Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Dec. 26

Odds and Ends about the Winnipeg Jets and the NHL that crossed my mind this past week —

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

 

Don’t forget the U20 WJC start today.  All games will be broadcast on TSN.

1.  The Winnipeg Jets split their two-game road trip to Vancouver and now have a record of 16-17-3 overall.  They are still hanging around the wild card spot but it seems like everybody still has games in hand.  The Jets need to have a decent run of games where they get points to stay in the hunt.  

2.  I had the pleasure of witnessing Shane Doan score his 400th NHL goal, in his 1500th game, on Friday night at Gila River Arena.  Two milestones in the same night.  It was special.  At age 40, Shane Doan is still a beast and very hard to play against.      

3.  I like Jacob Trouba and I know he is still young by defenceman standards BUT I don’t see him ever being a true number one.  I think he tops out as top pairing defenceman at best and there’s nothing wrong with that.  Agree or disagree?

 

Where do you see Jacob Trouba topping out?

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4.  It’s official.  

5.  Do you want a man cave/fan cave like this?  I know a guy that can make this happen.   

His name is Kyle Calder.  You know him as @JETSFANatic09 on Twitter.  If you want more info on how to get yourself a cool man cave you can send Kyle or I a direct message on twitter or contact me here >>> Contact WHT

6.  Blake Wheeler is fast and I remember a time when he was one of the fastest guys in the NHL.  It’s not that he’s slowed down but there sure has been an influx of speed to the NHL to the point where Wheels is just another guy that can skate.       

7.  Two weeks in a row I get to say ….. FINALLY!  FINALLY!  FINALLY!  Paul Maurice put out a PP that actually moved the puck and didn’t feature Buff hammering the puck from the point.  The PP showcased the skill and puck handling of Toby Enstrom, Nic Petan, and Nik Ehlers along with Patrik Laine and Mark Scheifele.  It was a thing of beauty.  (see #16) 

8.  Patrik Laine sure has been a nice surprise.  Or has he?  I think the moment the Winnipeg Jets won the lottery and then selected him at the draft we all had high expectations for the Finnish sniper.  I’ve said it more than once but the biggest surprise to this point this season is the play of Josh Morrissey.  Laine’s terrific start and Morrissey’s solid, consistent play has sure taken the pressure off Kyle Connor who was tremendously over-hyped by everybody in Winnipeg. Josh may be the Winnipeg Jets most consistent defenceman.                 

9.  I have to admit that I like when the Jets are mean and actually a little dirty. The problem is their PK sucks ducks so being big and mean won’t work.  Too bad because I liked those 2014-15 Jets.  Keep in mind that I’m older and I’m not a fan of Gary Bettman’s new non-hitting NHL.  All you see nowadays is poke-checking and guys being allowed to stand in and around the goaltender’s crease.  Sad.       

10.  Regular readers that visit this space know I have a soft spot for Winnipeg Jets goalie Michael Hutchinson.  I don’t know what it is.  I like the way he handles the puck and I like some of the gutsy efforts he put forth last season.  He could never quite grab that starting job when it was there for the taking but he is still a young goaltender.  Anyway, I was glad to see him play well in a 4-1 win versus Vancouver the other night.  Keep it up Hutch.

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11.  Where would this team be without Josh Morrissey, especially when Jacob Trouba was holding out?  Funny, the Trouba holdout seems like ages ago.  (see #8) 

12.  I said this last week and it happened again on Thursday night in Vancouver and it rang even truer!

The only thing that makes me happier than Patrik Laine scoring a goal in a Jets game is Patrik Laine and Nik Ehlers scoring in a Jets game.  

13.  Just an FYI:  The NHL’s roster freeze is over at midnight Wednesday and the Winnipeg Jets will have to have their roster compliant by then.  Right now they are over the limit with the return of Shawn Matthias, Nic Petan, and Joel Armia.

14.  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  How much money can a “budget team” afford to park in the press box and in the AHL before the owner asks you to trim the fat?  

15.  Last week I asked the question … “Is Alex Burmistrov done as a Winnipeg Jets player?”  94% said YES! 

16.  The PP goal that Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers scored the other night in Van City was a thing of beauty.  The funny thing was that the Jets had a PP coming out of the dressing room to start the second period and he had Marko Dano on the ice.  Don’t get me wrong I like Marko Dano but at this point in his career, he should NEVER be on anybody’s PP.  Sometimes I can’t figure out what Paul Maurice and his assistants are doing behind the bench AND I know I’m not alone.  (see#7)  

17.  I don’t know about you but I don’t think there is a player drafted in the first round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft that I would rather have that Nikolaj Ehlers. Aaron Ekblad and Leon Draisaitl will get a few votes but I’ll be a homer and stick with Nik.  

18.  The numbers:

Connor Hellebuyck:  GAA – 2.68 … SV% – .910 … 2 shutouts

Michael Hutchinson:  GAA – 2.96 … SV% – .900 … 1 shutout 

19.  I don’t know why the Winnipeg Jets are trying to force-feed us Connor Hellebuyck as the starting goaltender?  I’m fine with a platoon system or even two out of every three games for Helle.  I say, ease him in until he grabs the starting job by the throat.  Which he hasn’t done in my humble op[inion. 

20.  Special Teams:

PP:  23rd at 15.3% … up from 26th at 14.7% last week.   

PK:  28th at 76.7% … up from 75.4% 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 

Use the “Comment Section” below.

Comments

  1. Do you foresee a trend where the teams develop checking forwards to assign them to specific skilled forwards.. i.e. Kadri on McDavid… can’t remember the guy but the other night Laine had a checker in his lap on PP sessions. It makes sense… someone assigned to Ovi on Cap’s power plays etc.. It used to be the way the games were played.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      not necessarily BUT there is no doubt you’ll see Laine and Ehler get special attention … this is a concept the Paul Maurice and his henchmen haven’t grasped yet … other team’s top players are allowed to run amuck in our building … Buff is the only one that will play tough against other team’s star players … this is one of my pet peeves … we play like cream puffs far too often

  2. FishWhiskey says

    Mitch, you are spot on about Morrissey being the unsung hero of this years team. Only down side is that he might be saving the jobs of the Jets tragically mediocre coaching staff. The Jets have a talent pool that a top end coaching staff could have performing at the top of the standings right now and that goes for the goal tenders as well if they were protected by an effective defensive strategy. Does Minnesota have more talented players than the Jets?

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Minnesota and Montreal are examples of teams with average talent that play good defence and have good goalies … the man on man zone coverage the Jets use is a huge fail in my opinion.

  3. The 2014 draft is starting to look like a good group

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