Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Jan. 15

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 and went 1-2-0.  They now have an overall record of 26-13-7 for the season.  The Jets go into their CBA mandated 5-day break (bye-week) and when they return they will have thirty-six games left in the regular season of which twenty-one will be at home.

   

2.  I’m writing off the 4-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild as a blip on the radar. 

  • They were playing a Minnesota Wild team that is very good at home. 
  • They were without TWO of their top centers.
  • They were playing the back-end of two games in two nights. 

I don’t like making excuses and I don’t hand out my “free passes” lightly but in this case, the boys are getting the benefit of the doubt.        

3 Canada’s Olympic Hockey team was named last week and Manitoban’s Chay Genoway (Morden) and Quinton Howden (Oakbank) will be going to  Pyeongchang, South Korea in February.  Both players are currently playing in the KHL.  Congrats guys! 

4.  The trickle-down syndrome or should I say the trickle-up syndrome finally caught up with the Manitoba Moose this week as players like Michael Hutchinson, Jack Roslovic, and Brendan Lemieux being called up to the “big club” were missed and affected the Moose’s bottom line.  They played four games last week going 1-2-1 and now have an overall record of 26-8-3-2.  That’s still pretty good, isn’t it?  

5.  FYI:  Anthony Duclair just came off the Arizona Coyotes bye week and was then traded to the Chicago Blackhawks where he played two games and is now off another five days as the Hawks are now on their bye week.  Not bad timing.  

6. Although nobody was very good versus Minnesota, I thought Kyle Connor had one of his worst games this year and looked like the player that was sent back to the AHL early last year.  He looked lost defensively and had ZERO compete level.  NHL hockey in the second half of the schedule and then into the playoffs gets tighter and tougher.  Connor and all of the Jets skilled players are going to have to fight through the tighter checking and earn every inch of ice.  The learning curve continues and especially for the younger players.   

7.  For those of you that got upset with Blake Wheeler joining in on the “Skol Chant” during the third period of the Minny game Saturday night, just relax.  The game was over. 

I wonder what I would have thought if I wasn’t a Minnesota Vikings fan?    

             

8.  Pet peeve:  Shot attempt statistics.  Example: “Player A” had ten shot attempts on net.  He scored a goal, had three shots on goal and had SIX shots blocked!  This is why I don’t like Corsi and prefer Fenwick.  I’m sorry, but for me six blocked shots isn’t a positive statistic.  (this actually happened two weeks ago in a Jets game)      

9.  Since the Winnipeg Jets are currently on their bye-week, they have returned Michael Hutchinson, Brendan Lemieux, and Jack Roslovic back to the Manitoba Moose.  Roslovic didn’t look out-of-place in the games he played but I’m not sure he sticks around when the team is healthy but he is getting close.  

10. So far, the Winnipeg Jets have survived being without Mark Scheifele BUT they can’t afford to be without Adam Lowry and Scheif.  The Lowry line has been extremely consistent and competitive for some time now.  With Lowry out, there is too much line juggling going on and the bottom six forwards are a mess.  On the bright side, Jack Roslovic looked decent.    

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11.  I traded Nikolaj Ehlers in one of my fantasy hockey leagues and I’m sick to my stomach about it.  If he was still on the top line with Scheifele and Wheeler, I would never have done this.  Damn you PoMo, damn you.  

12. Life after Scheif:  The Jets are 6-2-1 since Mark Scheifele’s injury (I counted the Oilers game).  The Jets are hanging in pretty good without Mark Scheifele in the lineup.  Blake Wheeler is doing a nice job centering the top line and they really haven’t skipped a beat.  (forget the Minny game)   

13.  I never thought there would be a day when I would prefer Ben Chiarot or Tucker Poolman playing with Buff over Toby Enstrom but I think it’s time.  Toby can’t win a puck battle, he provides no offence, and he is turning the puck over more and more.

Who would you like to see on the third defence pairing with Buff?

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14.  I love when callers phone into talk radio shows and suggest trading fourth liners, healthy scratches, and AHL players for guys like Mark Stone or Mike Hoffman.  As dumb as some NHL GMs are, they aren’t as dumb as your buddies in your fantasy league.      

15.  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  Why don’t you give the Buffalo Sabres a call and see if Ryan O’Reilly is available?  (my podcast partner Darryl Manchulenko gave me this one)

16.  As long as the NHL All-Star game legislates that each team needs to be represented, there is always going to be glaring omissions and this year is no exception.  Instead of naming the snubs (Phil Kessel, Sidney Crosby, or Vladimir Tarasenko), I would like to mention a player that has no business being there.  Oliver Ekman Larsson!  OEL has been absolutely awful for the better part of two seasons now and this is hard for me to say because he is my favourite Coyotes player.  I am a Coyotes season ticket holder and I watch all 82 games every year and OEL isn’t even their best defenceman never mind an All-Star.  The ASG doesn’t need to be represented by every team and I for one wouldn’t even mind if they turfed the game altogether.  Although, I must admit that I do enjoy the skills competition.        

17.  I wonder if Colorado Avalanche prospect Cale Makar is going to regret turning down an invitation to play on the Canadian Olympic Hockey Team in February.  Personally, I think he’s crazy and he will look back and regret it.  Read more here >>> Cale Makar       

18.  Speaking of the NHL All-Star Game, I seem to remember in the Winnipeg Jets first season back in the NHL after a fifteen-year absence that Dustin Byfuglien was named to represent the Jets.  Buff was injured so he didn’t go AND Gary and his band of buffoons didn’t think that having a Winnipeg Jets player in the game after a fifteen-year hiatus was warranted.  Nice!     

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  23-6-6 … 2.40 GAA … .922 SV%          
  • Steve Mason:  3-6-1 … 3.52 GAA … .897 SV%

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

  • PP:  2nd at 25.40% … up from 25.00% last week.    
  • PK:  15th at 81.40% … down from 12th at 81.50% last week.  

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

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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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