Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Dec. 11

Odds and Ends on the Winnipeg Jets and the NHL –

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

1.  The Winnipeg Jets played three road games last week, garnering 1 point.  They went 0-2-1 and have an overall record of 17-8-5 for the season.   

2.  The Winnipeg Jets lost another game in overtime and it is not hard to figure out why.  If they don’t have the puck they are brutal.  This team can’t defend and I’m baffled by the line combos Paul Maurice uses in overtime.  

3 Has anybody out there seen Marko Dano?

4.  The Manitoba Moose played two games this past week going 1-0-0-1.  They had their nine-game winning streak halted by losing the skills competition on Saturday versus Milwaukee but beat the Admirals on Sunday and extended their points streak to eleven games.  Their overall record is now at 18-5-1-2 for the season.  They are currently in FIRST place in the AHL’s Central Division.   

5.  I think it’s time to get Mathieu Perreault out of purgatory.  Let’s put Kyle Connor on the fourth line, bump Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers to the first line with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler and move Mathieu Perreault with Bryan Little and Patrick Laine.  I don’t think those lines were ever carved in stone and they were going to get changed eventually so it is time to get the blender out now PoMo.      

6.  Although the team in front of him played like crap versus the Panthers, I’m in no hurry to see another Eric Comrie start anytime soon.  You would think if you’re going to play your #3 goalie you might try to play a little better defensively in front of him.  Not our Jets.  This team thinks they can outscore their mistakes and that is a dangerous way to play the game in my opinion. 

UPDATE:   

Steve Mason has been activated from the IR and Eric Comrie has been reassigned to the Manitoba Moose.

7.  HEY GARY  instead of worrying about players not having their Jerseys tucked in, maybe this summer have your cronies look at doing something about keeping players out of the goalie’s crease.  It’s open season in the blue paint and it needs to stop.  Skaters should NOT be allowed to skate through the goal crease like it is another piece of the ice.  IT BELONGS TO THE GOALKEEPER!   

8.  Pet peeve:  The inconsistency in dealing with goalie interference in the NHL.  It has gone from one extreme to the other.  I like how the IIHF handles it.  If an attacking player enters the crease at any time the play is blown dead and the faceoff is moved outside the blueline.  No penalty.  I believe this would probably end about 80% or more of coaches challenges.  Nip it in the bud before it happens.  Hopefully, like all the other newer rules the players will figure it out.  (see #7)

   

Would you like to see the NHL adopt the IIHF interpretation of the crease interference rule?

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9.  Buff watch:  Twenty-eight games and counting.  Big Buff isn’t playing that bad and it’s a good thing we aren’t just counting on him for his offence. 

UPDATE: 

The watch will have to continue as big Buff will be on the shelf with a lower-body injury.  He is currently listed as week to week.

10.  I wasn’t a big fan of the Matt Hendricks signing and I don’t think his contribution on the ice is as impactful as some would lead us to believe.  I do believe that he has had an impact in the dressing room and that is an intangible you can’t measure.  He’s almost like having another coach.  Here’s a thought Chevy.  Don’t do something stupid and re-sign him for next year.  If the Winnipeg Jets like his leadership so much and his relationship with the players, then hire him as an assistant coach.

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11.  In some other good news for the Winnipeg Jets organisation, Nic Petan was named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Dec. 3.  Nic put up two goals and six assists in his three games played.  Congrats Nic!    

12.  Kyle Connor is going to be a good player and maybe even a very good player BUT he is NOT a first line winger and definitely NOT a first unit powerplay forward.  (see #5)   

13.  FYI:  The Jets road record is now 7-6-4 and thanks to Gary’s fake parity it doesn’t look too bad on the surface but the harsh reality is they have lost 10 of 17 on the road!  The good news is that the Jets have finally made Bell MTS Place their home with a nice 10-2-1 record.      

14.  Paul Maurice said that he didn’t want Connor Hellebuyck to get worn down so he started Eric Comrie versus Florida on Thursday night.  I understand that logic if Helle was a 35-year-old goaltender and the Jets were playing on back to back nights.    

15.  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  Do you have any interest in Erik Karlsson?  If you don’t you better re-think your position.  Jacob Trouba looks like crap and checked out long ago.  Make the call.  

16.  As good as the Winnipeg Jets looked versus Ottawa last Sunday, they looked equally as bad on this three-game road trip.  Actually, they have looked like crap their last five road games.  For some reason on the road, they are extremely sloppy with the puck and the top two lines occasionally leave their compete level at home.  The only line that has been consistently competitive on the road lately is the Lowry/Copp/Tanev line.     

17.  Sitting in the press box with the popcorn brigade seems to be an odd way of developing Tucker Poolman.  He needs to be playing hockey and if they aren’t going to dress him, send back to the Manitoba Moose.  Young players need to play.  A player like Julian Melchiori would be more suited in that role. 

UPDATE:   

see #9  

18.  Mopping up on some other news from last week.  Blake Wheeler was named the NHL’s “First Star” for the week ending Dec. 3.  Wheels recorder two goals and eight assists in his four games played.  Congrats Blake!           

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  15-3-4 … 2.51 GAA … .919 SV%       
  • Steve Mason:  2-4-1 … 3.45 GAA … .904 SV%

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

  • PP:  4th at 25.68% … down from 2nd at 27.4% last week.    
  • PK:  22nd at 79.09% … down from 18th at 79.40% last week.  

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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 

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Comments

  1. Claude Saindon says

    Good, thoughtful perspectives as always Mitch. Now my own two bits…
    * I’m looking forward to seeing how the Jets fare without Buff. It was interesting to see Trouba play one of his better games of late against Vancouver. The kid is clearly chomping at the bit for a bigger role.
    * I don’t like to that second line. They get hemmed into their own zone too much. I’d keep the first line as is. But I’d experiment with Perreault alongside Ehlers and Little. Then I’d try Laine with Tanev and Lowry. Just a thought.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      the Little line really gets exposed on the road when the home team controls the match-ups …. I agree … I see nothing wrong with a little line juggling now and then.

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