Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Oct. 18

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 lost their season opener 4-1 versus the Anaheim Ducks and lost game two 4-3 to the San Jose Sharks after coming out strong in both games and then wilting as the game went on.  Losing to two Pacific Division lightweights is a bit concerning going into game three against a good Minnesota Wild team.  There is no way to sugarcoat these first two games.       

2. Jets:  John Gibson 1 Connor Hellebuyck 0 …. Gibson easily won round #1 of the fight for Team USA’s goal crease in the upcoming Olympics.    

3. Jets As expected Evgeny Svechnikov was inked to a one-year, two-way contract with an AAV of $750,000.  I love this signing, I really hope he works out.   

4. Jets:  I’m not just saying this because Kyle Connor scored the first goal in the game and won me $5.00 in my season-long “First Goal of the Game” contest with my buddy Ben on Wednesday BUT I thought this was possibly the best 200 ft game I’ve ever seen him play.  KC actually back-checked hard and made a couple of decent defensive plays and a couple of takeaways.  I thought he did the same in game #2 as well.  I guess he’s taken Paul Maurice’s challenge to heart.  I hope this is the start of a new Kyle Connor.

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PS:  Ben kicked my ass last year in our “First Goal” contest but I beat him the year before. 

5. NHL:  I’ve always liked Andrew Ladd and I hope he can resurrect his career with the Arizona Coyotes.  Ladd potted a goal on Saturday versus Buffalo so he is off to a positive start.   

6. Jets:  Why would Paul Maurice and the Winnipeg Jets play Andrew Copp on the second line where he can ride the coattails of Nikolaj Ehlers and Pierre-Luc Dubois and boost his market value with better offensive numbers?  Andrew Copp is not a legitimate top-six winger but we do have a kid like Cole Perfetti that would make sense to groom in a top-six role.  Kowtowing to Andrew Copp is a no-win situation for the Jets and artificially boosting his stats so he gets paid just makes no sense to me.  

7. Jets:  The Jets home opener is Thursday versus Anaheim and it could be a surly bunch in the stands if they come home 0-3.

8. Jets:  I’ve seen enough of Andrew Copp on the second line to see it’s not going to work.  He needs to go back home on the third line with Adam Lowry.  Paul Maurice should consider trying Cole Perfetti or Evgeny Svechnikov with Pierre-Luc Dubois and Nikolaj Ehlers.  (see #6)   

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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10. Jets:  After two losses in Jetsville it has a different feel.  Normally it would be angst but it seems more like frustration.  I know it’s a tired narrative saying “relax it’s early” but it really is early as this Jets team is a work in progress trying to work in new players and a new system.  My patience meter is set to ten games before I overreact.  

11. NHL:  I’ve watched about a dozen games so far this season and I just shake my head at the lack of consistency in officiating from game to game.  It is amazing what is a penalty in one game and what gets let go in another.  No wonder coaches lose their hair. 

12. Jets:  Brendan Dillon has dealt out some punishing hits early on this season and it’s nice to have some physicality on the back-end but he needs to pick his spots.  He went for a big hit in the SJ game and missed his man and it lead directly to a big goal for the Sharks.      

13. NHL:  Too many fans and some television media put too much emphasis on the greatness of players based on goals scored in 3 on 3 overtime or shootouts.  New Jersey Devil’s tv guys were ready to induct Jack Hughes into the hockey hall of fame after his overtime goal last week.  It was a beauty but relax guys it was scored in a skills competition.

14. Jets:  Cole Perfetti really hasn’t looked out of place in his first two NHL games and it would make more sense if he was playing with PLD and Nik Ehlers.  (see #8)

15. Jets:  Just in case you and a buddy/buddies want to have your own “FIRST GOAL” contest here are the rules we use.  You can tweak them any way you want but here is a starting template.

Rules:  The player you select must score the first, second, or third goal of the game.

Top 6 forwards:

PP and even-strength goals:

1st Goal – $5.00  2nd Goal – $3.00  3rd Goal – $1.00

Bottom 6 forwards and all defencemen:
1st Goal – $10.00  2nd Goal – $6.00  3rd Goal – $2.00

Shorthanded goals:

All players:

1st Goal – $10.00  2nd Goal – $6.00  3rd Goal – $2.00

Powerplay goals:

Bottom 6 forwards and all defencemen:
1st Goal – $10.00  2nd Goal – $6.00  3rd Goal – $2.00

Top 6 forwards:

1st Goal – $5.00  2nd Goal – $3.00  3rd Goal – $1.00  (nothing extra)

Alternate picking first each game.

Can’t take the same player in consecutive games.

16. Jets:  Every fanbase has their whipping boy and early on this season it looks like Blake Wheeler is the choice so far in Jetsville.  I’m not there but I will concede that the team might be better off with him on a different line and he could still run the #1 powerplay.  The captain may want to play with Scheif but the coach’s job is to do what’s best for the team and not what’s best for Blake Wheeler. 

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

  • Good:  The mobility of the Jets blueline this year.  Comparing this group to last year’s is like night and day and should lead to better breakouts and a better transition game.  
  • Bad:  Connor Hellebuyck had bad starts in both games and it was just enough to give two weaker teams momentum after being outplayed early in the game 
  • Ugly:  The special teams and especially the PK that gave up four goals in ten attempts.

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: 31st at 00.00% 
  • PK: 27th at 60.00%  
  • FO: 26th at 47.10%

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  0-2-0 … 4.10 GAA … .849 SV% 
  • Eric Comrie:  0-0-0 … 0.00 GAA … .000 SV%

20. CFL:  The Winnipeg Blue Bombers improved their record to 9-1 after winning a hard-fought game in Edmonton on Friday night.  The Bombers escaped with a 10 point win in a game where they were not at their best.  Edmonton’s defence came to play and the Elks may have deserved a better fate.  They say that good teams find a way to win games ugly and this was certainly the case on this night.  Next up the Blue Bombers host BC on Saturday night.   


PS:  Winnipeg Hockey Talk needs someone interested in writing about the Winnipeg Ice.  If you are interested contact me (Mitch) at [email protected]

In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

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If you have any thoughts on any of these comments or questions, please let me know. We would love to hear your opinions.

Thanks, Mitch


  1. Dave Smith says

    Maurice probably has until game 10. But I wonder if they lay another egg tomorrow and/or at the home opener things change. Regardless if Chipman is serious about winning he needs to let Chevy look outside the organization for a replacement. Fact is they way he currently deploys this lineup they will be lucky to make the playoffs.
    That Nash made this team of Gustafson is criminal.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Thanks for reading Dave …….. I’m shocked Gus didn’t stick as well … I think Paul Maurice’s leash is longer than most of his detractors would like … this team would have to completely quit on him for Chipman to fire him … the next two weeks will be interesting though.

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