Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: May 7

Odds and Ends on the Winnipeg Jets and the NHL –

Some random facts and a few thoughts about the Winnipeg Jets, the Manitoba Moose, and the National Hockey League.  

1.  Round Two:  After losing game 4 on home ice and their chance to go up 3-1 in the series, the Winnipeg Jets did what I thought would be the improbable and won game 5 in Nashville.  The Winnipeg Jets now have a chance to win the series on home ice Monday night.


In what could have been a historic night in Winnipeg Jets NHL history turned into one of the most disappointing nights after a 4-0 loss in game 6.  I guess the silver lining is there is still a chance to win game 7 on Thursday night so everybody get off the ledge and let’s delay the post-mortem. I know it feels like it but this series is NOT over yet!  It’s been a strange series where the home teams are only 2-4 but no team has lost two in a row.  I still think it will be a pretty tall order for the Jets to win a third game in Nashville but this Jets team always find a way to surprise us.  Let’s hope game 7 is another one of those times.  

2.  The Manitoba Moose are behind the 8-ball again after dropping their two home games in the Central Division Final versus Rockford.  They are down 0-2 with the next three games in Rockford.  I’m not sure we will see the Moose at home again this year but this team has a way of rebounding.  We will see soon enough.

3 I know everything is relevant to the next current moment but would it be fair to say that tonight’s (Monday) game is the biggest in the Winnipeg Jets 1.0 or 2.0 NHL history?

4.  It kind of feels weird being the only Canadian team left in the chase for the Stanley Cup and being the focal point of hockey coverage in Canada.  I hope all the Jets fans that thought we weren’t getting enough coverage are happy now.  It’s wall to wall Jets on TSN and SportsNet every single day.     

5.  If you look up the words “primary assist” in the hockey dictionary, I’m pretty sure there would be a picture of Kyle Connor’s assist on Mark Scheifele’s goal on Saturday night versus Nashville.  That was a thing of beauty.   

6.  Brad Marchand is a disgusting pig.  He licked another player (Ryan Callahan) on Friday night and the best the NHL could do is issue him and the Bruins a warning on Saturday.  What a joke!  Gary Bettman is a gutless commissioner that should have put a stop to this after the first incident.  Maybe then we wouldn’t have had to watch Marchand’s piggish, disgusting act again.  It would have been an absolute no-brainer for the officials in either of those games to give him an unsportsmanlike penalty and/or a 10-minute or game misconduct but they froze just like their fearless leader.  There is absolutely no room or ANY excuse for his boorish behaviour in our game.  Instead of seeing great hockey action on the news, we had to watch “licking” as the lead story on the highlights.  It’s no wonder the NHL is looked at as a second tier sport.  This is all on Gary Bettman.  This happened on his watch.  Instead of getting out in front of this after the first incident, he cowered in his ivory tower like the weasel he is.  

7.  I wonder how much the six home games to date will affect the Winnipeg Jets bottom line this season?  I would love to know how the economics of being a perennial playoff team impacts a franchise.    

8.  Priceless moment:  The Buff dance in game 3 after the Jets came all the way back from a 0-3 deficit to take a 4-3 lead.  By the way, that was a pretty sweet cross-ice pass by Patrick Laine.     

9.  How cool was it having those RCAF fighter jets doing a flyby before Game 3?  I actually got chills.        

10.  Outside of Jacob Trouba’s terrible giveaway in the third period in game 3, I thought he was excellent and he was also very good in games 4 and 5.  He was very physical and was jumping into the play like the good old days.  I don’t like making excuses for players but I can’t help wonder if he was playing hurt.  I know everybody is playing with some sort of owwie at this time of year but Jake was coming off the concussion from the Jamie Benn hit and the ankle injury late in the season.  My podcast partner Manny (Darryl Manchulenko) mentioned this to me one night when I thought he was playing too passive for this time of the year.

11.  This is something I haven’t said in the past two seasons but Josh Morrissey wasn’t his usual steady self on Saturday night.  For the first time, he looked human.  Who knew?                                       

12.  Pet Peeve:  When I’m a hypocrite and I have to admit it.  In the past, I mocked the street parties outside of Air Canada Centre when the Leafs and Raptors were in the playoffs.  I believe my exact words were “who gives a shit or wants to see the tv cameras show a bunch of idiots standing outside watching those games?”  Now that Jets fans are packing Donald Street every night in record numbers, I think it’s very cool.  When it comes to my city (even though I now live in Morris) and my hockey, I AM A HOMER!  There!  I admit it and I owe Leafs and Raptors fans an apology.  I’m sorry.  Lets never speak of this again.                                       

13.  In this exact same slot last week, I was lamenting the fact that Matt Hendricks being in the lineup had multiple players playing out of position and when the Jets got healthy this problem would/should be resolved.  Well, it was resolved on Saturday night.  For the first time in quite a while, the Jets forwards were all healthy and PoMo got to dress his optimum forward lineup (give or take Jack Roslovic) and it showed.  They are a pretty good team when Bryan Little is in the three hole.

14.  Is it just me or does it seem like the Preds are getting an awful lot of grade A scoring chances because of poor line changes by the Jets?  It seems there is a lack of communication between the players leaving the ice or the players not getting the puck in deep and they need to tidy up this part of their game.    

15.  I commented on Kyle Connor’s first two games in Nashville and I thought he would get better and he was.  I thought he played better in game 3.  He had a tough time in game 4 like the rest of the forwards BUT he was unbelievable in game 5 in Nashville.  He scored two goals and added a helper but he was a factor right from the get-go.  Like I said last week, I wasn’t overly concerned because we see this quite often with younger players.  Now we need to get Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers of the schneid.  I don’t know about you but Monday night works for me.      

16.  You can cross-check a guy, you can trip a guy, you can interfere with a guy, you can hook a guy, you can high-stick a guy, and you can even lick a guy BUT don’t you dare or even think about shooting the puck over the glass because we’ll call that every single time!         

17.  FYI:  With the euphoria of the huge Jets comeback in game 3, I don’t think anybody mentioned that Jacob Trouba had the very rare and even rarer in the playoffs “Gordie Howe hat-trick”!       

18.  I kind of agreed with Don Cherry the other night when he said he would have gone with two defencemen on the PP with a 4-1 lead late in the second period of game 5.  Not for the whole game but just in that situation.  Patrick Laine still scares me a bit with how careless he is sometimes around the blueline.  To be fair, that play could have happened to anybody because the ice looks like it might be iffy in Nashville.

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  7-3 … 2.29 GAA … .925 SV%             
  • Steve Mason:  0-0 … 0.00 GAA … 1.000 SV% 

20.  Special Teams after three games:  Rule of thumb.  Have the two red numbers total at least 100% when added.  (as your minimum) 

  • PP:  4th at 25.90% … up from 6th at 23.50%    
  • PK:  12th at 74.10% … down from 9th at 80.00%  

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