Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Jan. 29

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 two games this past weekend going 1-0-1 and now have an overall record of 29-13-8 for the season.  The Jets are back in first place in the Central division although Nashville has three games in hand.     

2.  Regarding the hit on Dmitry Kulikov: It’s tough to watch a player get smoked from behind and especially when it could have been avoided.  San Jose’s Tomas Hertl needed to be a little more aware of the possibility that Kulikov would turn last-minute and Kulikov has to be aware that he might be putting himself in a vulnerable spot but IMHO, the onus is still the forechecker to be in control in this situation.    

3.  The Manitoba Moose played three games on the road last week and got back on track by winning all three.  They now have an overall record of 29-10-3-2.  They are in first place in the AHL’s Central Division and have the best record in the Western Conference.  Only the Toronto Marlies have the best record overall in the AHL.   

4.  Nic Petan had a pretty good three-game road trip tallying a goal and six helpers for 7 points.  Is it time for Petan to get another look with the big club?  I’m a big Petan supporter so I say yes.   

5.  When the NHL decided to clamp down on obstruction and interference, they opened up a can of worms that sees NHL defencemen get face-planted far too regularly.  Back in the “OLDEN DAYS” when dinosaurs roamed the earth, a players defence partner would angle off the oncoming forechecker, hence slowing him down so his partner didn’t get t-boned by the hard-charging forward.  For every rule change or action, there is usually a reaction that can end up with different consequences.  For a league that says it’s all about player safety, a couple of their rule changes have done more harm than good.  (see #2)  

6.  FYI:  The Winnipeg Jets entered the NHL All-Star break with 66 points and if they can manage to scrape out 32 points in their last 32 games they will have 98 points and more than likely be playing playoff hockey.  

7.  Manitoba Moose defenceman Sami Niku is quietly having a very nice rookie season with twenty-nine points in fourty-four games.  The Jets seventh-rounder in 2015 might be a dark horse contender for a roster spot sooner than later.  I’m looking forward to seeing him at next seasons training camp.  

8.  The race in the Central Division and in the Western Conference is going to be unbelievable going down the stretch with 2-3 pretty good teams in danger of missing the playoffs.  I think the Winnipeg Jets will finish in the “top 3” of the Central Division and maybe, just maybe, in first place.  

9.   Pet Peeve:  When fans and/or media blame the player who gets smoked from behind because he turned at the last-minute.  The responsibility is MOSTLY on the hitter and not the hittee (maybe 75/25).  Players are travelling at high-speed and are arriving with ill-intentions whether the victim has his back turned or not.  The part that bugs me is more often than not it’s charging.  Just because a player glides that last couple of feet doesn’t mean it’s not charging.  (see #2 and #5)      

10.   The Jacob Trouba we all know and love finally showed up in Anaheim on Thursday night.  He was very, very good.  I wonder where he has been all season?  Welcome back, Jake!  Would you mind hanging around for a bit? 


Winnipeg Sun columnist, Ken Weibe is reporting that the Winnipeg Jets will be without defenceman Jacob Trouba for an extended period of time because of an ankle injury.  Similar reports are saying 6-8 weeks.  It is believed Trouba suffered the injury late in overtime versus the Ducks on Thursday night.  The Jets depth will definitely be tested now as Trouba plays big minutes.  He will be sorely missed.   

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11.  An announcement came out from the NHL at this weekends “All-Star” festivities that the Winnipeg Jets will be playing two regular season games in Finland next season versus the Florida Panthers.  I find this a curious decision in that they would be playing two games against a non-conference opponent.  

12. Life after Scheif:  The Jets are 9-2-2 since Mark Scheifele’s injury (I counted the Oilers game).  The Jets went 3-0-1 in between their “bye-week” and the “All-Star” break.  They are clinging to first place in the Central Division with Nashville nipping at their heals. 

13.  Does playing in the “NHL All-Star Game” make you an all-star?  No need to answer because the answer is NO!   

14.  I have a funny feeling that on the Winnipeg Jets upcoming ten-game homestand, Paul Maurice is going to have the blender out and we are going to see some different and interesting line combinations.  I think PoMo is just dying to try Jack Roslovic and Kyle Connor together.  If you want to experiment with some different combos, you might as well do it when you have the last line change.      

15.  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  When is Nic Petan going to get another look with the big club?  I don’t buy into the rhetoric he has already had his chance with the Jets.  Every player develops at a different rate and he is no exception.  He is playing at a level right now in the AHL that we have not seen before.  Maybe this time you give him a REAL shot like you did with Kyle Connor, not a couple of games on the fourth line with a little powerplay time sprinkled in.

16.  Is it just me or does it seem like rival NHL teams are taking a few more liberties with Josh Morrissey this season now that he isn’t paired with Dustin Byfuglien?  

17.  On Tuesday night the Winnipeg Jets start an unprecedented ten-game homestand.  How many points do you think they will get?

How many points will the Winnipeg Jets get on their upcoming ten-game home-stand?

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18.  Connor McDavid was the fastest skater at the “NHL All-Star Skills Competition” this past weekend but I wonder how he would fare against the Red Wings’ Dylan Larkin or the Jets Nikolaj Ehlers or Kyle Connor?    

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  26-6-7 … 2.35 GAA … .92 SV%            
  • 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 24.70% … down from 25.90% last week.    
  • PK:  12th at 82.20% … up from 15th at 82.00% 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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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.


  1. Claude Saindon says

    Re: Petan, Niki and others…
    I took in both games between the Moose and the Laval Rocket this past weekend. Small sample size but…

    Petan was very impressive the first night but was less visible the second. The big difference compared to his last stint with the Jets was that he was moving his feet. Always on the move. Less coasting when the puck was on his stick. It remains to be seen as to whether or not that would translate in the NHL. He also is prone to trying his WHL moves in the DZone and it results in giveaways.

    So you ask if he deserves another shot? Probably yes. Next question where does he slot in and who does he replace? When I go up and down the Jets lineup my answer is always NO.

    Niku. Skilled. Great skater & puck handler…but I was disappointed. I didn’t see him using his speed to move into open ice and create offence. But, just 2 games. Show me more. Anyway I think he’ll be an Antlerpod for the foreseeable future.

    Comrie looked more composed, less scrambly.

    Appleton? Smart with the puck. Efficient. Strange. A lot of times you don’t notice him much. Then, bingo 2 goals.

    Buddy… Loved Buddy. Great wheels and he’s huge.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Thanks for the scouting report … I always like to judge players when playing on the road and out of their comfort zone … it usually tells you a lot more.

  2. Claude Saindon says

    You’re welcome. I know I should have asked beforehand but how much does it pay? ?

  3. Now that Winnipeg Jets look like they might make the playoffs, I see the rumour mill crank up about trading for a rental player.
    I have no problem if your are paying salary only because you have cap space for a rental player who will probably be long gone after your playoff run.
    What really bothers me are people who suggest trading assets or picks for a rental player.
    What a great way to race to the bottom of your division.
    We got here by stable management, following draft and development, did we not?
    Please don’t throw the baby out with the bath water now.
    Stay the course!!!!!!

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      I agree …. I wouldn’t overpay for a rental either … I’m a bigger fan of pure hockey trades and then I don’t mind giving up a prospect and/or picks … the Jets have a lot of prospects and it might be time to start using them as currency to upgrade in certain positions

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