Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Mar. 8

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 split two home games with Vancouver and two road games in Montreal this past week but the 7-1 ass-kicking they got in the second game versus the Habs on Saturday night was the game that got everybody’s attention.  After a an even first period it was astounding how fast that game went off the rails.  Hopefully that was a one off because it doesn’t get any easier this week with a 3-game series in Toronto.  The Jets now have an overall record of 15-8-1.

2. Jets:  Nathan Beaulieu is really starting to wear on the Jets fanbase and the more Winnipeg fans bitch and complain about him, the more Paul Maurice digs his heals in.  I don’t get it and it really bothers me that Logan Stanley and Sami Niku aren’t playing anywhere.  I’ll keep saying this until I’m blue in the face that young players need to play.  It looks like neither will play unless there is an injury but we will see tomorrow night in Toronto.  Miracles do happen. 

3. JetsIt looks like Andrew Copp and Adam Lowry have come back down to earth.  When was that last time either of them have tickled the twine?  It has been over TEN games for both of them.  In the last ten games Mason Appleton has carried that line with four goals.  If we have any hope of success in the upcoming three-game series in Toronto, the Copp/Lowry/Appleton line needs to chip in.  Giddy-up boys    

4. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose finished their eight-game road trip with a 4-4 record and now they sit at 6-6-0-0 overall for the season.  The Moose are now at home for 17 straight games.  It’s time to make hay.   

5. Jets:  There is a lot of talk on Twitter that the Winnipeg Jets should pursue Mattias Ekholm before the NHL trade deadline.  I don’t disagree with the sentiment, I just think it’s a pipe dream.  Ekholm has good size, better than average offensive instincts, and he can play top-pairing minutes.  He has a very team-friendly $3,750,000 per year contract that runs through the 2021-22 season AND doesn’t include a no-trade clause.  What’s not to like?  The problem is he will be one of the hottest commodities in recent trade deadlines and he won’t come cheap.  I’m not getting my hopes up that we have a shot at him and I would be satisfied with a player like David Savard, Brandon Montour, or Colin Miller.  Although I don’t think the Jets have a hope in hell of acquiring Ekholm it doesn’t mean I’m not hoping they do.  I would love to eat my words here.  (see #13)

6. NHL:  Patrik Laine has gone pointless in his last six games.  Do you think he misses the Jets first unit powerplay and those sweet cross-ice saucer passes from the captain?  His supporting cast is just not the same in Columbus and I’d be shocked if he signs there long-term unless they get him some help.  BTW, after an unconscious start in Columbus, Jack Roslovic has cooled down with only five points in his last ten games.   

7. Jets:  Pierre-Luc Dubois is now centering #81 and #27 and this line has potential to be elite.  They are not exactly off to a great start so I hope Paul Maurice leaves them together and lets them gel.  They could be scary good.     

8. Jets:  I am now officially moving Tucker Poolman to my underrated list.  I think he has played very well since returning to the lineup and I for one haven’t really given him enough props.   

9. Jets:  On Thursday night Derek Forbort set a single-game franchise record with 11 blocked shots in the win against Montreal.  The oddity about this is I thought it was one of his poorest games all season.  I guess we can give him a pass because he has been pretty good all year and we ended up winning the game.    

10. Jets:  Connor Hellebuyck has had some shitty luck with a rash of chimpy deflections beating him the last little while.  Just a thought, maybe our defenceman should stop screening him AND do a better job of moving guys in front of the net or tying-up their sticks a little better. 

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11. Jets:  Every time I feel like venting after a Jets loss, I just gather myself, look to the heavens, and thank the Lord I’m not a Buffalo Sabres fan.  What an absolute shit-show. 

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:  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?

View Results

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14. Jets:  Paul Stastny is like a fine wine, he just gets better with age.  He is a joy to watch and I will be shocked if the Jets don’t try and resign him for a couple of more seasons as a place-holder for Cole Perfetti.    

15. Jets:  Schedule

16. Jets:  Would it be fair to say that Connor Hellebuyck has been pretty good this season but nowhere close to his Vezina form from last year?   

17. 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: 3rd at 23.60% up from 23.40% last week.
  • PK: 4th at 77.10 down from 80.00% last week. 
  • FO: 6th at 48 .80 down from 49.50% last week … BRUTAL, the only center winning his share is Paul Stastny.

18. Jets:  I wonder if Paul Maurice would still find room for Nathan Beaulieu in the lineup if the Jets did indeed acquire Mattias Ekholm?  I feel a little bad piling on poor Nate because I actually don’t mind him.  It’s not his fault PoMo misuses a depth defenceman and gives him top pairing minutes.  

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  11-7-1 … 2.73 GAA … .911 SV% 
  • Laurent Brossoit:  4-1-0 … 2.57 GAA … .923 SV%

20. NHL:  RIP Walter Gretzky 


In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

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Thanks, Mitch



  1. Wayne Knutson says

    Well done Mitch. Do you think the Jets are not playing some of their young players so they don’t have to be protected in the expansion draft? Under 40 NHL games is the limit for 1st and 2nd year players.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Thanks Wayne …. Samberg, Heinola and Vesalainen are exempt from the expansion draft but Appleton, Niku, Stanley are vulnerable … I wouldn’t give up too much in a side deal to protect losing a player … maybe do a flip-flop of 1st rounders like Chevy did with Vegas

      • Wayne Knutson says

        Ok, now I understand better…I agree with not over paying. No point to it……… And I would love to see Ekholm is a Jets jersey.

        • Mitch Kasprick says

          I’m not getting my hopes up to be disappointed AGAIN … although he would be a pretty nice addition

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