Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Jan. 3

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 finally hit the ice for real in Las Vegas on Sunday afternoon after not playing for 13 days and it showed at times in a sloppy, see-saw, 5-4 overtime win versus the Golden Knights.  The Jets record now sits at 15-11-5 and they are 3 points out of the last wildcard position.    

2. U20 WHC:  There is a lot of finger-pointing and the blame game is on full tilt since the World Junior tournament was cancelled last week.  There is plenty of blame to share but the bottom line is the protocols were too lax and the only question that needs to be answered by Hockey Canada, the IIHF and the local organizers is why they had a full-fledged “BUBBLE” last year but didn’t think it was necessary this time?  This might be the most ridiculous non-decision these organisations will ever make.  HUGE HUGE FAIL and actually embarrassing.     

3. Jets:  Didn’t Kyle Connor’s OT winning shot versus Vegas on Sunday look identical to his OT winning shot that knocked out the Edmonton Oilers in FOUR straight?  I never get tired of saying that.  

4. NHL:  A huge tip of the cap to the Minnesota hockey fans who braved the cold at the Winter Classic at Target Field in Minneapolis.  The game was officially the coldest outdoor NHL contest in history with the temperature of -21C, or -6F at puck drop.  Not that it matters but I think the Heritage Classic in Edmonton between the Oilers and Habs was colder.  By the way, the score was St. Louis 6 and Minnesota 4.

5. Jets:  Congrats to Kristian Reichel on his first NHL goal vs Vegas on Sunday.  The undrafted winger scored in his second NHL game beating his father, Robert Reichel by one game.  If Kristian has half the career as his dad the Jets have themselves a keeper. 

6. NHL:  My weekly bitch-fest about NHL officiating was the video review on the Jets non-goal versus Vegas. 

I totally get why the goal wasn’t allowed based on the NHL’s current criteria but at some point common sense must prevail you would think.  The goal wasn’t allowed because there was no view of the puck across the goal line, fair enough but the puck was caught up in Laurent Brossoit’s goal pad and that part of the goal pad where the puck was lodged was deep in his net.  Just sayin’. 

7. Jets:  Cole Perfetti is ready, willing, and waiting to play and I hope we see him in the lineup on this road trip.  I think its time for Perfetti to get a look with some offensive players and in some offensive situations like the powerplay.  This team isn’t good enough where a player like Cole Perfetti isn’t in the lineup.  It’s time to shit or get off the pot Jets.   

8. Jets:  David Gustafsson is having a hard time getting his NHL career started.  He’s fallen down early in each of the two games he has started and had to leave the game both times and not return.  Gus can’t catch a break.   

9. Jets:  Dave Lowry has two games under his belt as the head man along with a Christmas/Covid break where he had a mini training camp.  During this time he is trying to impliment some of his own ideas on style of play, as well as player usage, and line combinations.  We have heard about some of his different ideas and tactics in updates from Winnipeg’s beat reporters and this lead me to wonder if these ideas were ever discussed with the former head coach or were all the assistant coaches just a bunch of yes men?  This might explain why Charlie Huddy has been around since day one.  

10. NHL:  I sure am glad to hear Mike Smith’s LBI wasn’t “life threatening”.  I’m pretty sure he meant to say career threatening but I chuckled anyway.    

11. NHL:  This also put a smile on my face. 

12. Ice:  The Winnipeg ICE went 2-0-1 last week and now have an overall record of  27-5-2 on the season and sit in first place, 5 points ahead of the Edmonton Oil Kings with two games in hand on Edmonton.  After week 12 the ICE is still the top-ranked team in the CHL.  

Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings – Week 12

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
HM. Seattle Thunderbirds
HM. Gatineau Olympiques
HM. Mississauga Steelheads

13. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose finally got back on the ice after 15 days off on Sunday versus Iowa and scraped out a 2-1 win to improve their record to 16-9-1-0 overall and sit in 5th place with a .635 winning percentage in the Western Conference. 

14.U20 WHC:  Connor Bedard’s 4 goal performance versus Austria was pretty amazing and even though the tournament was cancelled it was still very impressive for a 16-year-old.  Many fans including myself said, “well it was against Austria” and of course that is a legitimate critique BUT we didn’t see any other player score 4 goals so obviously it wasn’t that easy. 

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

Who broke Josh Morrissey?  His offensive game looks better but his defensive game is a train wreck.

16. NHL:  Weren’t those pants the Minnesota Wild wore at the Winter Classic FUGLY?  Dallas wore that same colour combo two years ago and it was just as fugly then.  


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

  • Good:  Connor Hellebuyck in the first period against Vegas.  If Helle wasn’t Helle that game is over early.
  • Bad:  Helle’s puck handling.  He causes more harm than good at times.     
  • Ugly:  No ugly this week unless we talk about those Minnesota Wild pants again.

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% up from  20.40 last week. 
  • PK:  70.90% up from 70.60 last week.
  • FO:  49.70% no change from 49.70 last week.

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  12-9-4 … 2.74 GAA … .915 SV% 
  • Eric Comrie:  3-2-1 … 2.53 GAA … .914 SV%

20. U20 WHC:  There is now talk of trying to re-schedule the World Junior tournament on late June or early July.  That would be acceptable but it won’t be the same, hell the teams might not even be the same.  



  1. Dave Smith says

    Good read as always.

    Here some food for thought. Wheeler, Morrissey and Adam Lowry are owed $17.75 million against the cap the next two seasons after this. That’s kinda gross. I throw Lowry in there because there is nothing to suggest in his past performance that he’s going to get better.

    If this team misses the playoffs it might be time to consider a re-tool. Scheifele has been playing defence like Dubois’ last shift in Columbus for 3 years with no signs he wants to improve. You could do worse than Dubois, Copp and Perfetti down the middle.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Thanks Dave and thanks for reading … The problem is management doesn’t look at players like an irrational fan like me LOL … they are commited and loyal … the rest of this year will be interesting.

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