Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Oct. 17

Mitch Kasprick is now the “Westdale Curmudgeon” 

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 only played one game last week and it was a surprising 4-1 win over the NYR.  The good guys have a tough week ahead of them with road games in Dallas, Colorado, and Vegas before returning home to play Toronto on Saturday night.  It will be interesting to see how they stack up against three teams that should make the playoffs this season. 

2. Jets After watching the Jets game on Friday night the narrative that the Jets didn’t make any changes and just brought back the same team that missed the playoffs didn’t quite ring true for me.  First off there was a wholesale change behind the bench.  The Jets have a new first line.  Adam Lowry has two wingers that he didn’t have at this time last year.  There is a completely brand-new fourth line and a new backup goaltender.  This certainly is a different team.            

3. Jets:  I thought everybody hated Blake Wheeler but isn’t it funny that he received the loudest cheers during the player introductions on Friday night?  I guess those that scream and shout the loudest on social media get heard the most BUT generally speaking are in the minority.

4. Jets:  Rick Bowness won’t be on the Jets 4-game trip as he continues to recover from COVID-19.  

5. Jets:  Are the Jets a better team with or without Blake Wheeler?

Would the Winnipeg Jets be a better team with or without their former captain?

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6. Jets: The first period versus the Rangers on Friday night was the most stylistically different hockey I’ve seen the Jets play in the past 5-6 years.  The defencemen were up and part of the rush and supported or over-lapped on the weak side causing all kinds of pressure on the Rangers’ defence.  It was very impressive, let’s hope they can keep it up.    

7. Jets: The Jets finally have a 4th line that isn’t a bunch of plugs.

8. ICE:  The Canadian Hockey League announced their Week 1 edition of the Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings for the 2022-23 season.  The Winnipeg ICE are still ranked #1 in the CHL with a 7-1-0 record.  Not bad considering they haven’t played a home game yet.

Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings – Week 2

as of Oct. 12 

1. Winnipeg ICE
2. Sherbrooke Phoenix
3. Quebec Remparts
4. Seattle Thunderbirds
5. Kamloops Blazers
6. Gatineau Olympiques
7. Portland Winterhawks
8. Halifax Mooseheads
9. Mississauga Steelheads
10. Ottawa 67’s

9. Jets:  It made me very happy NOT to see PoMo’s hybrid man-on-man defensive system from the past few seasons in the Jets’ season opener.  For the most part, they played the traditional zone defence with the center down low.  It wasn’t perfect but it sure beats watching players chasing their check around the defensive zone with their back to the play.  I really only saw that one time when Logan Stanley followed his man to the top of the defensive zone.  Old habits die hard I guess.

10. Jets: Morgan Barron isn’t the greatest skater but he’s like a dog on a bone and he uses his size very well.  He’s a nice fit with Adam Lowry and Mason Appleton.

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11. Jets:  What do you think of Chevy’s work this offseason?  

Are you happy with Chevy's work so far this off-season?

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12. Jets:  Important Dates:  

October 17:  First regular season road game at Dallas. 

October 22:  Jets host the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

13. Jets:  HELLE being HELLE is a beautiful thing.  Connor Hellebuyck was excellent in his first game of the season and just like most teams in the NHL, they will go as far as their goaltending takes them.  We are lucky to have one of the good ones.

14. Jets: 

How many games will backup goalie David Rittch start?

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15. Jets:  My weekly question for Rick Bowness, Kevin Cheveldayoff, or Mark Chipman.

This is for Mark Chipman.  We can speculate on a lot of reasons why but how concerned are you that the Jets’ home opener wasn’t a sellout?

16. Jets: Dylan DeMelo and Neal Pionk served up a couple of pretty big pizzas in the second period versus the Rangers but I didn’t hear the Logan Stanley haters jumping all over them.  I’m not trying to defend Stanley, he still needs a lot of work BUT I think all players should be held to the same standard, not just the ones you don’t like.

17. Hot Take: This hot take might not be the hottest take I’ll come up with this year but I like the New York Rangers to win the Eastern Conference.

18. JetsDraft and develop is a hockey term you hear quite often BUT there is a good chance every player you draft and/or develop might not play for you.  A case in point is Johnathon Kovacevic, he was put on waivers so he could be reassigned to the Manitoba Moose but Montreal claimed him.  Sometimes you can’t keep everybody you draft and develop but in saying this you don’t want to lose them on waivers either.  This is on Chevy, he mismanaged an asset and lost one for nothing but that is another story. 

The Jets were catching some heat from the usual haters because they are saying the Jets are drafting but not developing.  WRONG!  If a player is good enough to play for another team, wasn’t he developed?  It’s not that Kovacevic wasn’t a good defenceman, he just wasn’t good enough for the Jets.  He was behind Dylan Samberg, Ville Heinola,  Kyle Capobianco, and possibly Declan Chisholm/Leon Gawanke on the organisational depth chart.  You can’t keep them all.

19. JetsSome fans and I use this term loosely just can’t give credit where credit is due.  I read on Twitter that the Jets would never have beaten the Rangers if they didn’t play the night before in Minny.  C’mon man nobody is tired 3 games into the season.    

20. Jets:  The much-maligned Logan Stanley was on the ice for the lone Rangers goal but I thought he played okay and made good decisions for the most part.  He is still a work in progress and probably will be for the rest of his career.  You can’t teach size right?

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