Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Jan. 2

Mitch Kasprick is now the “Westdale Curmudgeon” 

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.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

1. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets had a pretty good week grinding out four points and finishing the 2022 portion of the season ten games over five hundred. 

The Jets currently sit in second place in the Central Division with a record of 23-13-1 which is pretty amazing considering the roster is being held together with bubble gum and bandaids.  

2. Jets:  The Jets were missing half their team when they beat the Oilers 2-1 on Saturday night but in fairness, the Oilers were missing half their team as well with Leon Draisaitl out of the lineup.

3. Jets:  On the injury front it looks like Cole Perfetti will be the first injured forward to return to the lineup.  This will give the Jets at least 2/3s of their top 6 back. 

4. NHL:  Isn’t it amazing how the four officials can get together to discuss whether there is a “puck over glass” penalty but they can’t get together to discuss whether a player was high-sticked or not while that player is bleeding like a stuck pig on the bench?  Of course, I’m referencing the high-stick that was missed on Kyle Connor in the Minnesota game and that wasn’t the only one the stripes missed last week BUT they’re really getting those ugly “puck over glass” infractions out of the game.  

5. Jets:  Josh Morrissey is still playing at a “Norris Trophy” level but I wonder if the rest of the league and the voters even notice.    

6. NHL:  The Chicago Blackhawks are putting on a clinic on how to “TANK HARD FOR BEDARD” but yet they are only four points behind Columbus and Anaheim for last place.    

7. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose keep chugging along although half of their team is up with the Jets. They are still a solid 16-9-2-1 (.625)  and sit in 4th place in the AHL’S Central Division.  FYI, the top four teams in the division qualify for the post-season based on winning percentage. 

8. ICE:  The Winnipeg ICE are still ranked #2 in the Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings for the 2022-23 season. The WHL is absolutely stacked this year.  It is going to be a war in the WHL.   

Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings – Week 12  (no new update)

as of Dec. 22

1. Seattle Thunderbirds (20-4-1-1)
2. Winnipeg ICE (25-4-0-0)
3. Quebec Remparts (24-5-0-1)
4. Saskatoon Blades (21-5-0-0)
5. Portland Winterhawks (21-4-2-1)
6. Ottawa 67’s (22-5-0-1)
7. Victoriaville Tigres (21-6-1-3)
8. London Knights (19-8-1-0)
9. North Bay Battalion (20-8-0-1)
10. Halifax Mooseheads (19-7-2-1)

9. Jets:  I’ve mentioned this before but I’m very concerned about Cole Perfetti’s injuries this early in his career.  Outside of wrapping him in bubble pack, how do the Jets keep him from getting wallpapered every game?  I’ve never seen a player get hit from behind so many times without drawing a penalty.  

10. JetsNever apologize for having this …. NEVER. 

Embed from Getty Images

 

11. Jets:  I have liked Ville Heinola’s play lately and it just goes to show what a little icetime can do.  It’s not like he’s done anything exceptional but he is starting to look comfortable and when a player gets comfortable they will start making the plays they can.  I’m not sure I’d take him out of the lineup when the blueline gets healthy.  There are a couple of other defencemen that could use a view from the press box. 

12. Jets:  Poll question- 

To this point of the season who do you think is the Winnipeg Jets most improved defenceman? (you can pick more than one)

View Results

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13. Jets:  The Jets sure have an abundance of capable bottom 6 players on their roster now and kudos to them for trying to step up and play above their pay grade.  I will never crap on a player that is asked to play out of his comfort zone as long as they compete.  When this team finally gets healthy they’re going to have one helluva bottom 6.    

14. Jets:  My weekly question for Rick Bowness, Kevin Cheveldayoff, or Mark Chipman.

This is a question for Chevy.  Are you looking for a veteran faceoff guy for down the stretch?  We can’t continually start without the puck and especially on the PK.  

15. 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 23.90% up from 14th last week at 23.10% 
  • PK: 6th at 82.40% up from 5th last week at 81.90%  
  • FO: 24th at 47.60% up from 26th last week at 46.80%

16. Jets:  Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  18-9-1 … 2.32 GAA … .928 SV% … 3 shutouts  
  • David Rittich:  5-4-0 … 2.61 GAA … .906 SV%

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

  • Good:  The Vancouver win was huge to stop the bleeding at 3 games.    
  • Bad:  Four zebras not seeing Kyle Connor getting high-sticked and cut open and then having the nerve to say it was friendly fire.  Where is video review when you really need it?           
  • Ugly:  The New Year’s Eve win versus the Edmonton Oilers.  It is like the old golf analogy, there are no pictures on the scorecard.

18. Jets:  I’m slightly concerned about Kyle Connor’s compete level.  He is still slippery in the offensive end but in the other two-thirds of the ice, he is sliding back into old habits. 

19. U20:  The elimination round of the U20 WHC starts today with the quarter-finals and Team Canada is right there with the rest of the contenders.  Canada is probably a small favourite to win the GOLD but I wouldn’t discount Czechia, USA, Sweden, or Finland.       

20. U20I think the Jets’ prospects at the U20 have shown pretty well but isn’t that #16 kid on Canada pretty good? 

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