Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Jan. 17

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 won their only game this past week, defeating Detroit 3-0 in a solid road win.   This win keeps them within striking distance of the final wildcard spot in the Western Conferfence.  This was a huge win with the Jets heading out on a four-game road trip next week with games against four very tough teams.  With games in Washington, Nashville, Boston, and Pittsburgh this could be a season defining road trip and I would think four points is a must.  Right now the Jets record sits at 17-12-5 and they are 3 points out of the last wildcard position.   

          WILDCARD 

2. Jets:  With injuries and Covid running through the Jets team there were quite a few new faces in the lineup but the main player I wanted to keep my eye on was Dylan Samberg and he played exceptionally well in his first NHL game.  Samberg made good quick passes and used his size very effectively.  He also got in some PK time and did a good job there as well.  I hope Dave Lowry liked what he saw and we see a lot more of Dylan Samberg.     

3. Jets:  Declan Chisholm also made his NHL debut on the Jets blueline last week and he played very well.  Chisholm is more of an offensive, puck-moving defenceman and he showed very well.  The Winnipeg Jets organisation is stacked with defencemen that are close to being NHL ready.  If you include Ville Heinola,  Johnathan Kovacevic, Leon Gawanke, and Nelson Nogier along with Samberg and Chisholm, Chevy certainly has some trade chips because these guys all won’t make the the jump to the NHL with the Winnipeg Jets.  At some point these guys are going to want to play in the show and Chevy might have to move out a couple guys on the big club.  If you read here regularly you’ll know who I would move.  I could see Dylan DeMelo, Nate Schmidt, Brendan Dillon, Logan Stanley and a couple of the prospects mentioned moving on within the next year or two.  It should be interesting. 

4. NHL:  Nazem Kadri is 5th in league scoring and wasn’t chosen for the All-Star Game because of their rediculous rule that every team must be represented.  Hmmm, I remember in 2010, the Jets first season back in Winnipeg the Jets had no representative at the game to replace an injured Dustin Byfuglien.    

5. Jets Cole Perfetti is starting to look a lot more relaxed in his role as winger with KC and PLD.  He made some very nice plays in the Detroit game and was a little unlucky in not putting a couple points on the score sheet.  

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

Once again it was a play involving PLD.  Pierre-Luc Dubois received an extra minor penalty when he was put in a headlock by Pius Suter who received a minor penalty for holding but PLD was given a double-minor for roughing after getting up and pushing him.  It was dumb play by PLD but didn’t warrant an extra 2 minutes.  Once again it showed the inconsistencies of NHL officiating.  Try calling a powder-puff penalty like that in Philadelphia and you’ll be lucky to get out of the building alive.  

7. Jets:  I’m guessing Dave Lowry must have had an issue with Paul Maurice’s usage of sonny boy Adam because since PoMo’s resignation Adam’s icetime has increased.  I’m sure it’s just a cooincidence with the injuries and Covid cases.  OR IS IT? 

8. Jets:  Andrew Copp had a couple of nice goals on Thursday but if he had Kyle Connor hands Mark Scheifele would’ve had 5 or 6 assists.  Scheif was really dishing the puck versus Detroit.    

9. Jets:  Poll Question

How many points will the Winnipeg Jets get on their 4 game road trip through Washington, Nashville, Boston, and Pittsburgh?

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10. Jets:  Connor Hellebuyck was solid versus Detroit Thursday night leading his team to a impressive 3-0 win.  Helle was good but didn’t have to stand on his head in a solid team effort.  It’s nice when the Jets win a game where everybody plays well and this was one of those games.     

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11. NHL:  Is the NHL really planning on having the All-Star Game?  I’m not sure it’s a great idea. 

12. Ice:  After a week off the Winnipeg ICE were back at it Saturday in Moose Jaw versus the Warriors and took care of business with a 5-1 victory.  Their record is 28-5-2 on the season they still sit in first place in the WHL’s Eastern Conference. 

Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings 

1. Winnipeg ICE
2. Edmonton Oil Kings
3. Kingston Frontenacs
4. Charlottetown Islanders
5. Kamloops Blazers
6. Everett Silvertips
7. Sherbrooke Phoenix
8. North Bay Battalion
9. Quebec Remparts
10. London Knights

13. Moose:  With seemingly half of their team playing with the Jets or on their taxi-quad an undermanned Manitoba Moose squad had another real good week with 2 wins and an overtime loss snagging 5 points out of their three games.  The Moose have one more road game (Iowa) then return home for eight in a row at home.  Their record has improved to 20-9-1-2 overall and they sit in 3rd place with a .672 winning percentage in the AHL’s Western Conference. 

14. ICE:  Central Scouting Update:

Winnipeg ICE forwards Matthew Savoie, Conor Geekie, Mikey Milne and defenseman Maximilian Streule have been listed by NHL Central Scouting on their Mid Season rankings for the 2022 NHL Draft.  Savoie is the highest ranked WHL player and leads the WHL with 34 assists and 52 points and is listed third overall among North American skaters.  Geekie, who is tied for 11th in the WHL with 38 points (11 goals and 27 assists) in 34 games, is ranked fourth overall.  Milne, who is second in the WHL with 23 goals and third in the league with 47 points in 34 games, is ranked 80th. 

Max Streule, who represented Switzerland at the World Junior Hockey Championship, is ranked 214th.  For the complete North American skater rankings >>> click here.

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

Why are the Winnipeg Jets promoting Mark Scheifele in the “Vote for the NHL All-Star Last Men In”?

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

  • Good:  Declan Chisholm’s NHL debut.
  • Better:  Dylan Samberg’s NHL debut.
  • Best:  The Michigan connection, Connor Hellebuyck, Andrew Copp, and Kyle Connor.

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

  • Good:  Connor Hellebuyck’s second shutout of the season and the PK going 5 for 5.
  • Bad:  Two careless and needless high-sticking penalties by Dylan DeMelo and Josh Morrissey that were pure gifts.
  • Ugly:  Josh Morrisseys win/loss count in puck battles lately.

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:  20.80% same as 20.80 last week. 
  • PK:  71.10% up from 69.60 last week.
  • FO:  49.30% down from 49.90 last week.

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  14-10-4 … 2.73 GAA … .916 SV% … Shutouts 2 
  • Eric Comrie:  3-2-1 … 2.53 GAA … .914 SV%

20. Pet Peeve:  Defencemen that swing their sticks at pucks over their heads?  It’s so dumb.  What does this accomplish?         

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