Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Mar. 20

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 or is it the 8Ps?  You’ve been warned.

You can listen to a more in-depth audio version here >>> Audio Version Podcast is now live

Key dates:

April 17: Start of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs

May 8: NHL Draft Lottery (7 p.m. ET)

June 3: Tentative start of Stanley Cup Final

June 4-10: NHL Scouting Combine

June 26: 2023 NHL Awards

June 28: Round 1 of the 2023 NHL Draft (7 p.m. ET)

June 29: Rounds 2-7 of the 2023 NHL Draft (11 a.m. ET)

1. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets went 1-3-0 this past week and are clinging to the last wildcard spot by a thread.  Their record now sits at 39-29-3 for 81 points.  The boys have 11 games left.

2. Jets:  The Jets played well enough to beat Carolina last week but they beat themselves again with costly free pizzas and David Rittich was not very good again.  Everybody, including me in Jetsville was wondering why Rick Bowness didn’t start Conner Hellebuyck.  The Jets are in a fight for a wildcard spot and need Helle and then more Helle.  Connor Hellebuyck is a workhorse and likes playing lots of games.  The time to rest is when they clinch a playoff spot or during the off-season.

3. Jets:  Brendan Dillon is a very underrated and underappreciated member of this Winnipeg Jets hockey team.  His value just can’t be measured by his goals and assists or his analytics.  Dillon brings a lot of intangibles to the Jets that can’t be measured with today’s analytics.  

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4. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets played pretty well in their 3-0 loss to Boston and certainly should have had 2 or 3 goals but a couple of goalposts and no puck-luck bit them in the ass again.  This team must lead the NHL in moral victories, the problem is moral victories don’t get you points in the standings.

5. Jets:  Neal Pionk directly or indirectly was responsible for both Nashville goals on Saturday afternoon but he semi-redeemed himself with the winner in overtime.  Every player makes mistakes but when your team is struggling to score goals every mistake is magnified and Neal Pionk has been under the magnifying glass way too much for my liking.

6. Jets:  You know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words?

Loosely translated I believe Chevy is thinking, why can’t this team score anymore and how the fuck are we losing this game?

7. Jets:  Mason Appleton was one of my favourites but right now he is where offense goes to die.

8. ICE:  The Winnipeg ICE are still ranked #3 in the latest Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings for the 2022-23 season.  The Gatineau Olympiques, riding an 18-game winning streak have moved to the #1 spot and Seattle has dropped to #2.  The ICE have won 7 in a row after beating Prince Albert last night and they’ve improved their record to an impressive 55-9-1 and should probably get the #1 ranking back.

Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings – Week 23

as of Mar. 15

1. Gatineau Olympiques (44-12-4-2)
2. Seattle Thunderbirds (50-9-1-2)
3. Winnipeg ICE (52-9-1-0)
4. Sherbrooke Phœnix (44-13-3-2)
5. Halifax Mooseheads (45-10-4-3)
6. Quebec Remparts (47-12-1-2)
7. Ottawa 67’s (46-12-3-2)
8. Kamloops Blazers (44-11-4-2)
9. Sarnia Sting (36-17-5-3)
10. North Bay Battalion (43-17-2-1)

9. Jets:  I realize hindsight is 20/20 but the Jets game vs St. Louis should have been a no-brainer for Rick Bowness to get some fresh legs into the line-up in a back-to-back situation BUT he inexplicably went with the same line-up as the day before versus Nashville.  This is one of the biggest complaints Dallas fans had with Bones, questionable roster decisions.  The Jets had Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, Logan Stanley, David Gustafsson, and Kyle Capobianco available but chose not to use any fresh legs.

10. Random:  This next thought comes from the “privileged piece of shit” file.

I’m sure by now everyone has either heard about or seen the surveillance video of Carson Briere pushing a wheelchair down the stairs as he and his buddies were entering a nightclub.  He is the son of former NHLer Daniel Briere and he plays for the Mercyhurst Lakers Div 1 NCAA hockey team.  I bet the Brieres are proud parents right now.  For my full rant, listen to the podcast.  Language Warning!

11. Jets:  Right now, the way Kyle Connor is struggling and the way Blake Wheeler has been ineffective on the powerplay I would like to see Nino and Nikolaj move to the #1 unit with PLD, Scheif, and Josh.

12. Jets:  This is just a very basic observation.  Dylan Samberg has more than proven himself and he should NEVER be taken out of the Jets lineup.

13. Jets:  The Jets just don’t have enough players that play big-boy hockey and it really showed versus the Blues.  Outside of PLD, Dillon, Lowry, Samberg, and Nino, that play the same way every game, the Jets are soft.

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

This question is for Rick Bowness:  What does Axel Jonsson-Fjallby have to do to get regular ice time?  I like his speed on the forecheck, he can kill penalties, and most importantly he has great hair lol.

15. Jets:  According to Money Puck, as of this morning, the Winnipeg Jets have a 63.5% chance of making the playoffs.   This number is very fluid and changes every day.  I will update this every week until they clinch a spot (being positive).  Last Monday the Jets were at 85.3%.

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

  • PP: 21st at 20.40% down from 15th at 21.60% 
  • PK: 2nd at 83.50% up from 7th at 82.70%  
  • FO: 23rd at 48.70% up from 25th at 47.50%

17. Jets:  Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  30-22-2 … 2.62 GAA … .917 SV% … 3 shutouts  
  • David Rittich:  9-7-1 … 2.65 GAA … .902 SV%

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

    • Good:  Faceoffs were much better this week and the PK was solid.
    • Bad:  The number of times in the weekend games where the Jets had multiple odd-man rushes without getting a shot on goal.
    • Ugly:  The Jets PP is NOT getting it done AGAIN.  0-1 vs Car … 0-5 vs Bos … 0-4 vs Nash … o-3 vs St.L … embarrassing.

19. JetsMy Kyle Connor watch:

As of Mar. 19 – 71 games (35 home and 36 away).

  • Goals:  27
  • Goals in 3 on 3 overtime:  2
  • Goals even strength vs weak Anaheim and Vancouver teams  (minus these 5 games):  5
  • Goals on the powerplay (home):  2
  • Goals on the powerplay (away):  5

If you eliminate the OT goals, the powerplay goals, and the cupcake games, KC’s splits look like this.

  • Goals in 32 home games 5 on 5:  6
  • Goals in 34 road games 5 on 5:  7

Even if you add the cupcake games to his totals he only has 18 even-strength goals in 71 games.  Factor this in with his less-than-stellar defensive game and you have a problem.  Watching the games you can see he is visibly frustrated.  KC needs to pot a couple of goals and turn that frown upside down.

20. Jets:  Going down the final stretch (11 games) and for the first time since the trade deadline it looks like Rick Bowness has all his best players available.  This should slot his players where they belong and improve their depth as well as the #2 powerplay unit. 

You can listen to a more in-depth audio version here >>> Audio Version Podcast is now live

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  1. Dave Smith says

    Current slump aside, KFC is what people think Laine was in his time with the Jets. Only difference was he moves is feet faster so folks overlooked his deficiencies.
    Like most of the Jets star players when he can’t outscore his deficiencies you get what we have here.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Thanks for visiting Dave … true and his points are fine but to outscore his deficiencies he’d need 100 just to break even … LOL

  2. Hi Mitch…I have been frustrated beyond words with this team since the All Star break. Everyone has a stinker of a game from time to time, but this stretch of un-imaginative hockey has me bewildered. Much to my embarrassment, I have caught myself yelling at the t.v. and I cringe everytime Pionk is on the ice. Every mistake the Jets make now is magnified and the fans are turning into an ugly mob. Chevy”s inactivity at the trade deadline has become expected, and mediocrity seems to be the best we can hope for. I have noticed we have played without heart…look at Ottawa and how they have played inspired hockey as of late. We need to play that way.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Thanks for visiting Les … we were fooled early … I’ve been questioning the coaching staff a lot lately too …. do they not see what we see?

  3. Chevy has let down his players by no major moves to give this core a chance at going deep in playoffs it is obvious that they gave up hope when Chevy ( sit on his hands ) GM basically thinks no moves nessasary means I keep my job and keep mouth shut as he is a man of few words (no accountability to fans ) He forgets the fans pay his salary . Most other teams with any jumpstart due to major moves at deadline listen to fan base and did what needed to be done . But we all know our GM as before (see accusations in Chicago ) turns blind eye to what needs to be said or done and hides out of sight

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