Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Mar. 12

Odds and Ends on the Winnipeg Jets and the NHL –

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


1.  The Winnipeg Jets played three road games last week, winning two and losing one.  Their overall record is now 41-18-9 for the season and they are a solid second place in the Central Division.    

2.  The Manitoba Moose started their seven-game road trip this past week going 1-1-0-1 in the first three games.  They now have an overall record of 36-17-4-4.  They are still in first place in the AHL’s Central Division and have the best record in the Western Conference.  The Moose continue their road trip with four games in the state of Texas and then head back home for a monster eight-game homestand.      

3Life for an AHL coach can’t be easy.  Teaching and developing young players and then losing those same players for extended periods to the parent club while trying to win can be challenging.  The Moose have had some bumpy stretches but have maintained the best winning percentage in the Western Conference all season.  I think Pascal Vincent has done a very good job this year with the Manitoba Moose.        

4.  Thank goodness for Patrick Laine’s hot streak and the overall play of his line-mates Paul Stastny and Nikolaj Ehlers during the last couple of weeks.  This line has been excellent since being put together after the NHL trade deadline.  Bryan Little continues to do a lot of the little things right (no pun intended) but the lack of scoring from him and his last two sets of linemates has been quite disappointing. 


from NHL.com

NHL’s First Star – Patrik Laine, RW, Winnipeg Jets

Laine led the NHL with five goals in three games to propel the Jets (41-18-9, 91 points) to a 2-1-0 week. He registered his fourth career hat trick, including the winning goal, in a 3-0 victory over the New York Rangers March 6. In doing so, Laine became the third player in League history to post four hat tricks prior to his 20th birthday, joining Jimmy Carson (5) and Dale Hawerchuk (5). Laine then added one tally in both a 3-2 triumph against the New Jersey Devils March 8 and a 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers March 10 to join Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin atop the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy race and become the ninth player in NHL history to score 40 goals in one season as a teenager (40-23-63 in 68 GP). The 19-year-old Tampere, Finland, native has collected at least one point in a franchise-record 11 consecutive games (15-6-21), including goals in five straight (9-1-10).

5.  Joel Armia’s flashes of brilliance are too few and far between for my liking.   

6.  Is it just me or does it seem like the Winnipeg Jets lose the puck way more than any other team within two inches of getting out of their zone?     

7.  Looking at the NHL scoring leaders is quite interesting nowadays with so many players (30-35) hovering at or around a point-per-game pace.  It certainly makes the guys in fantasy leagues a lot happier.  It’s almost like the eighties again!  Well … not quite but better than the past few years.  

8.  In 2015, the Winnipeg Jets drafted Sami Niku in the seventh-round.  Niku has recorded points in five straight games is now tied with Binghamton’s Jacob MacDonald as the top scoring defenceman in the AHL.  He currently has twelve goals and thirty-two helpers for fourty-four points in sixty-one games.  Not bad.          

9.  Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers is ELITE!  This is not a thought but a fact.     

10.  I’m currently investigating the report that there was a rare sighting of a Josh Morrissey turnover last week.  I’m still waiting for a confirmation.  


11.  A Random Thought from Manny (Darryl Manchulenko):

  • For those of you old enough to remember:  Doesn’t the way Paul Stastny skates remind you a lot of Thomas Steen?  If you put an old #25 Jets 1.0 jersey on Stastny, it would look eerily similar.
  • I wonder if the Jets can get healthy enough and stay healthy for a long playoff run?   

12.  Pet Peeve:  The need for Winnipeg Jets fans (and Leaf fans) to compare Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine and taunt each other when our/their guy has a good night.  There was never a controversy who was the better choice in my opinion.  If the Jets had won that lottery, they would have taken Matthews but they didn’t.  They got their guy and we got ours and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  It would be a little more compelling of a rivalry if Toronto and Winnipeg were in the same division like Sid and Ovie but they aren’t.  It’s almost as futile a conversation as Sean Couturier versus Mark Scheifele.  Let it go … please.    

13.  I think the “Swiss army knife” needs a little sharpening.  Mathieu Perreault is one of my faves but he (like a few others) have been pretty quiet lately.     

14.  Jacob Trouba is now wearing the “full-contact jersey” at practice so be should be returning to the lineup very soon.        

15.  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  Did you have talks with the Edmonton Oilers about Patrick Maroon at the trade deadline?  A big body like him might have been useful in the playoffs AND especially with the incompetence and inconsistency of Gary’s officials.   

16.  It might be time to get Marko Dano a little more playing time.  I’ve always believed that you can and should roll those bottom four or five guys in and out of the lineup and not skip a beat.  This way everybody is engaged and hungry.  Competition is a good thing.  

17.  Steve Mason looked solid in his shutout versus the NYR last Tuesday and then tweaked something (lower body) a couple of days later at practice and didn’t dress for the Jets last two games.  If he didn’t have bad luck, he would have no luck at all.   

18.  The games are getting a little heavier and the young guys like Kyle Connor and Jack Roslovic are starting to disappear a little more but mostly on the road.  I was a little concerned for Nikolaj Ehlers and Patrik Laine but I think they have been very good in the heavier games.  Opponents better not test Patrik Laine’s resolve because they will be quite surprised.    

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  35-11-8 … 2.38 GAA … .923 SV%             
  • Steve Mason:  4-6-1 … 3.18 GAA … .906 SV% 
  • Michael Hutchinson:  2-0-0 … 2.00 GAA … .933 SV%

20.  Special Teams:  Rule of thumb.  Have the two red numbers total at least 100% when added.  (as your minimum) 

  • PP:  2nd at 24.40% … slightly down from 24.60% last week.    
  • PK:  6th at 82.90% … up from 82.30 last week.  

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Thanks, Mitch 

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