Random Thoughts on the Winnipeg Jets: Mar. 5

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 games last week, winning two and losing the big one versus Nashville.  Their overall record is now 39-17-9 for the season and they are in second place in the Central Division.    

2.  The Manitoba Moose split their two games this past week and now have an overall record of 35-16-4-3.  They are still in first place in the AHL’s Central Division and have the best record in the Western Conference.  The Moose now head out on a 7-game road trip.     

3.  Games like Tuesday’s versus Nashville make me wonder if the Jets are ready for prime-time?  I know the Jets were missing Jacob Trouba and Adam Lowry and those two players completely alter the line-up when everybody moves back to their normal positions and match-ups but that isn’t an excuse for the top two lines stinking the joint out. 

4.  The Jets losing to the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night might not have been the worse thing to happen.  Being tied for first would have been nice but finishing in second place and having the home-ice advantage the first round of the playoffs would be fine by me   

5.  I watch a lot of late night hockey from the west coast and I watch a lot of LA Kings games.  One of my favourite players is Drew Doughty but I didn’t realize he was such a whiny little biache!  He never stops bitching at the referees.  Maybe that’s why I like him so much.  He thinks NHL officiating is garbage too.    

6.  The Winnipeg Jets really miss Jacob Trouba.  I would love to see Jake sign a long-term contract with the Winnipeg Jets but his holdout and his trade demand have made it hard for me to fully embrace him as a player.  I want to but I can’t and probably won’t until he signs that eight-year extension.  I wonder if other Jets fans feel this way?

7.  Basically, all the hockey “insiders” are calling Ottawa GM Pierre Dorian a liar because they all believe he was shopping Erik Karlsson even though in his post-trade deadline presser he adamantly said he was not shopping Karlsson.  I guess the truth shall be known this off-season.  

8.  It has occurred to a lot of people including myself that Blake Wheeler is a much better defensive center than Mark Scheifele.  That’s painful for me to admit because Scheif is my favourite Winnipeg Jets player but as much as the experts worry about the kids like Jack Roslovic, Kyle Connor, Nikolaj Ehlers, and Patrik Laine come playoff time, Mark Scheifele hasn’t exactly been a defensive juggernaut this season either.  I’m quietly optimistic about a nice post-season run but I’m also quite aware that you don’t become a seasoned playoff team overnight.     

9.  Getting Paul Stastny at the trade deadline made many Jets fans feel like we are now “one of the guys” OR we were invited to sit at the “cool kids” table in high school.  I have to admit it put a pretty big smile on my face.  I asked some of our readers to vote on the poll question as to whether they liked the move and 88% voted YES!  There were 3% that voted no.  I wonder what they didn’t like about it but I think have an idea.    

10.  Congrats to Connor Hellebuyck on his 34th win on Sunday night versus Carolina.  Helle has now tied the “Atlanta franchise” record for wins set by Kari Lehtonen if anyone cares about Atlanta records.

 

11.  A Random Thought from Manny (Darryl Manchulenko):  

  • I wonder if it’s time to mix the blender on the top two lines?
  • Mark Scheifele flying the zone a few times was on display again Sunday night.  

12.  Pet Peeve:  NHL officiating!  It’s already starting.  The officials are already starting to swallow their whistles and I can only wonder how bad it gets as the playoffs progress?  What’s the point of building a fast, skilled team if they aren’t allowed to play?  Will you please explain this to me Count Chocula?     

13.  I thought Blake Wheeler offering Paul Stastny his #26 jersey was an extremely classy move.  Knowing that Paul wears #26 because his dad (Peter Stastny) wore #26 was thoughtful and that shows the type of leader our captain has become.  Well done Wheels! 

14.  I know it’s only a number and in the grand scheme of things and it means diddly-squat but is Paul Stastny, Nik Ehlers, and Patrik Laine really the Jets 3rd line?          

15.  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  Is Paul Stastny purely a rental or is there a possibility you could see him here long-term?

  

Would you like to see the Winnipeg Jets offer pending UFA Paul Stastny a contract extension?

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16.  Patrik Laine’s release kind of reminds me of this kid that used to wear #22 on Long Island.   

UPDATE:

Today, the National Hockey League announced that forward Patrik Laine has been named the NHL’s Second Star of the Week for the week ending Mar. 4/18.  Laine had seven points (4G, 3A) and a plus-five rating in the three games and is currently riding an eight-game point streak (10G, 6A).

17.  I loved Ben Chiarot’s game in Carolina Sunday night.  He was one of the few Jets players to put Carolina forwards on their keisters.  He is probably going to draw the short straw when Toby Enstrom and Jacob Trouba return from injury and I’m okay with that but if the games start getting heavy I wouldn’t mind seeing him draw back into the line-up.        

18.  Dustin Byfuglien is going through a stretch right now where I think he playing some of the best hockey he has played in his tenure as a Winnipeg Jets defenceman.  Me likey “Good Buff”.    

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  34-10-8 … 2.40 GAA … .922 SV%             
  • Steve Mason:  3-6-1 … 3.52 GAA … .897 SV% … (currently on IR)
  • Michael Hutchinson:  2-0-0 … 2.00 GAA … .933 SV%

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

  • PP:  2nd at 24.60% … up from 24.40% last week.    
  • PK:  11th at 82.30% … down from 82.80 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 

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