Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Apr. 11

Things about the Winnipeg Jets and the NHL that crossed my mind —

Some random facts and a few thoughts from this past week about the Winnipeg Jets, the Manitoba Moose, and the National Hockey League.

BREAKING NEWS

Kyle Connor has signed with the Winnipeg Jets.

1.  The Winnipeg Jets finished strong going 3-0-0 on the week and are 35-39-8 overall. Nice finish but thank goodness it’s over.  Now it’s the fun time; the draft lottery, the entry draft, free agency, and a summer of hope.

2.  Is Andrew Copp playing that well right now or is he a late-season mirage.  I guess the truth lies somewhere in between BUT it sure makes a huge difference when you play with better players and you get more ice-time?    

3.  I occasionally (constantly) take pot-shots at the NCAA (because that’s what I do) but to their credit the NCAA gives players up to four years of development time.  In most cases seniors coming out of college are much more mature both physically and mentally than their CHL counterparts.  

4.  Not that anybody asked but my vote for Calder Memorial Trophy (Rookie of the Year) is Connor McDavid.    

5.  The Brandon Wheat Kings have advanced to the second round after a bit of a scare versus the Edmonton Oil Kings …. pheeeew!  

6.  After commending Paul Postma last week in my random thoughts there were a couple of shifts in the Ducks game that were a microcosm of his whole career and probably the main reason PoMo doesn’t trust him.  Postma got out-muscled, out-worked and completely dominated by smaller players and it wasn’t pretty.                   

7.  The Winnipeg Jets have played some very good hockey against some very good teams down the stretch, so this narrative that these games are meaningless is a little bit unfair.  I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I’m encouraged by the play of some but I don’t put TOO much stock in a lot of what you see because the players are loosey-goosey and not feeling any pressure.  A wise man once said it’s much easier to be a spoiler that it is to be a contender.  (see #2)             

8.  The NCAA “Frozen Four” is a joke.  They have two semi-final games and then the final.  If you blink you’ll probably miss it.  At least, play a round-robin like they do at the Memorial Cup and make it worth their while for crying out loud.  Even the ESPN announcers and the ESPN panel were mocking the best-of-one, saying they should, at least, play a best-of-three.          

9.  In a season where 85-87 points would have been enough to qualify for the playoffs in the Western Conference, I can’t help but wonder what could have been.  What if Chevy trades Andrew Ladd sooner?  What if PoMo dressed better players in his line-up than Pavelec, Stuart, and Thorburn.  What if PoMo played Scheifele, Ehlers, and Wheeler sooner than later?  The Jets are going to finish 10-11 points behind Minnesota and I bet this team could have scratched out the extra odd point here and there each month.          

10.  Those that read here regularly know I’m a huge Mark Scheifele fan so I’m going to play a little “Devil’s Advocate” here.  Would Scheif be leading the Jets in +/-  if he was on the ice for all (I believe it was 17) the empty net goals that, Wheeler, Perreault, Little, Buff, etc were on the ice for?         

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11.  After taking some pot-shots at Brandon Tanev I must admit my initial impression of him was very positive.  The 24-year-old free agent winger is definitely not a big ice figure skater.  I was impressed with his skating, physicality (new word invented by sports journalists) and work ethic.  He is a player that has benefitted by playing and developing in the NCAA for four seasons.  He should be a good addition to the Manitoba Moose and maybe one day he’ll play for the Winnipeg Jets.  (see #3)

12.  Blake Wheeler finished 8th in scoring this season and is the first Winnipeg Jets 2.0 to finish “top 10” in scoring.  This is a terrific accomplishment and especially if you look a the talent in the NHL.  Well done Wheels!    

13.  It’s happening again; the eastern media are pumping Kris Letang’s tires for the Norris Trophy.  HEY GUYS … try staying up a little later and watch some real defencemen that play in the west like Doughty, Keith, OEL, Josi, Weber, Byfuglien, Suter.  Should I continue?  Shattenkirk, Pietrangelo, Klingberg, Barrie, Giordano.   

14.  Should the Rocket Richard Trophy be awarded in there is not a 50-goal scorer in the NHL this season or any other?  Before you answer, keep in mind that 50 goals were always the benchmark for the top scorers.  I know the times have changed but ….

MOOT POINT … Ovie notches a hat-trick on Saturday night to reach the 50 goal plateau again.  He has been the most consistent scorer of his generation.       

15.  To everyone’s surprise, Jets prospect and University of Michigan freshman forward Kyle Connor did NOT win the Hobey Baker Memorial Award honoring college hockey’s top player.  The award went to Harvard’s senior forward, Jimmy Vesey.  As they say, “it was just an honor to be nominated”.

16.  Things that make you go hmmm?:  How come all year-long they are called “the gallery” but during the Masters Golf Tournament they are “the patrons?  La ti da … BITE ME! 

17.  Winnipeg Jets Special teams update: 

FINAL:

PK:  25th at 78.4% 

PP:  30th at 14.8%   

18.  Lottery standings update:  The lottery will be held on Apr. 30

1 lottery final

19.  Countdown to the 2016 World Cup:  160 days (Sept. 17-Oct. 1 in Toronto) Final rosters to be posted on June 1.    

20.  Nic Petan looks much better in his second stint with the big club.  Again, see what can happen when you play with players with a similar skillset.  (see #2)

21.  Congrats to the UND Fighting Sioux Hawks on winning the 2015-16 NCAA Hockey Championship.  (aka the Frozen Four)

22.  If I hear one more player, coach, GM, owner, or team official blurt out “we have the best fans in the NHL”, I’m going to fricking PUKE!  I wonder if the Bruins feel this way?  LOL  

Editor’s Note:

Although it’s behind a pay wall, you should go check out our own Scott Campbell’s articles in the Winnipeg Free press every Thursday evening (online) or Friday morning (in print).  Like I always stated, there’s nothing better than the thoughts and opinions from somebody that has actually been there and done that.  

If you are interested in writing for Winnipeg Hockey Talk or if you know somebody interested, please contact us at:

[email protected]  

We are looking for writers to cover the Manitoba Bisons, Winnipeg AAA, MJHL, MMJHL, KIJHL and Winnipeg High School.

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

Thanks, Mitch 

Use the “Comment Section” below.

Comments

  1. 9. The allegiance they have shown to 5-14-22-Pascal Vincent is beyond baffling.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      That might have worked with the Moose in the AHL but we’re in the big leagues now.

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