Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Oct. 31

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 had a very successful week on the scoreboard going 3-0-1 and snagging 7 out of 8 points but were badly outplayed in Los Angeles and Vegas.  Connor Hellebuyck STOLE 3 out of 4 points in those two games. HE’S BACK! 

The Jets record after nine games is 5-3-1 and I’m pretty sure we all would have taken that after looking at their early season schedule.

2. Jets:  I really like Dan Robertson as the Jets’ new play-by-play voice.  We lucked out there.  That’s all, just an observation.

3. JetsI like Mason Appleton but he just seems a little out of his element in the top 6 right now. 


4. Jets: Right now, whatever offence Neil Pionk brings to the table does not outweigh his defensive deficiencies.  He is NOT a good defenceman and hasn’t been for quite some time.

5. Jets: 

Who would you rather have right now?

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6. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose are a tidy 5-1-1-0 to start the season and currently sit in second place in the AHL’s Western Conference.  Jansen Harkins is the leading scorer with 5 goals and 4 helpers in 6 games and Declan Chisholm leads the defencemen in scoring with 2 goals and 5 helpers in 7 games.  Oskari Salminen and Arvis Holm have both been solid in net and are making the most of their opportunity with Mikhail Berdin being out of the picture.  The Moose goaltending seems to be in good hands. 

7. Jets:  Having Mason Appleton and Adam Lowry on the ice for 2-3 shifts in overtime and Cole Perfetti not getting on the ice is not a recipe for success.  It’s Nikolaj Ehlers all over again. 


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 an 11-1-0 record.  The ICE have one more road game left after having to play their first thirteen games on the road.  The ICE are off to a very impressive start to their season and are on a mission. 

Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings – Week 4

as of Oct. 26 

1. Winnipeg ICE
2. Quebec Remparts
3. Seattle Thunderbirds
4. Sherbrooke Phoenix
5. Ottawa 67’s
6. Red Deer Rebels
7. Portland Winterhawks
8. Windsor Spitfires
9. Saskatoon Blades
10. Halifax Mooseheads

9. Jets:  Axel Jonsson-Fjallby has a great set of wheels and is a nice addition to the 4th line.  It’s going to be interesting to see who draws the short straw when Nikolaj returns to the lineup.  

10. JetsDavid Gustafson has been exactly and even more than I thought he’d be.  He plays both ends of the ice and isn’t your typical 4th line plug. He is responsible and has a good offensive skill set.   He is the best 4th line center the Jets have had since coming into the league. 

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11. Jets:  It’s early and it is a small sample size but after 7 games Connor Hellebuyck is playing better than the year he won the Vezina Trophy

12. Jets: Currently, there are 7 Winnipeg Jets players with more goals than Kyle Connor.  I wonder how long it will take for KC to take his rightful place at the top of the goal-scoring list?  I predict by the end of November.   

13. Jets:  Dylan Samberg seems to be a little out of sorts right now BUT then again our whole blueline looked out of sorts for two games on that 3-game road trip.    

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

This one is for the coach even though he isn’t behind the bench right now but has probably watched every Jets game 4 or 5 times.  What are you going to do about Neil Pionk?  He is playing 22:31 minutes per night and is undoubtedly your worst defenceman.    

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

  • PP: 26th at 13.30% 
  • PK: 18th at 79.20% 
  • FO: 28th at 43.80%

16. Jets:  Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  4-2-1 … 2.41 GAA … .931 SV% … 1 shutout  
  • David Rittich:  1-1-0 … 3.07 GAA … .885 SV%

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

  • Good:  This should say GREAT!  Connor Hellebuyck.   
  • Bad:  The soft play by Mark Scheifele on Jack Eichel’s winning goal in overtime.  For me, this is on the coaching staff.  Scheif played 22:58 last night and at least half the overtime.  He was gassed.  (for Sparky)     
  • Ugly:  Let’s not mince words here.  With the quality of players the Winnipeg Jets have at their disposal to have a powerplay running at 13% is an EMBARRASSMENT!  

18. Jets:  I’m going to say it again.  The Jets defencemen that play the most minutes can’t handle the physical play in the corners and in front of Connor Hellebuyck.  They lose 80% of 50/50 puck battles.  Brendan Dylan is the only consistent physical force on our backend.  I know they don’t grow on trees but this team needs a couple of big, strong, physical players that can skate and move the puck.  I don’t see a solution outside of trading for them but I would sell the farm to get them because I don’t think you can win without them.  Didn’t we have a couple of those?  

19. Jets:  No word on whether Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers will be back in the lineup this week or not.  I really want to see the team get back to their optimum lineup with Rick Bowness behind the bench and see what this team can do.  Right now being 5-3-1 without their head coach and being a work in progress is better than I thought they’d be.  The Jets still have a ton of work to do but they have had some spurts of playing the way Bowness wants them to, they just need to work on their consistency.

 20. Jets:  Logan Stanley watch:  Big Stan only played in one game last week, a 4-0 win versus St. Louis.  He played 13:43 and was a plus 2.  No complaints here.     



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