Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Jan. 22

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 are back from their little CBA negotiated holiday and played two games this past weekend going 2-0-0 and now have an overall record of 28-13-7 for the season.  The Jets are back in first place in the Central division although Nashville has three games in hand.     

2.  Congrats to Toby Enstrom on playing in his 700th NHL game on Saturday.  Although Toby has missed 135 games due to injury over his eleven-year career, it is still quite an accomplishment for a player of his stature to survive in a league full of bigger men.  Not bad for an eighth-round draft pick! 

3Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers sure doesn’t get the number of points he should based on his skill-set.  I think he is one of the most skilled players in the NHL and he is on the verge of breaking out big time.  In saying that, his numbers are pretty good but he is way better than his numbers IMHO.  

4.  The Manitoba Moose played two games last week and got whupped 4-1 and 5-0 in their own barn by the Texas Stars.  The Moose now have now lost four of their last five games in regulation and now have an overall record of 26-10-3-2.  They still have a pretty big lead in the AHL’s Central Division and are second overall in the entire AHL. 

5.  FYI:  The Winnipeg Jets kept their streak alive of not losing three games in regulation in a row after beating Calgary 2-1 in OT Saturday afternoon.  Remember last year when the Jets couldn’t put together a winning streak of more than two games until the very end of the season?  This win also ended Calgary’s seven-game winning streak and ended a long winless drought for the Jets at the Saddledome.  I believe their last win in Calgary was in 2014.  PHYLLIS …. would you please look that up for me? 

6.  I have six or seven Washington Capitals players in one of my fantasy leagues so I watch a lot of Caps games and I’m amazed at how lazy Alex Ovechkin is without the puck.  He does a lot of floating back into his own end and doesn’t put a lot of effort into the defensive part of the game.  Certain players can get away with this because they put up points but that doesn’t make it right.  I wonder how his teammates feel when they see this?  Maybe this is why Washington can’t make it to the Stanley Cup Finals? 

7.  I see a lot of complaining on Twitter about the play-by-play on games broadcast by CBC or Sportsnet and I don’t get it?  To be honest, I really haven’t noticed whether it’s good or bad and I don’t know what listeners are expecting.  I think for the most part the guys try to be balanced and talk about both teams.  It’s definitely not a biased local feed.  I do think that most fans get the fact that TSN 3 broadcasts are slanted towards the Jets because it is only shown regionally, right?

8.  Pet Peeve:  The stretch-pass/tip in play.  One of the innovations/rules changes the NHL implemented in 2005 to open up the game was removing the center-ice red-line as it pertains to two-line passes.  All this has done is create a generation of defencemen that can’t and won’t carry the puck.  More often than not you’ll see stationary defencemen trying the long stretch pass.  The stretch pass/tip-in play is not my idea of creating offence. 

9.  I didn’t like how the Calgary Flames were taking liberties with some of the Jets smaller players and I hope this doesn’t become a regular thing.  The Winnipeg Jets are supposed to be big, fast, and hard to play against.  I think they are losing a little bit of that identity with Mark Scheifele and Adam Lowry out of the lineup.   

10.  I think it’s time for Patrik Laine to lose the wispy chin straw.  That is a bad beard dude.  

Embed from Getty Images

11.  HNIC and Hometown Hockey host Ron MacLean, put on some big air miles this weekend.  On Saturday he was in Corner Brook, Newfoundland hosting the celebrations for “Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada” and then on Sunday in Cowichan Valley, BC for “Rogers Hometown Hockey”.  I wonder how much thought was put into those locations for this particular weekend? 

12. Life after Scheif:  The Jets are 8-2-1 since Mark Scheifele’s injury (I counted the Oilers game).  The Jets are hanging in pretty good without Mark Scheifele in the lineup but the scoring is starting to dry up.  How times have changed though.  The Jets only scored TWO goals this weekend but only gave up ONE goal and posted TWO wins!  Very good goaltending and a solid defensive effort made this possible.  Connor Hellebuyck goes back-to-back this weekend and wins them both.  Helle has been terrific all season.    

13.  The votes are in for last week’s poll question with Ben Chiarot receiving 47 votes, Tucker Poolman 46 votes, and Toby Enstrom bringing up the rear with 16 votes.  That’s 93 out of 109 votes that don’t want to see Toby Enstrom anymore.  Toby becomes a UFA next season and I’m not sure what the Jets have in store for him?  Does Toby test the market?  I guess a lot depends on what happens with Jacob Trouba this off-season.

14.  Is it just me or does it seem like we see way too much of Mike Babcock on TV now?        

15.  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  Have you talked to Kurt Overhardt recently?

16.  Remember when Jets fans were salivating over prospect Scott Kosmachuk?  

17.  I find it amazing that David Schlemko (Habs) has managed to con teams into thinking he is an NHL defenceman.  I find this trend of so-called “puck moving” defencemen that can’t win a puck battle or defend laughable at times.  In order to be able to move the puck, you actually need to be able to get the puck.     

18.  Speaking of Roger Hometown Hockey, I think that Ron MacLean and Tara Slone do a terrific job on this show.  I always find it interesting to learn about local hockey history in these towns and surrounding areas.  I’ve always been interested in the dynamics of hockey in small towns and how the communities rally around their minor hockey teams.  This was one of the reasons I enjoyed my fifteen years as an area scout for a couple of WHL teams. 

19. Goaltending:

UPDATE: 

Earlier today the NHL announced that goaltender Connor Hellebuyck has been named the NHL’s Second Star of the Week for the week ending Jan. 21/2018.

Helle stopped 30 of 31 shots and also saved both shootout attempts in a 2-1 shootout win against the Calgary Flames on Saturday before starting again on Sunday night where he stopped all 29 shots in a 1-0 shutout victory against the Vancouver Canucks.  In total, he saved 59 of the 60 shots he faced over the weekend for a .983 save percentage. 

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  25-6-6 … 2.29 GAA … .926 SV% … Helle recorded his 4th shutout of the season in a 1-0 win over Vancouver on Sunday night at Bell MTS Place.           
  • Steve Mason:  3-6-1 … 3.52 GAA … .897 SV% … (currently on IR)

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

  • PP:  2nd at 24.90% … down from 25.40% last week.    
  • PK:  15th at 82.00% … up from 15th at 81.40% 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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