Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Feb. 14

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 got their week off to a good start with a solid, fiesty, 2-0 effort versus the Minnesota Wild at home and then headed on the road for road games in Dallas and Nashville where they snagged 3 of 4 points and I dare say they should have had 4 points. 

The Jets had some tough luck and were chimped by a couple lucky, fluky, chimp bounces that were against the grain of the play. 

 Chimp or chimped ~ Verb/noun

1.  chimp ~ the person/persons with the inadvertent good fortune.
2.  chimped ~ being the victim of fluky, unlucky bounces.

The Jets record improved to 20-17-8 and they are 7 points out of the final wildcard spot BUT still sit in sixth in the Central Division.  Right now getting out of 6th place is the most important goal going forward.

2. Jets:  I like Brenden Dillon.  He brings exactly what this team needs on the backend.  For every Ville Heinola you need a Brendan Dillon to level out the playing field. 

3. Jets:  Speaking of Ville Heinola, I think he has been terrific in his last 3-4 games.  Yes, he is going to get overmatched from time to time in front of the net and along the wall but he has uncanny vision on the ice and makes smart passes exiting the d-zone.  I also love his offensive instincts.  The pass he made to Mark Scheifele in Nashville on the Jets first goal was special and got the comeback started afte being down 2-0.  

4. NHL: Hey GARY, tell your linesmen that it isn’t an icing call if the puck doesn’t cross the icing line.

5. Jets It seems like the Central Division is bulking up and the Winnipeg Jets are falling behind.  I’m okay with young skilled players like Cole Perfetti and Ville Heinola being added to the team but if our bottom six continues to do nothing I would prefer if we beefed up a little on the 3rd and 4th lines.  

6. NHL:  My weekly bitch-fest about NHL officiating.    

How was Marcus Foligno allowed to still be in the game after kneeing Adam Lowry when their fight was over?  The officials in that game and I include the linesmen because they are allowed to call major penalties as well as consult with the referees.  Referees, Frederick L’Ecuyer and Brian Pochmara along with linesmen Kory Nagy and Travis Toomey all missed or chose not to call an infraction that the DOPS deemed a two-game suspension AND once again with no public accountability.  Shame on you NHL.

7. Jets:  Olympic Hockey prospect watch:  Nathan Smith is the only Jets prospect to be playing in the 2022 Olympic hockey tournament.  Smith will be representing Team USA.  


Nathan Smith
Position:  Center    Shot:  R
Born: Oct 19 1998   Tampa, FL
Height:   6.00   Weight:  185
Drafted:  2018 NHL Entry Draft

Round: 3rd   Overall: 91   Winnipeg Jets







Player evaluation excerpt by WHT’s Riley Malinowski

Nathan Smith is a playmaking/power forward hybrid,  Smith has nifty hands, great vision and excellent positioning.  Smith is a raw prospect who didn’t learn to skate until the age of eleven.  Despite this, he is a very quick and explosive skater.  His shot and defensive game need to be improved but Smith has potential.  He will return to Cedar Rapids next year for his overage season and then head to Minnesota State University in 2019-20.  He is a long-term project who is stylistically similar to current Jets forward Blake Wheeler.


8. Jets:  Dave Lowry moved Andrew Copp back to the 3rd line along with Adam Lowry and Kristian Reichel and I liked the play of that trio very much.  Now, hopefully David Gustafsson can get back into the lineup and take over the 4th line center job.       

9. IIHF:  Does anybody else find it strange that the Olympic Ice Hockey games are not being played on an Olympic sized ice surface?  

10. Jets:  Does anyone remember Paul MacKinnon?  He was one of my favourite defencemen with the Winnipeg Jets even though he only played here for their final WHA season.  I just loved his game.  MacKinnon was drafted by the Washington Capitals in the 1978 NHL Entry Draft but was poached the WHA Winnipeg Jets and although he only played one season in Winnipeg he became a fan favourite with his solid defenceive play.  MacKinnon wasn’t an offensive player but he was a good puck mover and played a solid physical game as well.  Unfortunately we lost him when the NHL was allowed to rape and pillage the WHA teams that were joining the NHL for the 1979-80 season.

See the source image


11. Jets:  My 95 point update:  I figured the Jets needed approx 52 points in their final 40 games to have a shot at a wildcard spot and they got off to a good start with 5 points last week.  Now we need 47 points in the finl 37 games to reach 95 points.  It’s still a tall order but a slim chance is still better than no chance.  With 4 home games this week the Jets have a good chance to make some hay and gain some ground on the pack ahead of them.               

12. Ice:  The Winnipeg ICE won both their games last week by a combined score of 14-4.  The ICE juggernaut just keeps on rolling and their record sits at a tidy 31-6-2-1 on the season.  Edmonton has actually passed the ICE in the standings with 71 points to to Winnipeg’s 66 points but the ICE have 8 games in hand.  The ICE are still the #1 ranked team in the CHL after week 15.

Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings – Week 15

as of Feb. 9

13. Moose:  The Moose didn’t have a great week going 1-3 but are still in 4th place in the Western Conference.  Their record is now 25-14-2-1 with a .631 winning percentage.  

Special Teams:

  • PP:  18.04% up from 18.00 last week.
  • PK:  84.40% up from 84.10 last week.

14. JetsThe Winnipeg Jets have now reached the halfway point of the season and the big question is whether they are buyers or sellers?  Does the good guys getting 5 out of 6 points last week change your vote?      

Based on the Jets current position in the standings should they be buyers or sellers?

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15. Jets:  My weekly question for Kevin Cheveldayoff and/or Dave Lowry.

This is for the coach.  Who in their right mind would put Andrew Copp and Paul Stastny on the ice for 3 on 3 overtime?  They both look like they are skating in sand at the best of times.  I’d rather see Jansen Harkins and Evegeny Svechnikov than these two.

16. Jets:  The Good, Better, Best this past week.

  • Good:  Mark Scheifele scored a goal each game last week.
  • Better:  Helle’s shutout Monday vs Minny.  
  • Best:  Blake Wheelers 5-point night vs Nashville.   

17. Jets:  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly this past week.

  • Good:  The Jets powerplay actually won them a hockey game on Sunday vs Nashville.  They scored 3 PPgoals but the turning point was the 2 PP goals they scored on a Nashville major penalty in the 3rd period with the score tied at 2-2.  
  • Bad:  The free pizza’s our veteran defencemen coughup.  Yes, I’m looking at you 4 and 44. 
  • Ugly:  Marcus Foligno kneeing Adam Lowry well after their fight was over.   It was cheap and classless. 

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

  • PP: 11th at 21.50% up from 20.60 last week. 
  • PK: 27th at 74.80% up from 74.00 last week.
  • FO: 15th at 50.10% up from 49.80 last week.

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  16-15-7 … 2.83 GAA … .913 SV% … Shutouts 3 
  • Eric Comrie:  4-2-1 … 2.34 GAA … .920 SV%

20. IIHFIs Team China really Team China if over half the players on that team are North Americans (mostly Canadians)? 

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