Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Nov. 29

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 1-3-0 last week and as bad as it was and it was getting really ugly, the Jets adverted a complete disaster with a much-needed 4-2 in Calgary on Saturday night.  Their record now sits at 10-7-4 on the season.  The Jets now have 4 in a row at home and need to get back on track.   

2. Jets:  The highlight from last week for me was when PLD scored late versus Minny and broke up Cam Talbot’s shutout.  I got one point in my fantasy league and the team right behind me lost his shutout. That was a 3 point swing.  Talk about small victories.  

3. Jets:  When people ask me why Paul Maurice hasn’t been fired, I always joke he is a lifer and will never be fired unless he has completely lost the room or the team hits rock bottom.  He may not have lost the room yet but I would consider Friday afternoon’s loss in St. Paul to be pretty rock bottom.    

4.  Jets:  I hate to admit this because he was once one of my favourite players buy Josh Morrissey is driving me up the wall.  He is now officially my new whipping boy.  He is so overrated it’s sickening.  The other day Craig Button was telling us how great Josh was and he should be on Canada’s Olympic hockey team’s radar.  Holy shit, half the time you need radar to find him after he pinches and gives up another 2 on 1.  Hell, in the Pittsburgh game last Monday he gave up a 2 on 1 in the first 20 seconds of the game AND it was Sidney Crosby to boot.  I’m so down on him right now I cringe every time he’s on the ice.  If you think I’m just being an a-hole, just focus on him for a game or two.  He has some good moments but for the most part, when he doesn’t have the puck he looks lost.

5. Jets:  It looks like Paul Maurice finally has his excuse to keep the Kyle Connor/Mark Scheifele/Blake Wheeler line for good now since they helped end the losing streak when reunited vs the Flames and KC potted a couple of goals.  To be honest, I’m kind of surprised it took this long.       

6. Jets:  Regulars that visit here know how much I hate the NHL’s officiating and on Wednesday I thought I had seen it all when after a scrum seemed to be defused, Blue Jacket’s forward Max Domi wasn’t quite finished with Jets’ Evgeny Svechnikov and started swinging while the linesman ( CJ Murray or Jessee Marquis), not sure which one decided to put Svech in a bear hug while Domi was feeding him right hands. 

The NHL DPS fined Max Domi which is fine but I’m not even sure it was all his fault.  In my opinion, the league should also be looking at the linesmen involved in that skirmish. 

Another example was on Sunday in Boston when superpest Brad Marchand slew-footed Vancouver’s Oliver Ekman-Larsson,  It was pretty bad and neither referee thought to call a penalty.  I just shook my head and wondered why I was surprised?

UPDATE:

How do 4 sets of eyes miss a penalty that requires a 3-game suspension?  It is time the referees are outed publicly and repremanded.

7. Jets:  How long before we see Riley Nash on the waiver wire?  He’s hasn’t worked out as planned and he’s now being healthy scratched.  I think he would more than likely get claimed and a spot will open up for David Gustafsson.  If the Jets are going to do it, do it now before the Christmas roster freeze.      

8. Jets:  Saturday night in Calgary was a nostalgic night for quite a few Jets fans.  Connor, Scheif, and the captain were back together.  The Jets were outplayed for most of the game.  The Jets’ defensive coverage looked like Swiss cheese.  After giving up a couple of early goals, Helle stood on his head and shut the door allowing his team to come back and steal a win.

All kidding aside, this game was a microcosm of the last 3-4 years.  The names are different but the play looked very familiar.  This hybrid man-on-man system just doesn’t work.  It has too many holes in it and gives up too many grade-A chances.  It’s time to change the system or change to coaches.  I always thought it was guys like Forbort, Beaulieu, Kulikov and Bitetto who were the problem but we have a much better defensive corp and it’s the same old, same old while Forfort and Kulikov are playing just fine with their new teams.  It doesn’t take a genius to figure this out and although I think I’m pretty smart, my wife will tell you I’m no genius. 

9. Jets:  I’m finally putting the Eric Comrie poll to bed.  After a very slow start trying to win the fans over, Comrie has reversed some of the doubt BUT not all of it.  His numbers are actually pretty good and I think he has played very well overall.  I’m still not a fan of smallish goalies and he still scares me a bit every start but that’s me.

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10. Jets:  I wonder if Paul Maurice end up moving Andrew Copp to the 3rd line with Adam Lowry and Jansen Harkins?  I was skeptical about Copp playing in a top-6 role but he acquitted himself very well and although his scoring has dried up a little I have no problem leaving him up there a little longer.    

11. Jets:  Josh Morrissey got dinged again by the NHL’s DSP.  I’m not sure if Josh is considered a repeat offender or not but he better stay on the straight and narrow for a while.

12. Ice:  The Winnipeg ICE went 2-0-1 in three home games this past week and improved their overall record to 21-1-1 on the season.  The only blemish last week was an overtime loss to Prince Albert.  Matt Savoie, Mike Milne, Connor McClennon, and Jakin Smallwood are one, two, three, four in the WHL’s scoring race.  After week 8 the ICE are still the top-ranked team in the CHL.    

Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings – Week 8

  • 1. Winnipeg ICE
    2. Everett Silvertips
    3. Kamloops Blazers
    4. Edmonton Oil Kings
    5. London Knights
    6. Charlottetown Islanders
    7. Sherbrooke Phoenix
    8. Mississauga Steelheads
    9. North Bay Battalion
    10. Rimouski Oceanic

13. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose won both their home games versus the Texas Stars this week and improved their overall record to 11-6-1-0 and moved into 4th place in the Western Conference.  Cole Perfetti, David Gustafsson, and Ville Heinola lead the team with 14 points but Perfetti has done it in 15 games.  He also leads the team with 6 goals.

14. Jets:  Even though the Jets were struggling through a 5 game winless streak last week there was some good news, the Jets were in a playoff position on Thursday which was the US Thanksgiving and since the lockout, 77% of teams in a playoff position on this day make the post-season.  

15. Jets:  My weekly question for Kevin Cheveldayoff and Paul Maurice.
After witnessing one of the worst weeks all season do you think it’s about time to give a couple of kids on the farm a look?  (see #13)

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 Pittsburgh Penguins – 13,570

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

  • Good:  Helle and KC helping to end the Jets’ 5-game winless streak (0-4-1) on Saturday night.  
  • Bad:  The powerless play.  It actually looked dangerous in Calgary but still no goals.             
  • Ugly:  Friday afternoon versus the Minnesota Wild.        

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:  16th at … 18.60% down from 12th at … 21.30 last week. 
  • PK:  30th at … 68.30% up from 31st … 63.80 last week.
  • FO:  20th at … 49.20% up from 21st … 48.70 last week.

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  7-5-4 … 2.70 GAA … .917 SV% 
  • Eric Comrie:  3-2-0 … 2.49 GAA … .913 SV%

20. CFL:  Nothing happening on the field for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers this week as they sit back and wait to see who their opponents will be next Sunday in the Western Final and it will be the Saskatchewan Roughriders.  Off the field, the team received some good news with the naming of the Western All-Stars plus the award nominations.  The team had 15 players named to the Western All-Star team.  That list includes quarterback Zach Collaros, receivers Kenny Lawler and Nic Demski and 4/5 of the offensive line in tackles Stanley Bryant and Jermarcus Hardrick and guards Pat Neufeld and Drew Desjarlais on offence.  And on defence, the list of Bombers features defensive ends Jackson Jeffcoat and Willie Jefferson, linebacker Adam Bighill, dime back Alden Darby, cornerback DeAundre Alford, defensive back Deatrick Nichols and safety Brandon Alexander, along with special-teams demon Mike Miller.

A day later three players – Quarterback Zach Collaros, linebacker Adam Bighill and left tackle Stanley Bryant along with head coach Mike O’Shea were finalists for four CFL Awards.

  • Most Outstanding Player:  Zach Collaros 
  • Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman:  Stanley Bryant
  • Most Outstanding Defensive Player:  Adam Bighill
  • Coach of the Year:  Mike O’Shea

Next, more well deserved news as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers announced that longtime play by play voice, Bob Irving will be the 13th inductee to the Ring of Honour at IG Field before the Western Final.

21. Olympics:  Congrats to Team Jones for winning the ROTR in Saskatoon and earning a berth into their 2nd Olympic Games.  On Sunday afternoon they beat Team Fleury in an all-Manitoba final.  Manitoba is blessed to have so much world-class talent in the men’s and women’s game.

22. Jets:   First quarter report cards out later this week.  I grade every player individually and not just in groups.  

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Thanks, Mitch

Comments

  1. #8 IS RIGHT ON THE MONEY. it is not th players it is the system. I’m beginning to sound like a broken record on this point. Josh Morrissey did not slash that guy…..he speared him!

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      It was quoted somewhere that Jacob Trouba said the system was too confusing

      • Is that supposed to help or hurt your argument? LOL

        • Mitch Kasprick says

          I never looked at it that way … I was assuming that Trouba was a fairly bright guy, then I remember him trying to freeze that puck late in the playoff game vs St. Louis … LOL

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