Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Mar. 29

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 good week going 3-1-0 and are in contention for 1st place in the North Division.  I’m not sure many Jets fans thought it was possible during the preseason with some of their roster concerns here they are.  They now have an overall record of 21-12-2.

2. Jets:  Basically one day after I declare to the world that I think Andrew Copp is where offence goes to die he scores FOUR goals.  Excuse me while I go remove my foot from my mouth.  All kidding aside, it was nice he scored 4 goals and super cool he won a Jets fan $100,000 but my opinion is still the same, Andrew Copp is a very good third liner and penalty killer, I don’t see him as an offensive player or a top 6 forward on a playoff team.    

3. JetsI think I might be like a lot of Jets fans and I’ve started taking Connor Hellebuyck for granted.  It sure is nice having a goaltender that is basically at the top of his game every night.        

4. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose finally hit the ice again after a 12 day layoff and continue their 17-game homestand.  They went 1-2-0 versus the division leading Laval Rocket this past week.  The highlight was a late comeback on Thursday where Skyler McKenzie scored with 32 seconds left to bring them within 1 goal and then David Gustafsson with a buzzer beater with 1 second left in regulation.  The Moose then grabbed the extra point in the shootout.  They lost  tough one on Friday, 1-0 and then let one get away on Sunday afternoon.  The Moose had a 3-1 lead halfway through the 3rd period and ending up losing 5-3 (EN).   

In an interview with the guys from Illegal Curve on Saturday morning, Moose coach Pascal Vincent said that David Gustafsson is NHL ready.  This is not a surprise to anybody that watches the Manitoba Moose regularly.  The nice thing is Gus is a center that is also comfortable on the wing.      

5. Jets:  Poll Question:  Who is your biggest surprise on the Winnipeg Jets roster so far this season?

Who has been the biggest surprise this season? Good or Bad.

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6. Jets:  In an interview this past week Patrik Laine stated he was blindsided by his trade to Columbus.  Laine is either lying through his teeth or he got unbelievably horrible advice from his agent Mike Liut.  Is it possible Mike Liut was playing a dangerous game of chicken with Kevin Cheveldayoff and Patrik Laine was the collateral damage? 


 7. Jets:  I’m standing by my position that acquiring Mattias Ekholm is just a pipedream.  Winnipeg Jets fans get whipped into a frenzy of hope and anticipation by “the Insiders” just to be disappointed.  Although I hope I’m wrong, I think the asking price will be way to high and Chevy isn’t about to sell the farm on acquiring Ekholm.  I believe there are other options out there that are probably cheaper and make more sense. 

In case you’re wondering, I’m trying reverse psychology … shhhhhh. 

By the way, Nashville is currently in a playoff spot, are they sellers? 

8. NHL:  Good news for Canadian NHL teams, the Federal Government has modified their quarantine policy.  Now players acquired by a Canadian based team from a US based team will only have to quarantine for seven days and not previously required 14 days.

9. Jets:  I’d love to see Jansen Harkins get into the Jets lineup but I guess with the team winning and healthy, Paul Maurice will keep the status quo.  I hope this applies when Nathan Beaulieu is ready to return.    

10. Jets:  Logan Stanley had an eventful week.  The big defenceman got into his first NHL fight during the Vancouver series and on Saturday night in Calgary he scored his first goal, a beauty snap-shot to tie the game in the second period.  Stanley has really opened some eyes with his play and he could be the biggest surprise on the Jets roster to date.

Embed from Getty Images

 

11. Jets:  So far, so good, for the month of March.  At the start of the month I thought if the Jets could play at least  .500 hockey they would still be in contention for 1st or 2nd place in the division.  As of Monday morning they sit at 8-6-1 for the month with 2 games left.  Their best stretch was 2 wins and an OT loss in Toronto that helped them reel in the Maple Leafs at the top of the division.  The last 21 games should be very interesting. 

UPDATE:

After a 5-1 win in Calgary Monday night the Winnipeg Jets finished their 7-game road trip with a 4 wins and 3 loses and improved their record in March to 9-6-1 with one more game remaining.

12. NHL:  Key dates.

  • Mar. 12 – Players on one-year deals can sign extensions (usually Jan. 1)
  • Apr. 12 – Trade Deadline
  • May 8 – End of the regular season
  • May 11 – Playoffs begin
  • July 15 – The latest the Stanley Cup can be awarded
  • July 17 – Expansion draft protection lists tentatively due
  • July 21 – Expansion draft
  • July 23-24 – 2021 NHL Entry Draft
  • July 28 – Free agency opens

13. Jets: Poll Question:   TRADE DEADLINE POLL 

Factoring in the cost of acquisition, player’s contract, contract status (term), the actual chance of acquiring said player, and his impact on the roster, who should the Winnipeg Jets pursue?

Who would be your top trade deadline acquisition for the Winnipeg Jets?

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14. Jets:  If the Winnipeg Jets wait right until the April 12 NHL Trade Deadline any players coming from US based teams will still get 10 regular season games with the Jets after honouring their 7-day quarantine period.  (see#8)

15. Jets:  Schedule

16. Jets:  Laurent Brossoit possibly played his worst game in a Winnipeg Jets uniforn on Saturday night in Calgary.  I know it’s a team game and his teammates would never throw him under the bus but I can.  LB lost that game for his team.  He didn’t have chance on the 2nd goal but the 3rd and 4th goals would have been stopped by a pee-wee goalie.  Hell the 4th goal wasn’t even a shot on net. 

Helle has spoiled us but to be fair LB has been pretty darn good all season as well.  (see #3) 

17. Jets:  Special Teams: Rule of thumb. Have the two red numbers (PK and PP) total at least 100% when added (as your minimum).  I also base the movement (up or down) on the % and not the NHL ranking.

These are the Winnipeg Jets rankings within the seven team Canadian Division.  Since all games played during the regular season are divisional the rest of the league’s numbers don’t really matter.

  • PP: 2nd at 26.70% up from 25.80% last week.
  • PK: 1st at 78.60 up from 78.60% last week. 
  • FO: 4th at 48 .60 up from 48.40% last week.

18. Jets:  Tucker Poolman finally got off the schneid Friday night in Calgary with a nice primary assist on Kyle Connors semi-breakaway goal.  Like I said last week, his skillset is too good to be pointless.      

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  16-9-2 … 2.63 GAA … .917 SV% 
  • Laurent Brossoit:  5-3-0 … 2.63 GAA … .914 SV%

20. Jets:  There are parts of me that don’t want to like our 4th line because I want to see Jansen Harkins and Kristian Vesalainen playing but for me Nate Thompson, Trevor Lewis, and Mathieu Perreault have been much better than I expected and have earned their ice-time.    

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In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

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Thanks, Mitch

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