Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Jan. 25

Things about the Winnipeg Jets and the NHL that crossed my mind —

Some random facts and a few thoughts from this past week about the Winnipeg Jets, the Manitoba Moose, and the National Hockey League.

Remember boys and girls … it’s a process!   😥 

1.  The Winnipeg Jets ended up 0-3-0 on the week and are 21-24-3 overall and post-season play seems like a pipe dream right now.

2.  According to Sports Club Stats:  At the end of play last Sunday night, the Jets odds of playing in the postseason were at 24.0% but after three more home losses have plummeted to 4.1%.

3.  Unlike most NHL rookies, Nikolaj Ehlers shows no fear of handling and skating with the puck.  He remains one of the bright spots in a dismal roller coaster Jets season. 

4.  Dustin Byfuglien was FINALLY used in front of the net on the Jets PP Saturday night versus New Jersey and when he scored his reaction was priceless.  It was almost like he was saying “it’s not rocket science guys”.  That was one of the best moments of the year for me.

Buff NJ5.  Overheard from one of the suites at the MTS Centre Saturday night …. “Hey, Mark … do you know how this NHL Entry Draft simulator works? … No Chevy, why don’t you give Kevin Lowe a phone call, I hear he was pretty good at it!”  

6.  I dare somebody to tell me the New Jersey Devils are a more talented team than the Winnipeg Jets.  It just goes to show you what good goaltending and hard work can do. 

7.  For various reasons, here is a list of Winnipeg Jets players and coaches that need to go and in no particular order:  Ondrej Pavelec, Chris Thorburn, Tobias Enstrom, Mark Stuart, Anthony Peluso, Charlie Huddy, and Pascal Vincent.  Back up the truck.   

8.  The Winnipeg Jets are in 13th place in the Western Conference and 26th in the entire league.  Including every fathomable or unfathomable excuse in the world, I would never have believed this six months ago.  No way.      

9.  I wonder how sweet those two goals Lee Stempniak scored the other night against his ex-team felt?      

10.  HEY CHEVY …. can you and Zinger stop playing “you sunk my battleship” and do something to help your teams.    

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11.  Nobody can ever accuse Paul Maurice of being a slow learner.  After watching his beleaguered PP go into the tank all year, it only took him 48 games to figure out that Dustin Byfuglien in front of the opposition net on the PP might be a good idea.  WELL DONE PAUL!  (see #4)      

12.  Chevy catches a lot of flack in social media circles for not offering Lee Stempniak a contract last summer and rightly so BUT not because he gifted jobs to a couple of the kids.  Far from it.  It was for signing players like Matt Halischuk and Anthony Peluso instead.  (see #9)      

13.  I got into a discussion on Twitter about the merits of winning and losing face-offs and it was pointed out to me that the “numbers” aren’t that drastic if you are on the wrong end of that statistic.  It’s more about winning and losing “puck battles”.  Of course, this is based on a huge league wide sample size and is probably true BUT that is very little solace for fans when it seems like every face-off lost ends up in the net.  Of course, this is a huge exaggeration but when things aren’t going well everything seems magnified.  In saying all that, I’d still rather start with the puck.           

14.  If the Jets are secretly trying to tank for a top five draft pick, they should stop playing Connor Hellebuyck.

15.  Maybe the Jets can trade Dustin Byfuglien for a good return and then re-sign him on July 1.  It worked for the Arizona Coyotes with Antoine Vermette.          

16.  Things that make you go hmmm?:  I bet there isn’t one team in the NHL that has four of their same players on their first unit power-play that were there in 2011 BUT the high-flying, juggernaut, Winnipeg Jets power-play does!     

17.  Winnipeg Jets Special teams update: 

PK:  27th at 76.6% down from 26th at 77.4% last week

PP:  28th at 15.6% down from 28th at 15.7% last week

18.  Countdown to the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline:  36 days (Feb. 29) 

19.  Countdown to the 2016 World Cup:  237 days (Sept. 17-Oct. 1 in Toronto) How many Winnipeg Jets do you think will be playing in this event?  Wheeler? Ehlers?  Scheifele?  Hellebuyck?  

20.  I wonder how Winnipeg Jets season ticket renewals in the P1 and P2 sections will go this spring?           

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If you have any thoughts on any of these comments or questions, please let me know.  I would love to hear your opinions.

Thanks, Mitch 

Use the “Comment Section” below.

Comments

  1. #7 bang on but add Ladd to list.
    #15 risky but might work
    #20 i predict they will be a harder sell. The whole experience is too pricey for the product you get. From game right through to concessions.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      I haven’t been thrilled with Ladd’s play this year but on a team with ZERO depth I’m not about to toss a proven 50 points man …. we are not that good

  2. Greg Polinchuk says

    #3 – Ehlers has shown he can play in NHL w/o intimidation – physical or mental. That’s the best thing that’s happened this Jets season. (Other 2015-16 Jets positives: Wheeler & Little have proven that they’re consistent high-caliber NHL performers; and Hellebuyck has lived up to his potential so far.)

    #4 – Oddly enough Buff wasn’t actually providing a screen on the shot that resulted in his PP goal. He was standing to side of Schneider when Wheeler took the original shot from the backside. Will be curious to see how much Buff works to stay in goalies’ grills as he continues his contract drive the rest of the year. (Pardy did a great Buff-In-Front impersonation in his emergency winger trial.)

    6. I would argue Devils is more talented than Jets if I’m counting smarts and timing as talents. Devils took less shots but always made they provided a shooter with a moving or standing screen. Hellebuyck was working hard to see the shots while Schneider was facing shots only slightly tougher to see than what he gets in warmups.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      right Greg … Buff was fronting on the other side when the cross crease pass came over but was in front for the rebound … usually, on that play, there is nobody in front for the rebound so it wasn’t actually a screen but I think they should keep him down there for awhile.

  3. #7 – I like the list. I cringe when I watch Enstrom play. Ladd also needs to be on the list. He simply isn’t producing enough to be the long term high priced guy he wants to be and he would probably lose a lot of incentive to produce if he signed a contract of lesser value and length just to stay with the team. As far as the rest of the players on that list, I totally agree but, it’s gotta be tough casting off players in trades with other clubs when you’re in 26th place in the division and these are regulars on the team.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      I’m not ready to toss Ladd yet and especially if Chevy can get him signed for a good price.

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