Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Mar. 19

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 four games last week going 2-1-1 and now have an overall record of 43-19-10 for the season.  They are solidly in second place in the Central Division.    

2.  The Manitoba Moose won two of three in Texas this week and now have an overall record of 38-18-4-4.  They have one more game on their current road trip before heading home for an eight-game homestand.      

3.  Jacob Trouba returned to the Winnipeg Jets lineup on Thursday night and looked very comfortable after missing twenty games.  He kicked in a couple of helpers in a 6-2 victory over Chicago and completely changed the dynamic of the back-end even though the Jets still had a couple of regulars out with injury.  It’s the first time in a while they have had their top three defencemen in the lineup.  We will chat about the ranking of that top three a bit later.  You may or may not be surprised by my ranking.

UPDATE:      

Unfortunately, Jacob Trouba was forced to leave the game on Sunday after a collision with Dallas captain, Jamie Benn.  Jake was extremely wonky after the hit and could barely make it to the bench.  All Winnipeg Jets fans are waiting patiently for an update which will probably come later today.

Not a surprise here as the Jets have announced that Jacob Trouba is being listed as “out indefinitely” with a concussion.  

4.  The Patrick Laine point streak is still intact.  With Laine’s two goals on Sunday night, he has run his points streak to fifteen games.  Apparently, it is the longest point streak by a player still in his teens.  Who knew that was a stat?  By the way, he is tied with that OV guy for the league lead with 43 goals.    

5.  Tyler Myers must lead the league in icing calls.            

6.  The Winnipeg Jets still continue to struggle along the wall in their own end and after watching a little closer I noticed that on occasion the wingers tend to be too high when breaking out, hence making it easier for the opposing defencemen to pinch.  If the wingers were a little lower in the zone they would give themselves a little more time and space and the opposing defenceman would not gamble as much.  Just a thought.      

7.  The Jets are having an awful season when it comes to injuries.  They finally get Jacob Trouba and Toby Enstrom back and now Dmitry Kulikov is going to be out for up to eight weeks with a back injury.  It is being reported as the same injury he had when he was with the Buffalo Sabres. 

UPDATE:

Dmitry Kulikov has opted to not have surgery on his injured back.  He could be back in four weeks.  

8.  I wish Toby would shoot the puck.  I think he doesn’t shoot the puck because he doesn’t have a great shot.  It doesn’t matter how hard your shot is.  Most defencemen aren’t going to score from the blueline anyways unless there is a screen but a shot can create a rebound etc, etc.              

9.  I don’t know if I was reading more into this than there was BUT during his interview between periods with Sara Orlesky, Jacob Trouba looked downright giddy.  That did not look like a player that wanted out of Winnipeg.        

10.  Congratulations to the top-seeded Manitoba Bisons women’s hockey team who captured the 2018 U SPORTS Championship at Western University in London, Ontario with a  2-0 victory over No. 3 seed Western in the championship final game on Sunday, March 18.   

 

11.  I love that Dustin Byfuglien has a hate-on for Antoine Roussel.     

12.  Pet Peeve:  I’m getting a little tired of the MVP debate.  Who’s to say which team’s MVP is more valuable than the next.  The announcers in Philly think its Claude Giroux.  The guys in Colorado think it’s Nathan MacKinnon.  In New Jersey, it’s Taylor Hall.  It’s Blake Wheeler in Winnipeg, although I think it’s Helle.  Where would L.A. be without Anze Kopitar?  Tampa Bay has Nikita Kucherov.  The list goes on and on.  Every one of these players is valuable to his team and for varying reasons and to be honest, I don’t think the guys that vote on these awards see enough of the candidates to make a proper evaluation.  They’ll look at points but it’s impossible to see the day-to-day value of any player unless you cover them extensively.  I also don’t like the narrative that if the player’s team doesn’t make the playoffs he is out of consideration.  Are you telling me Connor McDavid isn’t valuable to the Oilers or John Tavares isn’t valuable to the Islanders?          

13.  As many of you know, I wasn’t a big Blake Wheeler fan early in his Winnipeg Jets tenure.  I thought he was a pretty decent winger but extremely flawed.  I didn’t like his inconsistency, the flybys, and the lack of grind in his game.  I always thought he had much more to offer and as it turns out, he did.  He is a curious player.  He is getting better and better as he gets older and that is rare for a player his age.  In my opinion, it all started when he was given the “A’ on his jersey.  He then took his game to another level when he was awarded the “C” after the Jets traded Andrew Ladd.  Along with the team, he is finally starting to get recognition around the league.  Others are starting to see what we’ve been seeing for the past three or four seasons.         

14.  While I’m a fan of Jacob Trouba, I’m not sure he is the Winnipeg Jets #1 defenceman as many have stated.  I’m not even convinced he is the #1 defenceman in his pairing.  I will concede that Jake and Josh are the team’s top pairing but I still think that Dustin Byfuglien is their best defenceman when he is at his best.  I didn’t always think this way but I do now.  I think if you took any two of Buff, Jake, or Josh and put them together they automatically become the top pair.  I really believe the Jets have a 1A, 1B, and 1C.  Kick in Tyler Myers, Dmitry Kulikov, Toby Enstrom, Ben Chiarot and when healthy you have a pretty effective blueline.

 

Who is the Winnipeg Jets best defenceman?

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15.  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  Would you consider trading Buff this off-season and use that money to offer John Tavares a contract on July 1?  I know it sounds crazy but is it?   

16.  If I was going to do a “Random Thought” about another sport I would wonder why basketball players tap hands after every free throw whether they make it or not.        

17.  Remember when Patrik Laine thought hockey was hard?  (see #4) 

18.  Is it just me or does Kyle Connor have the quietest 25-goals in the NHL?  You know if he was out east they would be drooling all over him.  I guess it’s tough trying to get some attention when Patrik Laine is killing it right now.        

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  37-11-9 … 2.34 GAA … .925 SV%             
  • Steve Mason:  4-6-1 … 3.18 GAA … .906 SV% 
  • Michael Hutchinson:  3-2-1 … 3.26 GAA … .907 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.  

If you are interested in writing for Winnipeg Hockey Talk or if you know somebody interested, please contact us at:

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We are looking for writers to cover the Winnipeg Jets, Manitoba Moose, Manitoba Bisons, Winnipeg AAA, MJHL, MMJHL, KIJHL and Winnipeg High School.

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

Thanks, Mitch 

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