Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Mar. 6

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. You’ve been warned.

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

1. Jets:  The NHL trade deadline has come and gone and the Winnipeg Jets made two trades acquiring Nino Niederreiter and Vladislav Namestnikov.  It wasn’t the “all-in” most Jets fans were hoping for, but Chevy added two nice pieces to the lineup without selling the farm.  If I had to give Chevy a grade I’d give him a C+.  

2. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets managed 3 important points this week and ended their losing streak at five games after beating the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.  Their record now sits at 36-25-2 and they currently sit in the 2nd wildcard spot.

3. Jets:  In my opinion, Kevin Cheveldayoff made a sneaky good trade in acquiring Vladislav Namestnikov from San Jose but a misleading tweet got Twitter into a negative frenzy when one of our mainstream media reported his numbers and then called him a defensive forward.  That’s when the Chevy hate started.

For the record, I am not a Kevin Cheveldayoff hater and I am certainly not a Kevin Cheveldayoff apologist, I will give credit where credit is due and I’ll tear him a new asshole if needed as well.  Namestnikov has a good skill set, he has grind in his game, he can play center, and he could play in the top 6 if needed although on this team he should slot in as a 3rd-line winger.

Some of the responses looked like this:

1. Manitoba Moose are loading up for a Calder Cup run.

2. Are you kidding me? We don’t need anymore 4th line players!!!!

3. How does Chevy have a job. Embarrassing. West basically wide open, window closing on Helly and PLD and we are wasting time on this……

4. You can count me in on seeing a couple more Jets (or Moose if that’s where he ends up) games this season because of this trade.

I can forgive some Jets fans that don’t know who he is BUT a mainstream media member called him a defensive forward and then the vitriol rolled in.  Underwhelming offensive statistics don’t automatically make you a defensive forward.  Namestnikov is a player that will probably end up playing on the Jets 3rd line BUT he is not a 4th liner or a plug.  The former 2011, 1st rounder is not soft, he played on the OHL Champion London Knights so he has a winning pedigree and understands the GRIND.

Some Jets fans never cease to amaze me.  Some just like to bitch.  I’ll bet 75% of them have no idea who Vladislav Namestnikov is or have never seen him play but they are crapping all over the trade. PLEASE STFU

4. Jets:  Nikolaj Ehlers’ and Kyle Connor’s play has been very disappointing lately because of too much perimeter play.  The game changes at this time of year and they aren’t adapting.

5. Jets:  It was nice seeing “The Gus Bus” out of the shop and rolling again in the Jets lineup this weekend.  He is a very smart hockey player and I like his game.  Let’s hope he can stay healthy

6. Jets:  Prospect update.

7. Jets:  I’d bet my condo (don’t tell my wife) that Josh Morrissey will be the Jets’ next captain.  NO DOUBT.  Morrissey is having a career year and you can see his leadership developing on the ice.  He seems to be in front of the microphones a lot in post-game media scrums and that is not easy when your team is struggling, just ask Blake Wheeler.

8. ICE:  The Winnipeg ICE are still holding the #1 position in the latest Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings for the 2022-23 season.  It looks like it will be Winnipeg and Quebec battling for that #1 spot all season.  The ICE have won 11 straight before losing a couple back to back on their 10-game road trip coming home with an 8-2 record.  Not too shabby.  Their record currently sits at 49-9-1.

Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings – Week 21

as of Mar. 1

1. Winnipeg ICE (47-7-1-0)
2. Seattle Thunderbirds (45-9-1-1)
3. Quebec Remparts (45-9-1-2)
4. Gatineau Olympiques (39-12-4-2)
5. Sherbrooke Phœnix (40-12-3-2)
6. Halifax Mooseheads (40-9-4-3)
7. Ottawa 67’s (41-11-3-2)
8. Kamloops Blazers (38-11-4-2)
9. London Knights (40-15-2-0)
10. Sarnia Sting (31-17-5-3)

This is the last TWO 4 TUESDAY of the season where ICE Fans can take advantage of all the TWO 4 TUESDAY Savings!

Check out the TWO 4 TUESDAY Savings below:

  • 2 Tickets for $24.00
  • 2 Hotdogs for $8.00
  • 2 Beers for $10.00
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Did you know ICE Fans have been treated to FREE Pancakes 12 times this season courtesy of Smitty’s (6 or more goals in a game) and FREE Cheesy Bread courtesy of Dominos Pizza 24 out of 27 home games (win on home ice)!

Join us this Tuesday and be part of the fun inside the ICE Cave!  Tickets available at winnipegice.ca

9. Jets:  Adam Lowry’s goalless drought is now OVER at 35 games and it was a huge goal when he scored it.  Edmonton just scored to take a 3-2 lead and the building went quiet.  It wasn’t quiet very long (42 seconds) and Lowry celebrated like it was New Year’s Eve. 

10. JetsNino Niederreider was a key acquisition because he really fills a need that this Jets team lacks.  He is a skilled straight-line player that shoots first and will go to the net.  In the three games he has played, he has already validated this analysis.  He is a big-body and he uses it.  The best part about this trade is he still has one more on his contract at a very serviceable $4,000,000 per season.   To put this in perspective Andrew Copp is getting paid $5,625,000 for the next FOUR seasons. 

11. Jets:  I don’t miss Andrew Copp one iota.  I watch a lot of Detroit games and the amount of money he makes is criminal based on his play.  Steve Yzerman doesn’t make many mistakes but he really whiffed on this one.  Better them than us.   

12. Jets:  Just a little FYI here, a lot of Jets fans were complaining that Chevy left a lot of available cap space on the table after the trade deadline, approximately $3,500,000 but what most fans don’t understand is when the rosters expand they can call up players from the Manitoba Moose and that money counts towards the salary cap.  Because of salary cap problems, there are teams that were only carrying 20-22 players instead of the maximum of 23.  

13. Jets:  According to Money Puck, the Winnipeg Jets have an 87% 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.

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

My question for Rick Bowness last week.  I would say asked and answered.   

Who is on your wish list when it comes to trade deadline acquisitions and is there anybody on your old team (Dallas) that you would like who could be available?

Rick Bowness obviously had a lot of input in the acquisition of Vladislav Namestnikov since he has coached him a couple of times (6 years) in his time with Tampa and Dallas.

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

  • PP: 12th at 22.70% up from 21.50% 
  • PK: 2nd at 83.30% down from 84.80%  
  • FO: 23rd at 48.50% up from 48.40%

16. Jets:  Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  27-19-2 … 2.62 GAA … .919 SV% … 3 shutouts  
  • David Rittich:  9-6-0 … 2.55 GAA … .908 SV%

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

  • Good:  The Jets broke their 5-game losing streak and Adam Lowry (35 games) and Morgan Barron (20 games) both broke their long goalless droughts.
  • Bad:  The number of faceoffs the Jets lose when they really need a win.       
  • Ugly:  The number of powerplays the Oilers had in their home-and-home series with the Jets.  A couple were sloppy, more than a couple were deserved, a couple were soft, and a couple were horseshit.

18. Jets:  My personal whipping boy, Neal Pionk has played pretty well lately but on Saturday night he looked possessed.  He had a few struggles with big Leon Draisaitl (who doesn’t?) but the Oilers seem to bring out the beast in him and I thought he competed very well.

19. Jets Right now the Jets have a glut of 4th liners hanging around.  This will change when Pierre-Luc Dubois returns and probably when Mason Appleton returns from the IR.  I’m guessing there will be a lot of rotation on the 4th line and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

20. Jets:  Kevin Cheveldayoff got his fair share of heat from the Jets fanbase after the trade deadline was over but not far behind was owner Mark Chipman.  It seems these two are now forever linked as the shot-callers for this Jets team.  For Mark Chipman, the bloom is certainly off the rose and although 98% of Jets fans will acknowledge he brought NHL hockey back to Winnipeg and love him for that there are a lot of fans that think he is to blame for the plight of this team.  Well, he is the owner and the responsibility ultimately does fall at his doorstep.  It will be interesting to see what happens if the Jets shit the bed down the home stretch.   

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

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