Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Dec. 12

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.

For the record, I don’t buy into the narrative that is going around that Paul Maurice should be fired BUT I do believe that he should be heavily scrutinized. The tone of my thoughts this week are not very flattering for the Winnipeg Jets coach and his staff.

1.  The Winnipeg Jets had a miserable week going 0-3-1 and the natives are getting restless.  Their record is now a very underwhelming 13-16-3.  

12-wildcart

2.  I think most Winnipeg Jets fans would agree that their talent level has drastically improved but yet the team isn’t getting any consistent results.  The time for excuses is OVER my friends.  There is a disconnect on this team somewhere and unfortunately, I think we have to start looking behind the bench.  The Jets fanbase is getting restless and with good reason.        

3.  I’m old school and I believe that the #ONE priority on a hockey team is “TEAM DEFENCE”.  If everybody is committed to playing good defense, their speed and skill will take over.  Good defense will translate into more turnovers and scoring chances.  There isn’t a hockey team in the world that can outscore it’s own mistakes.  Right now, the Winnipeg Jets have no identity and it looks like they are on different pages.  It is a hodge-podge of mistakes and breakdowns night after night. 

4.  Have you noticed lately how Paul Maurice is really pounding the “schedule” narrative?  You have to admit there is some truth to that but it would hold more water if the Winnipeg Jets were a bunch of geriatrics.  The Jets aren’t the only team that has had a crappy schedule.  Even if you believe this behind closed doors, it’s extremely lame and weak to say it publicly.   

5.    It drives me absolutely crazy when the Jets forwards start to blow the zone before the puck is cleared AND especially when they are leading in the hockey game.  

6.  I’m so sick of hearing about the youth of the Winnipeg Jets.  Their record, lack of discipline, and horrible special teams have nothing to do with the youth. There are a few veterans who should be looking at themselves in the mirror, though!            

7.  I loved this answer from Paul Maurice:

Reporter:  

Do you feel bad for the goaltenders?

Maurice:

 no … f**k … no.    

8.  Unlike the Winnipeg Jets team that made the playoffs a couple of years ago, I don’t think opposition teams fear playing the Jets.  Right now, this team is very easy to play against.  I wonder if the brain trust overreacted from their 4-0 playoff sweep by the Anaheim Ducks?  That team had an interesting mix that seemed to work.                

9.  Dustin Byfuglien, Jacob Trouba, and Toby Enstrom were the worst three defencemen during the two-game Alberta swing this weekend and that’s saying a lot when your team has Ben Chiarot and Paul Postma on it.   

10. Jonathon Toews is a beauty.  It’s all about your roots and this ex-Warrior AAA player obviously hasn’t forgotten his.

11.  Once again, I have to comment that I can’t believe how bad the officiating in the National Hockey League is and I’m not talking only about Jets games.  I watch a lot of hockey and it is terrible and inconsistent on a nightly basis in rinks all around the league.  

12.  I think I’m one of the few around that actually likes Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella.  He’s old school, honest, abrasive at times and demanding.  In today’s NHL and especially with it’s crazy scheduling, he is a big proponent of keeping his guys away from the rink as much as possible.  If you think about it, it makes sense.  

  “We bring them in here one time a day on practice days, but on game days we bring them in twice,” Tortorella said. “It doesn’t make any sense. With our schedule coming up the way it is, we are trying to get our guys out of the building as much as we can.  

You can read the whole article here >>> goo.gl/hFhDQ8    

13.  Have you noticed how Josh Morrissey seems to have no problem defending based on the rule changes implemented post-lockout?  I guess growing up playing with the newer rules he never had to adjust his game because it’s the only game he’s played.         

14.  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  Are you and Mark Chipman working on your next contract extension so you can finish implementing your fifteen-year plan?  I just turned 61 Chevy.  I DON”T HAVE FOREVER!  

15.  Is anybody else surprised at how fast the Calgary Flames revamped their team and rebuilt itself into a pretty darn good hockey team?  They made the decision to stop being in the middle of the pack and spinning their wheels.  Look at them now.  It really puts the Jets excuses in perspective doesn’t it?  The funny thing is Toronto only started their tear-down a couple of years ago and look where they are now.   

16.  Back to the schedule again … how tired could these guys be?  They have all missed time; Mathieu Perreault, Mark Scheifele, Drew Stafford, Toby Enstrom, Jacob Trouba, Bryan Little.  I might have missed a couple like Marko Dano and Andrew Copp but you get my gist.  (see #4)    

17.  I’ve said it before here in this space and I’ll say it again that NO GOALTENDER can or will ever flourish in the environment the Winnipeg Jets have created.  There is no commitment from the coaching staff to implement and enforce a winning style of play.  If Paul Maurice and his henchmen think they can “run and gun” their way to wins, they are terribly mistaken and delusional. BTW, teams that “run and gun” usually score more than two goals a night.  

18.  The numbers:

Connor Hellebuyck:  GAA – 2.74 … SV% – .907 … 2 shutouts

Michael Hutchinson:  GAA – 3.14 … SV% – .896 … 1 shutout 

19.  Kyle Connor was officially re-assigned to the Manitoba Moose last week and added a goal, an assist, and a shootout goal in his first two games back.  We’re all pretty sure he has NHL speed and skill.  He just needs to work on his compete level and defensive game.      

20.  Special Teams:

PP:  24th at 15.1% …. down from 17th at 15.9% last week … going the wrong way.    

PK:  26th at 76.6% …. down from 24th at 79.6% last week … going the wrong way.

Download our new “FREE” Winnipeg Hockey Talk mobile phone app for Android users here >>>> WHT app

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 Winnipeg Jets, Manitoba Moose, 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.  We would love to hear your opinions.

Thanks, Mitch 

Use the “Comment Section” below.

Comments

  1. Point 8 resonates with me. You’re right. The Jets aren’t hard to play against. Sometimes I miss the big, fast, tough Jets of 2 years ago. They aren’t as big and tough. That’s a given. But what has gone more unnoticed is the relative decrease in team speed. Whilst many teams have gotten faster the Jets have grown somewhat comparatively slower. After the game against the NYR there was a lot of griping against the Jets the PP. I tend to credit the Rangers. They used their speed to eliminate time and space. There was no room out there.

    The Jets did better against teams they can outskate like STL and LA. They suffered badly against faster teams like NYR, MIN, etc… These teams are first on the puck, close the ground on the backcheck and get more odd man rushes.

    Before throwing the baby out with the bath water the Jets would be better to simply address this.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      I agree … you bring up some very valid points. Like most sports the NHL is also a copy-cat league … the Pens won the Cup because of speed BUT they also received great goaltending and had a couple of guys named Crosby and Malkin … coach based on your strengths … I don’t think PoMo & his staff have figured that out yet.

  2. patti dawn swansson says

    The Maurice narrative re the schedule is incredibly lame. The Jets were whipped by a team, Calgary, that played one less game in as many days and is on a six-game win streak. The Jets then lost to another team, Edmonton, that has played one less game in only one more day.
    By continuing to whinge about the schedule, Maurice continues to provide his players with a lame, oh-woe-is-us excuse for shoddy play. He’s holding a pity party and he “expects” fans and media to buy into his whining about the sked. Some in mainstream media have done that very thing, sadly.
    Maurice won’t be dismissed this season, but his act has worn very thin.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      I’d buy into this excuse a little more if they were an aging team and they were 60-65 games into the season but not in this case.

      • patti dawn swansson says

        If they’re already tired, what are they going to be like into the new year, when the style of hockey becomes more of a grind?
        Maurice should just shut up about it.

        • Mitch Kasprick says

          exactly … they’re not tired … Maurice is deflecting the criticism BUT it’s not working on a lot of fans.

  3. Schedulemaker says

    If the Jets are so tired, how come Maurice doesn’t rotate some of the pressbox crew into the lineup? He can sub up to 3 players per game if he wanted, but instead fills out the same lineup card every game.

Blog Stats

  • 178,421 hits