Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Dec. 23

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 Ice, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 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 had their first losing week in quite some time only garnering 2 out of a possible 6 points but the 2 points they got were very impressive.  Helle and the Jets shutout the Wild in their barn on Saturday afternoon.  This is not an easy feat to accomplish as the Wild have one of the best home records (9-1-3) in the NHL.  The good guys are now a solid 21-13-2 with one more game to play before the “Christmas Break”. 

2. Jets:  I know the Jets are banged up and don’t have everybody at their disposal BUT it might be time to take Jack Roslovic off of the second line.  He’s speedy but he is not contributing (2 points in last 10 games) enough on the score sheet for my liking.  He bitched to his agent about his usage and he has had more than ample time to run with the big dogs but he hasn’t shown enough in my opinion.  

3. Jets:  After their win on Saturday in St. Paul the Winnipeg Jets are 6-0 in matinee games.  

4. Jets:  I’m going to show my WHL bias right now but I don’t give a flying you know what.  It took all of about TWO shifts to see that Jansen Harkins played in the WHL.  You could see a major difference in how he plays and competes compared to ummmm let’s say Jack Roslovic.  I’m looking forward to seeing how Harkins progresses.  

5. NHL:  The officials – I think NHL officials are out of touch with reality because they are calling interference penalties on defenders during crease battles in front of the net but they never call the same penalty on the offensive player.  When two players are fighting for the same space why is the defender always penalized?  I don’t think its a penalty on either player when they are fighting for space.  When I see this I can’t help but wonder if a lot of these referees ever played the game or if they are textbook officials? 

6. Jets:  The Jets PK is so hard to watch these days that sometimes I change the channel when watching the game on tv.      

7. NHL:  There are rumours of a 2021 Winter Classic game being played between the Jets and the Wild.  It makes perfect sense to me, they’re our closest geographical rival.  

8. Jets:  The Dustin Byfuglien watch:  We have a “BUFFARAZZI” update.  It was reported last week that Dustin Byfuglien has started a post-surgery rehabilitation program in consultation with the Jets.  This is nothing earth-shattering but it has a bit of a positive spin.


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9. Jets:  I thought it was cool to see Connor Hellebuyck’s reaction to his shutout (3rd) on Saturday afternoon.  He gave it the big fist-pump and he looked jacked.  Getting a shutout in that building is a nice accomplishment and Helle knew it.  Goalies need their cookies too. 

10. Pet Peeve:  I’m getting a little tired of hearing “fire Paul Maurice” after every loss.  I’m not a Maurice lover or a Paul Maurice hater but the man gets no credit when they win but he is the worst coach in the NHL when they lose.  To all the haters out there, Paul Maurice is a helluva lot closer to a contract extension than he is to the unemployment line.     

11. Jets:  I’ve been very impressed with Blake Wheeler’s play at center.  He has given the Jets two lines that can score and the funny thing is he is one of the better centermen on the team in the faceoff circle.   

12. Jets:  Mark Scheifele is my favourite Jets player but I seem to get greater joy watching Patrik Laine score goals.  I know it makes no sense but when Laine starts ripping lasers into the net I can’t stop smiling.  I love it when he snipes.

13. Jets:  I wonder how the Jets powerplay would work if they swapped out Kyle Connor for Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers?

14. Jets:  Congrats to Jansen Harkins on his first NHL point (assist) in his first NHL game on Saturday in St. Paul vs the Minnesota Wild.   

15. This week:

  • Manitoba Moose – Dec. 29
  • Winnipeg Jets – Dec. 23, 27, 29
  • Winnipeg Ice – Dec. 27, 28

16. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck: 17-10-2 … 2.44 GAA … .926 SV% … 3 shutouts.  
  • Laurent Brossoit: 4-3-0 … 3.23 GAA … .890 SV%

17. 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.

  • PP: 19th at 18.10% down from 13th at 17.60% … although % went up.
  • PK: 30th at 73.80% down from 28th at 75.30%
  • FO: 9th at 51.10% down from 7th at 51.80%

18. Jets:  A huge congratulations to Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler on becoming the franchises all-time leading scorer.  On Saturday, with his parents in the building Wheels scored a nice short-handed goal and added a beauty no-look assist on Patrik Laine’s one-timer on the PP to pass Ilya Kovalchuk for the lead.  Wheeler now has 616 points (202G, 414A) in 675 games and counting,  

19. Jets:  Lost in all the Blake Wheeler hoopla was goaltender Connor Hellebuyck earning his third shutout of the season which moved him into a tie with Ondrej Pavelec for the most shutouts in franchise history with 17.  He holds the franchise record for most shutouts in a season with six, which he did during the 2017-18 season.

20. Jets:  Would it be fair to say that Luca Sbisa is a less expensive version of Ben Chiarot?  I don’t mean that in a negative way either.  I was definitely in the minority because I didn’t mind Ben Chiarot.


In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

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Thanks, Mitch


  1. Wayne Knutson says

    As usual, Mitch, well done!!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!!


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