Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Oct. 17

Things about the Winnipeg Jets and the NHL that crossed my mind —

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

1.  The Jets went 1-1-0 in their first two games of the season and the Manitoba Moose went 1-0-1 in their first two games of the season.  I can’t say I’m disappointed or surprised.

2.  Down 4-1 in the third period against Carolina, Blake Wheeler really earned his captain’s stripes by willing the Winnipeg Jets to a 5-4 overtime win.  A terrific start for the captain who finished the game with a monster short-handed goal and two primary assists.

3.  Patrik Laine’s snipe in the third period Thursday was exactly what Jets fans were hoping for and especially with it being a meaningful goal that contributed to a win.       

4.  Even though the Jets power-play hasn’t exactly lit it up in the first couple of games, they have shown some different looks instead of the same ineffective, stagnant, PP they’ve used in their first five seasons.  There has been a variety of different set-ups using different personnel.  Let’s give Jamie Kompon a little more time to get this thing rolling.  I do believe there is some potential there.     

5.  Connor Hellebuyck was less than stellar in his 5-4 win and Michael Hutchinson was pretty good in a 4-3 loss so I guess the goaltending situation will be unsettled for quite a while until somebody grabs the #1 job.  This might be a tall order with the team defence being playing in front of them right now.  The Jets have been a little scrambly in the first two games.  The team defence needs a lot of work.     

6.  It looks like Paul Postma is the big winner in the Jacob Trouba holdout.  This is his opportunity to solidify a roster spot but in my opinion, he needs to become more of a complete player.  He’s still a little soft in his own zone and he’s going to have to learn how to scratch out some ice-time on the PK.  Buff can’t do everything and doesn’t need to be playing 25 plus minutes every night.  It’s time for Postma to fish or cut bait.   

7.  I don’t want to hear about how the Winnipeg Jets are the second youngest team in the NHL.  That’s no longer a valid excuse in this league anymore.  This team has a lot of solid veterans to lead the way and every team in the league is getting younger.  The NHL is now a young, fast, skating, league with rules to protect the skilled player.  Players don’t have to earn their space anymore it’s been gifted to them, just go out and COMPETE.  There’s no age limit on that.    

8.  Quinton Howden is off to a nice start with the Manitoba Moose, scoring three goals in his first two games.  The Moose are going to be an interesting team this season and could be a lot of fun to watch.  

9.  I wonder if Kevin Cheveldayoff  has talked to Kings GM Dean Lombardi about Ondrej Pavelec.  With Jonathon Quick out for 3-4 months maybe the Kings could be interested?  You never know.  

10.  When I was watching the Jets/Wild game I was wondered who was the rookie and who was the veteran while watching Josh Morrissey and Mark Stuart.  Josh has progressed as much as Stu has regressed. 

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11.  Should we be concerned that in the first Jets road game they were pushed around by a powder-puff team like the Minnesota Wild?  You bet your sweet bippy we should.  This is part of the learning curve for young players on young teams and they need to step up the physical part of their games.         

12.  I prefer Nik Ehlers on the left-wing with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler and I don’t see the Paul Maurice’s rational for putting Patrik Laine there.  Why would PoMo mess with that line?  Bryan Little’s injury doesn’t mean you need to revamp the whole line-up.  Replace him with whoever is your next best center and move on. 

13.  I thought Josh Morrissey was the most poised and effective of the kids in the Minnesota game.  That’s why it’s ok to get a little bit of seasoning in the AHL.  It’s not a punishment, it’s for development.  

14.  Mathieu Perreault and Kyle Connor didn’t look very good in the Minnesota game but we all know that will be all Drew Stafford’s fault.  Halfway through the third period, the whole team had FOUR shots on goal since the first period and that was probably Drew Stafford’s fault as well.  He is officially the Jets new whipping boy on Twitter followed closely by Tyler Myers. 

15.  I wonder if Nic Petan would be a better fit to replace Bryan Little in the line-up?  

16.  I’d love to be a fly on the wall and listen to Kevin Cheveldayoff’s incoming phone calls regarding Jacob Trouba.  

17.  Kyle Connor looked a little lost in his first road game.  I’m sure it was an eye opener for him and hopefully, he’s learned something from it.  But before I go on my “he’s not ready for the NHL” spiel, I will reserve judgment until I see him play in 10-15 more games .   

18.  I’m still a Michael Hutchinson guy but I will be the first to admit the jury is still out on whether he is a bonafide #1 NHL goaltender but I’m not convinced that Connor Hellebuyck is either … yet.   One thing I do know was that it was time to turn the page on Ondrej Pavelec.  (see #5)     

19.  We are only two games into the 2016-17 NHL season and I’m already pissed off at Paul Maurice’s roster decisions.  UNLESS Joel Armia got banged up versus Carolina on Thursday night and was injured, there is absolutely NO reason whatsoever he should have been sat in favour of Chris Thorburn in Minnesota.  Ditto for Ben Chiarot.  There was no need to rush Mark Stuart into the line-up either.  If you’re turning the page with certain players, then turn the bloody page!  Ya, I’m officially pissed off!  (see #12)   

20.  Countdown to the 2016 Tim Hortons Heritage Classic:  this Sunday !!!! (Oct. 23) in Winnipeg, MB.

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  1. Burmistrov is in a word terrible. He circles around in his own end while everyone wonders what he’s going to do. Carries the puck until he loses it. Twists and turns and pulls his forwards out of position. I’d hate playing with this guy. I’d bring up Petan over him in a minute. Morrissey is playing fantastic. Hellebuyck looks shaky. He doesn’t seem to follow the puck very well. I noticed that last year too. He sits on his knees lots and when they shrink the goalie equipment i think he’s going to really struggle. I like Connor. He looks like a game breaker. Very smart hockey player.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      I don’t like being too critical too early but two years in a row they’ve wasted too much time in training camp with the AHL guys … I’d like to see them get down to their final roster sooner and get ready for the regular season.

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