Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Feb. 15

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 had a terrible week going 1-2-0 in their three games but it was the way they lost and the points they pissed away … again.  The game versus Ottawa on Saturday had shades of the Edmonton loss three Sundays ago, once again losing with under two seconds left in the game and leaving a bitter taste in Jets fans mouths.  Their record is 8-5-1 overall for the season. 

2. Jets:  Pierre-Luc Dubois finally made his debut in a Jets jersey last week and was just starting to get his feet wet playing in two games when a lower body injury kept him out of Saturday’s game and leaving him doubtful for tonight’s game.  Winnipeg Jets fans are chomping at the bit to see the real PLD play and see how much he improves this team.       

3. JetsTucker Poolman finally returned to the lineup after his bout with Covd-19 and looked pretty good but the puzzling thing is Paul Maurice dressed seven defencemen for his return game.  I guess it was just in case Poolman wasn’t up to speed or as a precaution but it left most observers shaking their heads.  If the coach didn’t think Poolman was ready to play then DON’T dress him.  All this did was mess up the forward lines.  Maurice gets a lot of criticism in this town and he brings an awful lot of it upon himself.  Sometimes he just can’t help himself.          

4. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose start their AHL season tonight and I can hardly wait to see Cole Perfetti, Ville Heinola, and Dylan Samberg play.  I bet Pascal Vincent can’t wipe the smile off his face.    

5. Jets:  Nathan Beaulieu has officially become the fanbase’s new whipping boy.  Like I said a couple of weeks ago he has been ok but his ceiling is adequate and that’s not good enough when there are better players waiting in the wings.  Move over Paul Maurice you have company.

6. Jets:  March 7, 2020 was the last time Dylan Samberg suited up for a meaningful hockey game so I can see why the Winnipeg Jets want to get him some playing time with the Manitoba Moose but the opinions are not the same when it comes to Ville Heinola.  Sending Heinola to the Moose has everybody and I mean everybody scratching their heads.  Heinola was an absolute stud at the World Juniors in Edmonton and in his only NHL game versus Ottawa (game 4) he played very well and complimented Josh Morrissey quite nicely.  It is also no coincidence that was Morrissey’s best game of the season.  Once again the Jets brain trust leaves Jets fans shaking their heads.    

7. Jets:  I feel like firing somebody, how about Charlie Huddy?   

8. NHL:  What’s up with Alex Galchenyuk?  He was drafted by Montreal Canadiens, 3rd overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and is now on his 6th NHL team.  When I watch him play I don’t see a bust but for whatever reason he can’t find a home.  

UPDATE:

You might not believe this but Alex Galchenyuk has been traded again before he even reported to Carolina (his 6th team).  Make the Toronto Maple Leafs team number seven.

9. Jets:  I’m not sure there is one Winnipeg Jets fan that would disagree with me when I say Connor Hellebuyck needs to stay in his f’n net.  He single handedly gave away the hockey game on Saturday against Ottawa by playing a puck he didn’t need to with a few seconds left in the game, confusing his defencemen and before you know it … BAM GAME OVER.   

10. Jets:  Kristian Vesalainen’s game is coming along quite nicely and he seems to be gaining a little bit of confidence.  I think he has a top-6 skillset and I can see him being there in a couple of seasons.

Embed from Getty Images

11. NHL:  With the way Covid-19 is spreading its way through the US based NHL teams a Canadian team might win the Stanley Cup by default.               

12. NHL:  Key dates. 

  • Feb. 1 – Teams may start requesting players waive their NMC for the expansion draft
  • Feb. 11 – Deadline to sign Group II RFAs (usually December 1)
  • Mar. 12 – Players on one-year deals can sign extensions (usually Jan. 1)
  • Apr. 12 – Trade Deadline
  • 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:  The Jets just went through the softest part of their schedule and have a record of 8-5-1 and it could have and should have been 2-4 points better in my opinion.  Now they are going to have to play some good hockey to make up for those lost points.  They play two games in Edmonton and two games in Vancouver this week and I would like to see at least four more points in the standings this week. 

UPDATE:

The Winnipeg Jets started off their four-game roads trip with a wild 6-5 regulation win over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night.   

14. Jets:  It’s amazing how fast Andrew Ladd fell of the map after he left the Winnipeg Jets as a UFA and signed with the New York Islanders.  In my opinion he was too a good a player to fall from grace as fast as he did.  Too bad, I always like him and his game.

15. Jets:  Schedule

16. Jets:  I love Paul Stastny’s game and I would love to see him re-sign here for a couple more years but not at his current ticket which is $6,500,000 per season.  I could live with that number over two seasons but could Stastny?  I doubt it, somebody will pay him when he becomes a UFA this summer.   

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: 13th at 22.00% up from 20.00% last week.
  • PK: 14th at 81.10 down from 81.30% last week. 
  • FO: 18th at 49 .20 down from 49.70% last week.

These stats are put out by the NHL on their website but I’m not sure whether these overall rankings actually mean anything since teams are only playing games within their division.  This season I believe the stats accumulated are only comparable to the other teams in their division.  I would like to see how the Jets compare to the rest of the Scotia North Division.   

18. Jets: The Jets situational face-off wins are still very poor.  They rarely start the PP with the puck unless Paul Stastny takes the faceoff and they seem to lose every draw on the PK and get hemmed in their own zone for the whole two minutes.  Statistically their penalty kill numbers don’t look bad but that has a lot to do with their goaltending.      

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  6-4-1 … 2.36 GAA … .921 SV% 
  • Laurent Brossoit:  2-1-0 … 2.98 GAA … .918 SV%

20. Jets:  My defence pairings.

Morrissey … DeMelo  

Forbort … Pionk

Heinola … Poolman 

Stanley

Does anybody have a problem with this?

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Thanks, Mitch

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