  This isn’t because of the Chicago game either.  I’ve had this opinion for a long time now.  My concern is that the Jets perceived depth in goal is disappearing.  Hutch is as good as gone July 1.  Steve Mason only has one more year left on his contract.  I’ve already voiced my opinion on Comrie.  Jamie Phillips is 2-3 years away and Mikhail Berdin might be a little longer.           

6.  Josh Morrissey has been steady all season and he scored a nice goal versus Toronto on Saturday night but I think he had more turnovers in that game than he has had in the past two seasons.  To say I was surprised would be an understatement.       

7.  Last week after the Winnipeg Jets clinched their second playoff berth since arriving here from Atlanta, there were a lot of accolades being tossed Mark Chipman’s and Kevin Cheveldayoff’s way and rightly so BUT this is the same brain trust that spent the better part of a year trying to sign Andrew Ladd to a contract and only signed their best defenceman (Dustin Byfuglien) as an afterthought when they couldn’t get a Ladd deal done!  Let that marinate for a while.   

8.  With the Winnipeg Jets win in Toronto and the Minnesota Wild’s loss in Dallas on Saturday night, the Jets have clinched second place and home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs.  It looks like a first-round matchup versus Minnesota is inevitable and the Wild may have lost their top defenceman.  Ryan Suter will be sidelined indefinitely with a fractured fibula he suffered on Saturday night.  That’s a tough break for the Wild if he is lost for any length of time.         

9.  I’m hoping and looking forward to seeing Sami Niku get some playing time down the stretch.  He is a puck mover and puck movers usually have no problem moving the puck at the next level but the big question will be if he can defend and earn the trust of Paul Maurice.  I hope he wasn’t just called up to practice with the team.  I’d like to see him play.    

10.  I don’t get the faction of Jets fans that don’t like Ben Chiarot?  I don’t know what fans expect from him but I think he plays well within his pay grade and he knows his limitations.  He is a solid bottom six defenceman.  I guess it’s just like how some Jets fans don’t understand why Joel Armia drives me crazy.   











11.  It was nice to see Jacob Trouba back in the lineup Saturday night versus the Leafs.  The Jets seem to play well even when some of their top players are injured but there is no doubt they are a better team with a healthy Trouba.      

12.  Pet Peeve:  Why is it okay for the winner of the Norris Trophy to be on any team whether they are good or bad but the winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy should be on a playoff team?       

13.  Brad Marchand was at it again.  This guy just doesn’t get it AND once again the league does nothing ($5000 fine) because Andrew McDonald’s visor saved him from a busted nose.


14.  If Jets fans had a choice of which road game they wanted to win last week between Chicago or Toronto, I’m pretty sure 99% of Winnipeg Jets fans wanted the victory versus Toronto.  Jets fans love beating the Leafs and especially after losing to them early in the season.        

15.  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  Based on organisational depth in goal, do you see yourself offering Steve Mason a one or two-year extension this spring or will you cross that bridge when you need to?  (see #5)    

16.  If I was going to do a “Random Thought” about another sport, I would wonder why opening day in baseball is a sellout in almost every city that has an MLB team but the next night the stadium is half empty?          

17.  The Winnipeg Jets aren’t getting much from the Bryan Little line right now but I have a funny feeling they are going to be a big factor in the playoffs.  I hope.   

18.  Patrik Laine’s blocked shot in the Los Angeles game really put a wrench in his goal scoring run.  He was hotter than a firecracker but hasn’t scored since (six games).  I thought he really had a shot at the Rocket Richard Trophy and he still might the way he scores in bunches.  It’s the only drama left to watch for the rest of this season.        

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  41-11-9 … 2.36 GAA … .924 SV%             
  • Steve Mason:  4-6-1 … 3.18 GAA … .906 SV% 
  • Michael Hutchinson:  3-2-1 … 3.26 GAA … .907 SV%
  • Eric Comrie:  1-2-0 … 4.00 GAA … .872 SV%

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

  • PP:  4th at 23.40% … down from 3rd but % the same as last week.    
  • PK:  8th at 82.00% … down from 5th at 82.80 last week.  

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Thanks, Mitch 

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