Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Mar. 28

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 had a pretty good week going 3-1 but the mood in Jetsville was very sombre after the loss to Ottawa.  It had that feeling like an elimination game.  

The Jets’ record currently sits at 32-25-10 and they are 2 points behind Vegas for the final wildcard spot BUT most importantly they still sit sixth in the Central Division.  Winnipeg still has to reel in Dallas who are a point ahead of them but have 3 games in hand.  


2. Jets:  There is something comforting about knowing the Jets will be starting next season with Mason Appleton on the roster. 

3. Jets:  Logan Stanley is struggling with inconsistency right now.  Three decent games followed by a couple of not-so-great games.  I don’t think he needs to play every night when the Jets have Dylan Samberg and Ville Heinola at their disposal.  As it turns out the Jets dressed Heinola on Sunday versus Arizona and they used the lame excuse that Stanley was injured.  I call BS.     

4. NHL:  Gary Bettman needs to shove his divisional playoffs where the sun doesn’t shine and go back to conference play with 1 vs 8, 2 vs 7, 3 vs 6, and 4 vs 5.  I’m sure after Toronto gets eliminated in the first round again it will become a hot-button topic but I’m all for it.  

5. Jets:  It’s funny how 8 months can change an opinion that seemed like a good idea at the time.  On July 27 the Jets acquired Nate Schmidt for a 3rd round draft pick and Jets fans for the most part were very happy with the trade.  Today we have a $5,900,000 defenceman with 3 more years playing in our 3rd pairing.  To make matter worse, he is by far our worse defender and basically has an untradeable contract.  Brenden Dillon was acquired at approximately the same time and has been solid but he brings a level of physicality this team hasn’t had for a few seasons and at $3,900,000 for two more years is on a decent contract.  The Jets need to make room for Ville Heinola and Dylan Samberg next season and I have a bad feeling Dillon gets moved because NOBODY will take Schmidt’s contract.  ARGGGG. 

6. NHL:  My weekly analysis (bitching) about NHL officiating.

Have I mentioned lately (sarcasm) how brutally inconsistent NHL officiating is?  On Thursday night Frederick L’Ecuyer and Kelly Sutherland chose to suck on their whistles all night and let everything go except a 3rd period penalty to Brenden Dillon and then on Friday Gord Dwyer and Kelly Sutherland called the lamest interference penalty on Josh Morrissey halfway through the 1st period.  It was a penalty Kelly Sutherland let go a dozen times the night before.  Then early in the 3rd period, Justin Danforth gets his stick into Josh Morrissey’s hands and they call the hooking penalty but call Morrissey for a phantom holding penalty.  Instead of a Jets PP, it’s 4 on 4.  Then Dwyer and Sutherland saved their best for last.  Columbus had pulled their goalie and in the last minute of play Sean Kuraly pile-drives Josh Morrissey from behind and just as Blake Wheeler is going to score into the empty net Josh retaliates and hacks Kuraly BUT he is the only one penalized.  Instead of the Jets being up by two goals, Columbus gets a PP.  With two extra men on the ice, everybody in the building knew what was going to happen next.  Of course, Adam Lowry loses the draw and bingo, bango, bongo, it’s a tie game.  Three Jets penalties and all three on Josh Morrissey and ALL of them had a stench on them.  With the Jets hanging on to their playoff lives by a pubic hair they deserve better officiating than this crap.  By the way, it was also Josh Morrissey that was involved in the blatant non-call in the last minute of the Boston game last week.  Josh has sure had his share of controversial calls lately.  Can you imagine the uproar if this happened in the center of the hockey universe?  

7. Jets:  It’s only been 4 games but I like what Zach Sanford brings to the table.  Sanford is a pending UFA and I have no idea if he fits into the Jets’ future plans.  The problem I see is Sanford will be looking for a raise after settling for a 1-year, $2,000,000 arbitration settlement last season.  RFA, Mason Appleton is also looking for a new contract.  The Jets have an opportunity to solidify their 3rd line for next season but at what cost?  With the Central Division now being a mix of speed and heavier hockey, Sanford, Lowry, Appleton would be a big, tough line to play against.  Stay tuned.           

8. Jets:  It was nice to see the Jets on the right end of a couple of overtime games this week after a season of so many lost points in extra time or shootouts.

9. Jets:  The Jets’ special teams are starting to become a concern again and the timing couldn’t be worse.  The games are getting tighter and scoring a big goal on the PP or killing a penalty late in the game can be the difference.  The PK has been a concern all season but has made great strides under Dave Lowry although it has been leaky the last couple of weeks.  

10 Jets:  I couldn’t imagine Kyle Connor having a career year and threatening to score 50 goals and the Jets missing the playoffs?  I would have never believed it.  What a waste.      

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11. Jets:  95 point update:  I figured the Jets needed approx 52 points in their final 40 games to have a shot at a wildcard spot.  As of today they have earned 31 points in 25 games and are still just a little bit off the pace for 52 points but that can change with a big third segment.  The Jets need approximately 21 points in their remaining 15 games.                        

12. Ice:  The Winnipeg ICE had another week where they ran the table going 4-0.  They have improved their overall record to 47-9-3-2 on the season and have retaken the top spot in the WHL’s Eastern Conference.  The Edmonton Oil Kings are the #1 team in the CHL rankings and the Winnipeg ICE are at #2 but that will probably change this coming Wednesday.  

Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings – Week 21

as of Mar. 23

1. Edmonton Oil Kings
2. Winnipeg ICE
3. Hamilton Bulldogs
4. Charlottetown Islanders
5. Kamloops Blazers
6. Everett Silvertips
7. Sherbrooke Phoenix
8. North Bay Battalion
9. Saint John Sea Dogs
10. Portland Winterhawks

13. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose only managed only 1 point in their 3 road games last week and now their record sits at  33-19-4-2 with a .621 winning percentage.  They still sit in 4th place in the AHL’s Western Conference.  The boys now return home for 4 straight home games.  

Special Teams:

  • PP:  18.80  down from 19.10 last week.
  • PK:  81.60% down  from 81.80 last week.

14. JetsThe Winnipeg Jets have 15 games left in the season and according to moneypuck.com their chances of making the playoffs sit at 4.5 % as of Sunday night.  Of course, this number is very fluid and it changes with each win or loss by the Jets and the teams they are chasing.  It is fun to watch.

Updated game by game odds:

Monday … no game … 9.5%

Tuesday … after win 4-0 vs Vegas … 14.7%

Wednesday … no game … 14%

Thursday … after 5-2 loss vs Ottawa … 4.4%

Friday … after 4-3 win vs Columbus … 3.9%

Saturday … no game … 5.4%

Sunday … after 2-1 win vs Arizona … 4.5% 

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

This question is for Dave Lowry.  Have you considered trying a different defensive system that doesn’t break down so easily and gives up so many grade-A chances?  This looks exactly like Paul Maurice’s defensive system that didn’t work.  Everybody blamed the players but even with an upgrade to our defencemen it still looks like a gong show back there.  Chase, chase, chase, and nobody looks to see where the puck is.       

16. Jets:  The Good, Better, Best this past week.

  • Good:  The OT winner by Nikolaj Ehlers vs Columbus.
  • Better:  The OT winner by Mark Scheifele vs Arizona with 10 seconds left in overtime.   
  • Best:  Helle stole a 4-0 victory over Vegas.  A team plagued with injuries and that played the night before skated the Jets into the ice for a period and a half until they finally woke up.  It could have been really ugly if not for Helle.        

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

  • Good:  Eric Comrie picked up another win for the Jets.  I was very skeptical about Comrie being gifted the backup job but he has proven me wrong.         
  • Bad:  The amount of grade A, high danger chances our goaltenders face every night.  Even the most offensively challenged teams in the NHL lick their lips when they play the Jets.         
  • Ugly:  The officiating in the last minute of the Columbus game.    

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: 15th at 21.80% up from 21.60 last week. 
  • PK: 27th at 75.30% down from 76.80 last week.
  • FO: 12th at 51.10% up from 50.70 last week.

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  24-23-9 … 2.94 GAA … .911 SV% … Shutouts 4 
  • Eric Comrie:  8-2-1 … 2.39 GAA … .920 SV%

20. NHL The Winnipeg Jets have 15 games left and still have 10 games left against Eastern Conference teams.  REALLY!  How is this possible?  This is the reason the Jets playoff chances sit at 4.5%, they don’t have any 4-point games down the stretch.   


  1. # 20 …2/3 of the remaining games are against Eastern teams…It never occurred to me about the 4-point games. And don’t get me started on the last minute officiating in the Columbus game…there is not enough space here to contain my tirade.

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