Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: May 31

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. 

Four Game Sweep 

1. NHL:  First and foremost, Winnipeg Hockey Talk stands with Ethan Bear.  There is no need to attack a person’s ethnicity over a hockey play.  I’m not going to pin this on Oiler’s fans only, there are IDIOTS in every market.  C’mon people, we’re better than this.

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2. Jets:  The nice thing about the Habs/Leafs series going seven games is that it gave me an extra week to revel in the Jets FOUR-GAME SWEEP of the Edmonton McDavids.   

3. Jets:  It was 10 years ago today when Mark Chipman changed the landscape of hockey in Winnipeg with these words and I still get shivers up and down my spine hearing them.  Whenever I get pissed off with the team I just think of this day.

“Today, on behalf of my family, our partner David Thomson and our entire organization, I am excited beyond words to announce our purchase of the Atlanta Thrashers.” 

THANK-YOU MARK CHIPMAN.

4. Jets:  I guess it’s just basic, simple math.  TWO Connors are better than one.

5. Jets:  Poll Question:  Should Chevy cut a deal with Seattle GM Ron Francis so the Jets don’t lose a player off their roster in the expansion draft?  In the 2017 Vegas expansion draft the Jets and Vegas cut a deal where the Golden Knights would select Chris Thorburn’s expiring contract.  In the deal they flip-flopped 1st rounders with Winnipeg acquiring the 24th pick (from Vegas, from Columbus) in the 2017 NHL Draft in exchange for the 13th pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, and the Jets third-round selection in 2019.  

Will Chevy or should Chevy cut a deal with Seattle GM Ron Francis so the Jets don't lose a player in the expansion draft?

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6. NHL:  Thanks a lot for another back-to-back.  Complete BS.  

7. Jets:  Yes, the Oilers were in every game of their FOUR-GAME SWEEP and yes the series was close but you know what, it was a FOUR-GAME SWEEP. (see #3)    

8. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets top line had a pretty good series vs Edmonton and it reminded me of the way they played against Nashville in 2018.  Is it any coincidence that Paul Stastny was on that team and he took the pressure off of the top line.  Stastny completely changes the dynamic of this team.    

9. Jets:  When this team is healthy at forward I think this might be the best bottom six we’ve ever had.  The Andrew Copp, Adam Lowry, Mason Appleton line has been a constant but the fourth line guys, Nate Thompson, Trevor Lewis, Mathieu Perreault, and Jansen Harkins have played meaningful minutes and occasionally chip in offensively.   

10. Jets:  Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers only played two games in the Oilers series but he sure left his mark and especially in game 3 with a key PP goal and a beauty snipe in OT.  If the Jets are going to win the Scotia or North or Canadian Division I think the key will be Paul Stastny, Nikolaj Ehlers, and Pierre-Luc Dubois.  Ehlers is still the best kept secret in all of the NHL.

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11. JetsNext year’s blueline could have a whole new look with Dylan Samberg and Ville Heinola expected to make the jump to the big team.  With the emergence of Logan Stanley (RFA) it could be crowded back there and that’s not including UFAs Tucker Poolman, Derek Forbort, and Jordie Benn.  Also returning for next season are Josh Morrissey, Dylan DeMelo, Sami Niku, and Neal Pionk (RFA) and the forgotten piece Nate Beaulieu.  That is seven returning not counting the UFAs.  Chevy has some wheeling and dealing to do.  This fanbase won’t stand for another year without Heinola and Samberg.  You know on July 28 that Chevy is going to offer Poolman and Forbort contracts because that’s what this team does and we are going to have a pissed off fanbase.  I looked into my crystal ball and it was very cloudy.    

12. NHL:  Key dates.

  • May 15 – Playoffs begin
  • June 2 – NHL Draft Lottery
  • 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:  Is Paul Maurice’s or Kevin Cheveldayoff’s job in jeopardy?

UPDATE:

I think the answer to the poll question is moot now.  After a FOUR-GAME SWEEP I think the coach and GM are safe, much to the dismay of the vocal minority.

After being swept in the second round by Montreal should heads roll?

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14. Jets:  I’ve been asked many times over the past week who my preference is for the Jets opponents next round.  For me it’s a case of be careful what you wish for but I’ve said all along that I think the Jets might match up better with Toronto.  It will be tough whether it is Toronto or Montreal but if the Jets play to their capabilities they can beat either team.  I just hope the Oiler series wasn’t their Stanley Cup.  

UPDATE:

It’s the Habs.

15. Jets:  Playoff Schedule

1. Wednesday June 2 vs Montreal 6:30 PM 

2. Friday  June 4 vs Montreal 6:30 PM 

3. Sunday June 6 at Montreal 5:00 PM 

4. Monday June 7 at Montreal 7:00 PM 

5. Wednesday June 9 vs Montreal (if necessary)

6. Friday June 11 at Montreal (if necessary)

7. Sunday June 13 vs Montreal (if necessary)

16. Jets:  I don’t think it is a coincidence that since being paired with Dylan DeMelo, Josh Morrissey is playing his best hockey of the season.      

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.

Playoff rankings:  Canadian Division

  • PP: 1st at 30.00% 
  • PK: 3rd at 81.80  
  • FO: 1st at 54.60

18. Jets:  Now I remember why I despise the Edmonton Oilers so much and this incarnation of the Oilers isn’t much different than their predecessors.  They are both arrogant and classless.  I never heard one Oiler’s player on the podium give the Winnipeg Jets credit for their series win, all I heard were excuses and how they could could have won every game in their FOUR-GAME SWEEP. 

19. Goaltending:

Playoff stats:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  4-0-0 … 1.60 GAA … .950 SV% 
  • Laurent Brossoit:  0-0-0 … 0.00 GAA … .000 SV%

20. PWHPA:  The Secret Dream Gap Tour tournament was being broadcast on Sportsnet this past week and I tried watching parts of a couple games but I couldn’t get into it.  I love women’s hockey at the international level but these games are hard to watch.  The quality of play isn’t very good and these girls are going to have a hard time convincing anybody to pay money to watch them on a regular basis and make this a viable career option.  The dream is just that, a dream.

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In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

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Thanks, Mitch
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