Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Nov. 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 went 2-1-0 last week and improved their overall record to 6-3-2 on the season.  The Jets still have 4 more games left in their season longest 7-game homestand. 

2. Jets:  The Jets’ streak of gaining points in consecutive games reached 8 after beating Chicago 5-1 on Friday night but ended after losing 2-0 to the Islanders on Saturday night.  Not a bad run considering they played like crap in a couple of those games.   

3. Jets:  As each game goes by it looks more and more like Evgeny Svechnikov is getting comfortable in his role with the Jets.  He was a low-risk/high-reward gamble that looks to be turning into the steal of the UFA season.   

4.  NHL:  Now the NHL has hearings for tripping a guy? 

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? 

I watched the replay of Subban’s “tripping” penalty but it wasn’t any worse than Phillip Danault’s TWO slewfoots against two Jets players vs the LA Kings a couple of weeks ago.  One was called tripping and one was let go.  The Subban slewfoot was a penalty but it wasn’t any worse than Danault’s.  The NHL’s inconsistency never fails to disappoint. 

By the way, PK was fined $15,000 for his bad behaviour.  What a joke.

5. NHL:  I thought that Mark Chipman and Kevin Cheveldayoff handled their presser fairly well and for the most part I believed most of it but they put a lot of spin on their narrative and had the benefit of following that brutal Gary Bettman/Bill Daly presser.  It was staged well, scripted well, and it was conveniently scheduled at 4 pm where it could only last one hour.  They left some satisfied, a lot frustrated, and a lot wanting more.     

6. NHL:  Finally the Jack Eichel trade happened and TSN is more relieved than Buffalo Sabres fans.  Now TSN can spend more time talking about Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.   

7. Jets:  Paul Stastny and Andrew Copp aren’t exactly the fastest guys on the ice but somehow it works.  They leave the skating to Nik Ehlers.   

8. Jets:  Winnipeg Jets fans are now seeing the REAL Pierre-Luc Dubois and he is becoming a fan favourite.  He has a contrasting style to most of the Jets skill forwards but he also does it with speed and skill.  He plays very well in the heavy areas and seems to have found some nice chemistry with Kyle Connor.  Jets fans will never forget Patrik Laine but at least now they see why the Jets made that trade. 

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9. Jets:  Going into camp most Winnipeg Jets fans think this is the biggest talking point.

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

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This thought was written after the Dallas Stars game on Tuesday.

Eric Comrie got his second win of the season against a goal-scoring challenged Dallas team.  He basically did just enough for his team to get the win.  He wasn’t bad but he certainly wasn’t great. (.889 SV%)  Every win the Jets can get with him starting is a bonus but for me, the jury is still out. 

This thought was written after the Chicago Blackhawks game on Friday. 

Eric Comrie got his third win of the season against Chicago in a game where he wasn’t tested a lot but came up big a few times when he had to. 

This thought was written after the New York Islanders game on Saturday.

Eric Comrie was forced to start in back-to-back games on Saturday versus the Islanders with Connor Hellebuyck not available and he was very solid in a 2-0 loss.  Comrie played well enough to keep his team in the game but unfortunately got no support on the scoreboard.  Comrie didn’t lead his team to a win but I thought it was his best effort of the week.  I think he is starting to win the trust of his doubters, myself included with his early-season play. 

10. Jets:  Back to the 11 and 7 talk again.  Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler are both healthy and playing but Paul Maurice still stuck with 11 and 7.  I hate to admit this but I’m starting to dig the 11 and 7.  I like that we are getting to see the Jets’ top players a little more as they rotate them in with the fourth-line guys.          

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.     

12. Ice:  The Winnipeg ICE won both of their games last week improving their record to 14-1.  The ICE have now moved into the first spot in the CHL’s weekly rankings. (updated Wednesdays)      

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13. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose went 1-1-1 last week in the first 3 games of their 6-game road trip and now have a record of 5-4-1-0.  They have 3 more games on this road trip before returning home for 5 straight in Winnipeg. 

David Gustafsson is the leading scorer with 8 points in 1o games.  Ville Heinola and Johnathan Kovacevic are right behind with 7 and 6 points respectively.  Top prospect Cole Perfetti has 5 points in 7 games.  

I know a lot of Winnipeg Jets fans are waiting for the 2019 1st rounder, Ville Heinola to get his chance with the big club and with injuries in a long NHL season, he will definitely see some action BUT don’t be surprised if 2017 3rd rounder, Johnathan Kovacevic challenges Heinola for a shot at the big club.  Ville Heinola is no longer the default first call-up.

As of this writing, the Moose are in sixth place in the AHL’s Western Conference.

14. Jets:  The 2 goals by Kyle Connor and Mark Scheifele in the shootout Tuesday vs Dallas were things of beauty but it still doesn’t change my mind about shootouts.  They are horseshit garbage.  I say keep playing 3 on 3 until there is a winner.  It should not take long and the lame-ass excuses about time constraints are just that …. LAME.  If time is an issue then scrap the anthems.  Funny there’s no time constraints when they have 15-20 minute pre-game ceremonies.  SCRAP THE SHOOTOUTS.      

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

Why is David Gustafsson still in the AHL?

I’m going to keep asking until they call him up.   

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 of covid, and maybe some fan backlash toward TNSE/Kevin Cheveldayoff and his role in the Chicago Blackhawks/Kyle Beach scandal 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 Dallas Stars – 13,174

Vs Chicago Blackhawks – 13,756 

Vs New York Islanders –  13,424  

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

  • Good:  Jets PP is is starting to have different looks and not being so predictable.   
  • Bad:  Jets PK is still too passive.         
  • Ugly:  To be honest nothing really ugly this week.     

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:  4th at … 28.10% up from 10th at … 25.00 last week.
  • PK:  Last at … 65.70% up from … 63.60 last week.
  • FO:  13th at … 50.90% up from … 50.00 last week.

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  3-2-2 … 3.42 GAA … .899 SV% 
  • Eric Comrie:  3-1-0 … 1.98 GAA … .926 SV%

20. CFL:  The Winnipeg Blue Bombers improved their record to 11-1 by sweeping their seven-game home schedule with a 31-21 victory over Montreal on Saturday night.   They also responded to some early week trash talking by a few Alouettes players that said the Bombers haven’t played anybody tough and they (Als) are better.  Pretty tough talk from a team that has Ottawa on their schedule THREE times. 

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Thanks, Mitch

Comments

  1. I think it is also worth mentioning the attendance for ICE games. The best team in the CHL and they are not exactly drawing in a 1600 seat arena. While it shows that the barn is full on the website it would seem there are a bunch of freebies and that number of 1600 attendance is rather papered.
    I have no idea what the future of the team in the city is but suffice to say it’s probably not long unless they get a new arena built. Even with one it was always going to be tough sell. Like it or not Winnipeg is a Jets town and not a hockey town.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      I was hoping TNSE was going to buy the ICE and they could shelter them under their umbrella …. covid and no new arena will make it tough on the ICE.

  2. Hi Mitch…#14. Last Sunday, my son explained to us why he thought the anthems should be scrapped at sporting events, and he convinced me. I also thought Comrie looks more comfortable the more he plays. My initial opinion of him as a backup is changing as the memory of L.B. fades.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Hey Les … thanks for stopping by. You weren’t the only one nervous about Comtie as the back-up and I also have softened my opinion as him as the back-up but I need to see a little more … I need to see him on the road vs some teams with a little more fire power … I don’t think he’s really been tested yet.

      Also, I’d love to hear your son’s thoughts on the anthems. I have a feeling I know where he is going on this topic.

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