Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Nov. 15

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 went 2-0-1 last week and improved their overall record to a very sneaky 8-3-3 on the season.  With one more game left in their 7-game homestand, the Jets are 4-1-1 in the first six games with a huge match-up versus the Edmonton McDavids on Tuesday night.  

2. Jets:  Every once in a while you get “goalied” and there is nothing you can do about it.  The Jets got “goalied” by Jordan Binnington last Tuesday and outside of a weak opening goal that Connor Hellebuyck whiffed on the Jets played extremely well and I have no complaints about their effort.  They definitely deserved a better fate.    

3. Jets:  Hockey is a game of mistakes.  There is no such thing as a perfect game without mistakes and the Winnipeg Jets still make their share but I believe they have greatly reduced their errors and it has shown so far this season and it should continue to get better.    

4.  NHL:  After watching Jordan Binnington’s effort against us last Tuesday I am now convinced he has to be the front-runner for Team Canada’s #1 goalie for the upcoming Olympics.  He was a little lucky but he was a lot very good.  (see #2) 

5. NHL:  The NHL might need to rethink their Covid protocols because it seems to be getting out of control.  It is getting serious enough that it may affect Olympic participation.  With only 50-60% of Americans vaccinated, it looks like Covid will be around for a while.  My body, my choice though, right?     

6. NHL:  Regulars that visit her know my stance on NHL officiating.  The officiating really irritated me for the games that involved the NYI, St. Louis Blues, and the LA Kings recently.  It pisses me off when plodding teams are allowed to come into our building and get away with their style of play.  The Winnipeg Jets are a fast, skilled, skating team that had to endure countless interference, clutching, and grabbing infractions going uncalled in those two games.  There would be a hockey summit if this went on in Edmonton with the GOLDEN CHILD.  Actually, I think there was in the off-season.  I’m sick of the double standards and inconsistencies in this league.  Ask Nik Ehers what he thought of the officiating after getting kneed by Brendan Lemieux with no call on Saturday night.       

7. Jets:  Why do NHL coaches worry about having a defenceman on the ice in 3 on 3 overtime?  Overtime is not about playing defence, it is about puck possession and speed.  You should put your best players on the ice regardless of position.     

8. Jets:  Kyle Connor is off to the best start of his NHL career.  He is 6th in scoring with 11 goals and 8 assists for 19 points in 14 games.  KC has never had this kind of success playing without Mark Scheifele.  In the past any time KC was moved off the Scheifele line he went ice cold.  KC used to be linemate dependant but now he is becoming a line driver.    

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9. Jets:  Going into camp most Winnipeg Jets fans think this is the biggest talking point.  The concern seems to be waning in light of Eric Comrie’s play so far this season although I still need to see more and against some tougher competition BUT so far, so good.

Will Eric Comrie last the seaon as Jets back-up goalie?

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10. Jets:  Kristian Vesalainen is slowly and I mean slowly starting to show a little bit of his offensive skill that made him a late 1st round draft pick.  I have all the patience for him in the world because he looks to have some offensive upside.  Patience grasshopper.  

11. Jets:  When Paul Maurice gets the itch to put Kyle Connor back with 55 and 26 and you know it is just a matter of time I hope that he considers giving Nikolaj Ehlers a shot playing there first.  I would love to see how many goals Ehlers would score playing with an elite center. 

After I wrote this earlier in the week PoMo actually played Ehlers with Scheif and Wheeler.  I’m not sure how long it will last but it made for a nice OT winner versus LA on Saturday night.      

12. Ice:  The Winnipeg ICE went 3-0 last week improving their overall record to 17-1.  The ICE are still in first spot in the CHL’s weekly rankings. (updated Wednesdays)  Notice that 4 of the top-5 teams are all from the WHL.  This should make for some interesting competition.  The ICE’s only loss so far was to the #5 ranked Oil Kings in Edmonton.   

Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings – Week 6

2. London Knights
3. Kamloops Blazers
4. Everett Silvertips
5. Edmonton Oil Kings
6. Sherbrooke Phoenix
7. Quebec Remparts
8. Shawinigan Cataractes
9. Seattle Thunderbirds
10. Soo Greyhounds

 

UPDATE: ICE sweep WHL weekly awards-

The Western Hockey League announced today that Winnipeg ICE goaltender Gage Alexander has been named WHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending November 14, 2021.

AND

The Western Hockey League announced today that Winnipeg ICE forward Matthew Savoie has been named WHL Player of the Week for the week ending November 14, 2021.

13. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose went 2-1-0-0 last week and finished their 6-game road trip with a modest 3-2-1-0 record and now sit with an overall record of 7-5-1-0.  A couple of Jets top prospects (Ville Heinola and David Gustafsson) lead the team in scoring with 10 points.  Goaltenders Mikhail Berdin and Arvid Holm both have a SV% under .900 which will need to improve if the Moose want to be taken seriously as a contender in the Western Conference.

 

14. Jets:  PROPS to CJOB’s Kelley Moore on coining the phrase “Pionkian Pirouette” after Neal Pionk’s spin-o-rama goal versus the St. Louis Blues this past Tuesday.

 

15. Jets:  My weekly question for Kevin Cheveldayoff and Paul Maurice. 

Why is Ville Heinola still in the AHL?  

16. Jets:  Attendance:  Winnipeg Jets attendance has never been an issue or a talking point but after a year with no fans, with people still a little hesitant on attending games because of covid, and maybe some fan backlash toward TNSE and Kevin Cheveldayoff, the attendance is down and I’m a little concerned.  I’ve gone through the pain of losing an NHL team and once in a lifetime is enough for me.  Yes, we have rich owners but the club still needs to be viable on its own merits.

Vs St. Louis Blues – 14,004

Vs San Jose Sharks – 14,229 

Vs Los Angeles Kings –  13,776  

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

  • Good:  The line of Dubois, Svechnikov, and Connor has taken over as the #1 line.  Update: PoMo has switched up Evgeny Svechnikov and Blake Wheeler on this line as of Monday morning’s practice.  Go figure.  
  • Bad:  NHL officiating. (I sound like a broken record)         
  • Ugly:  Connor Hellebuyck’s puck handling.      

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

  • PP:  8th at … 23.70% down from 4th at … 28.10 last week.
  • PK:  30th at … 65.80% up from 32nd … 65.70 last week.
  • FO:  14th at … 50.30% down from … 50.90 last week.

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  5-2-3 … 2.87 GAA … .911 SV% 
  • Eric Comrie:  3-1-0 … 1.98 GAA … .926 SV%

20. CFL:  While resting a few starters, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers lost 28-14 in a meaningless game to Montreal last week but one thing was abundantly clear, if Zach Collaros ever gets injured this team is in a world of hurt.  Mr. third and one, Sean McGuire may be able to get one yard when he needs to but as a passer he is an absolute train wreck.  I’m not interested in hearing about McGuire’s lack of playing time and the poor weather conditions BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, the bottom line is Sean McGuire was awful.  They don’t call me a curmudgeon for nothing.   

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Thanks, Mitch

Comments

  1. An interesting few days in Jets land. For the life of me I can not understand what goes into Maurice’s decision making. Wheeler playing on the top 2 lines does nothing for anyone. I have no idea what Harkins does better than Vesalainen. And What is Riley Nash doing on the power play?
    Clearly Gustafson is at worst ready to play 4th line minutes now. He’s scoring at a better rate than Lowry did in his AHL time.
    Which brings me to my last point. I think it’s all time we realize that the real GM of this team is Chipman. I can’t think of a GM that would keep Huddy and Maurice with results they have delivered. Who in their right mind would have hired Claude Noel? What exactly does Zinger do?
    Honestly it’s like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. No one ever leaves. What exactly has all of this stability behind the bench and front office brought in 10 years?

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Loyalty to a fault has been a problem for some time … I would like to see how #26 plays with KC and PLD … it could be an interesting line … As for Nash, he was definitely brought in for insurance if Gus wasn’t ready and for some reason the Jets aren’t in a big hurry to rush their prospects … Nash will be gone next season and Gus will be a regular and then the talk will be about Heinola, Perfetti, and Samberg … LOL

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