Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Mar. 27

Mitch Kasprick is now the “Westdale Curmudgeon” 

Odds and Ends, Thoughts, and Questions from this past week in hockey –

Just so there’s no confusion when I’m spewing my bias, I am a fan of the Winnipeg Jets, Arizona Coyotes, Manitoba Moose, Winnipeg Ice, and all Team Canada Hockey teams.

I am NOT a fan of Gary Bettman or as I call him, Count Chocula.  I am a big believer in the 7Ps or is it the 8Ps?  You’ve been warned. [Read more…]

Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Nov. 22

Mitch Kasprick is the “Motown Curmudgeon” aka “Motown Mitch”

Odds and Ends, Thoughts and Questions, from this past week in hockey –

Just so there’s no confusion when I’m spewing my bias, I am a fan of the Winnipeg Jets, Arizona Coyotes, Manitoba Moose, Winnipeg Ice, and all Team Canada Hockey teams.

I am NOT a fan of Gary Bettman or as I call him, Count Chocula.  I am a big believer in the 7Ps. You’ve been warned. 

1. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets went 1-1-1 last week and improved their overall record to 9-4-4 on the season.  The Jets play at home Monday night versus the Penguins then head back on the road for 3 games this week (Columbus, Minny, and Calgary) with a back to backs on Friday/Saturday.  

2. Jets:  The highlight of last week’s games was the Jets’ 5-2 win over the Edmonton McWhiners and that win helped them finish their 7-game homestand with an impressive 5-1-1 record.  Any day we beat the Oilers is a good day in my books. 

3. Jets:  Are you kidding me?  FYI, these rankings came out on Tuesday so whatever happened after Tuesday’s 5-2 win over Edmonton is irrelevant.  As far as I’m concerned ESPN’s rankings are a joke and they have no credibility.  


4.  Jets:  I’m getting a little concerned about the number of two on ones the Jets are giving up because of Josh Morrissey’s ill-advised pinches.  Being aggressive in the offensive zone is part of the game now and every defenceman is going to get burned every once in a while but it’s becoming a regular thing with Josh. 

5. Jets:  It doesn’t matter what line Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers plays on, they automatically become a threat.  Ehlers is a line driver and isn’t linemate dependant like a lot of wingers in the NHL.  He is an outstanding puck handler and one of the NHL’s leaders in zone entries every season.         

6. Jets:  Regulars that visit here know how much I hate the NHL’s officiating and on Friday night in Vancouver they didn’t disappoint.  Winnipeg Jets never had one powerplay opportunity in a game where the Jets forwards were interfered with countless times in front of Thatcher Demko.  This league is such a joke.

7. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets played 125 minutes of hockey in their home and home series with the Edmonton Oilers last week and only gave up THREE goals and only ONE at even strength.  Again, ONE at even strength.  Let that marinate for a bit.  The Jets came away with three points and probably should have taken four and looked very good doing so.  The scary thing is this team is not clicking on all cylinders and is still a work in progress.      

8. Jets:  If you want a good chuckle watch this. 

9. Jets:  Going into camp most Winnipeg Jets fans think this is the biggest talking point.  The concern seems to be waning in light of Eric Comrie’s play so far this season although I still need to see more and against some tougher competition BUT so far, so good.  We will probably run this poll for a couple more weeks before retiring it but the angst meter has started going a little more in Comrie’s favour.  His numbers are actually pretty good and he has played very well overall but I just don’t like small goalies.  He still scares me to death every start but that’s me.

Will Eric Comrie last the seaon as Jets back-up goalie?

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10. Jets:  I see the hate for Blake Wheeler has amped up again from the same vocal minority that has been on him for years.  Yes, the captain is off to a slow start but keep in mind he missed a handful of games due to Covid.  He probably isn’t a top-line right-winger anymore but he certainly isn’t ready for the rocking chair yet either.  One of his biggest strengths was running the #1 unit’s powerplay from the right half-wall but for some strange reason, Paul Maurice has him in the left goal-line bumper spot which is a complete waste of his passing ability.  I’ve also heard his detractors say he is too slow which is complete bullshit.  He is faster than Andrew Copp and nobody has ever accused Anze Kopitar of being slow although I’ve seen glaciers move faster.  The captain hasn’t been putting up points at his usual rate but it’s not from lack of chances.  I’m not ready to write him off yet.

11. Jets:  I really like the current configuration of the Jets’ third line right now.  Jansen Harkin, Adam Lowry, and Evgeny Svechnikov have a nice mix of skill and grind in their game and they spend a lot of time in the offensive end of the ice.  It seems like Lowry has to adapt to breaking in new linemates every season but he continues to be a beast and one of the Jets’ most reliable players.  We are lucky to have him.

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12. Ice:  The Winnipeg ICE won both of their road games last week and improved their overall record to 19-1-0 on the season.  Matt Savoie, Mike Milne, and Connor McClennon are one, two, three in the WHL’s scoring race.  The ICE are still the top-ranked team in the CHL.  It’s a great time to be a Winnipeg sports fan.   

CHL Top 10 for Week #7:

    • 1. Winnipeg ICE
    • 2. Everett Silvertips
    • 3. London Knights
    • 4. Kamloops Blazers
    • 5. Edmonton Oil Kings
    • 6. Sherbrooke Phoenix
    • 7. Charlottetown Islanders
    • 8. Ottawa 67’s
    • 9. Rimouski Oceanic
    • 10. Kingston Frontenacs

13. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose had a good week going 2-1-0-0 in their three-game series with the Milwaukee Admirals and now have an overall record of 9-6-1-0 and sit 5th in the Western Conference.  A fun fact about this team is that there are four defencemen in their top eight scorers.

14. Jets:  I hate the Winnipeg Jets penalty killing and I have for years. It is passive and basically relies on Connor Hellebuyck to stand on his head. This team’s PK has been hovering around the basement all season but yet the Jets AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose has the #1 PK in the AHL.  I don’t know who the Jets’ PK coach is but enough is enough.  It’s time for a different vision.

15. Jets:  My weekly question for Kevin Cheveldayoff and Paul Maurice.
Does Riley Nash or Dominic Toninato bring more to the table than David Gustafsson would?

16. Jets:  Attendance:  Winnipeg Jets attendance has never been an issue or a talking point but after a year with no fans, with people still a little hesitant on attending games because of covid, and maybe some fan backlash toward TNSE and Kevin Cheveldayoff, the attendance is down and I’m a little concerned.  I’ve gone through the pain of losing an NHL team and once in a lifetime is enough for me.  Yes, we have rich owners but the club still needs to be viable on its own merits.

Vs Edmonton Oilers – 13,473

17. Jets:  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly this past week.

  • Good:  The home-ice win versus the Oilers.  
  • Bad:  The penalty killing is a joke.  It’s like groundhog day.  Nuff said.            
  • Ugly:  The Jets’ powerplay was 4th at 28.10% two weeks ago.  It’s been awful lately and in my opinion, it cost them the Oilers game on Thursday night.        

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

  • PP:  12th at … 21.30% down from 8th at … 23.70 last week. 
  • PK:  31st at … 63.80% down from 30th … 65.80 last week.
  • FO:  21st at … 48.70% down from … 50.30 last week.

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  6-2-4 … 2.62 GAA … .918 SV% 
  • Eric Comrie:  3-2-0 … 2.19 GAA … .920 SV%

20. CFL:  The Winnipeg Blue Bombers finished their regular season with a 13-12 loss in Calgary on Saturday night and now it’s on to the Western Final at home in two weeks.  We are now waiting to see if we go into that game with a full complement of healthy players.   

*

PS:  Winnipeg Hockey Talk needs someone interested in writing about the Winnipeg Ice.  If you are interested contact me (Mitch) at [email protected]

In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

If you have any questions, please give me a shout. You can use the comment section or use the #ASKWHTPOD hashtag on Twitter.

If you like our new format, let us know in the comment section or hit me on Twitter at WpgSportsTalk or WpgHockTalk

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

[email protected]

We are looking for writers to cover the Winnipeg Jets, Manitoba Moose, The Winnipeg ICE, Manitoba Bisons, Winnipeg AAA, MJHL, MMJHL, KIJHL, and Winnipeg High School or any sports team in town.

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

Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Aug. 30

Mitch Kasprick is the “Motown Curmudgeon” aka “Motown Mitch”

Odds and Ends, Thoughts and Questions, from this past week in hockey –

Just so there’s no confusion when I’m spewing my bias, I am a fan of the Winnipeg Jets, Arizona Coyotes, Manitoba Moose, Winnipeg Ice, and all Team Canada Hockey teams.

I am NOT a fan of Gary Bettman or as I call him, Count Chocula.  I am a big believer in the 7Ps. You’ve been warned. 

1. Jets:  It was very quiet in Jetsville this week but Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers was been busy playing for Denmark in the final Olympic Hockey Qualifying Tournament.  Denmark went 3-0 in their group after defeated Norway 2-0  yesterday and have qualified for the 2022 Olympic Games.  Ehlers scored the clinching goal in the third period to cement the win.  Nik had 5 goals and four assists for nine points in the tournament. 

2. NHL:  It looks like the Carolina Hurricanes are trying to get a little revenge on the Montreal Canadiens by offer sheeting Jesperi Kotkaniemi.  This is definitely payback for the Sebastian Aho offer sheet from two summers ago.  I’m not sure the Habs match this offer and just take the 1st and 3rd round picks as compensation.  The offer sheet is 1 year for $6.100,000 The Habs have seven days to match the offer.  Stay tuned.

3. Team Canada:  I realize that it was just a preliminary round game and that these rosters are still in transition but I don’t ever remember the Canadian women dominating Team USA like they did this past week in their 5-1 victory.  The Americans looked slow and disorganized but I’m not buying it.  I’m really looking forward to seeing them play again when the real shooting starts this week.

UPDATE:

Team Canada and Team USA both won their semi-final games on Monday and will now face each other Tuesday night for the GOLD MEDAL.

4. Jets:  With the focus now off the Jets blueline I look at the forwards and see opportunities for Jansen Harkins, Kristian Vesalainen and David Gustafsson.  It is time for these kids to claim their spots in the lineup.  Tick-tock. 

5. NHL:  The NHL sent a memo updating vaccination requirements to its teams:

“Any person whose job, role, position or access entails or entitles them to have personal interactions (within 12 feet) with Club Hockey Operations personnel (including Players) are required to be Fully Vaccinated.”  

The first thought that came to mind was why is everybody involved with the teams required to be vaccinated with the exception of the players?  This makes ZERO sense to me.  Then this got me wondering if I would want to know which players on my team weren’t vaccinated and how I would feel about them if I knew? 

Would you want to know the vaccination status of your favourite teams players and would it change how you feel about them?

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6. Jets:  Manitoba Moose forward Marko Dano has also been busy this off-season trying to help Slovakia qualify for the Olympics.  Slovakia won their group and are now qualified for the 2022 Olympic Games.  Dano’s status for this upcoming season is unknown but I hope he is back with the Moose.    

7. Team Canada:  Marie-Philip Poulin was injured Tuesday while blocking a shot to her upper chest/neck area while killing a penalty versus Switzerland.  I would like somebody to explain to me what the hell Marie-Philip Poulin was doing on the ice killing a penalty in a 5-0 game in the third period?  

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8. Jets:  It’s about a month to training camp boys and girls and I wonder what the protocols will be to watch the Jets at the Bell MTS Iceplex?     

9. NHL:  If you think about the Kotkaniemi offer sheet, he really gave a big middle finger to the Habs organisation by signing a one-year deal.  They have seven days to match it or take the compensation of a 1st and 3rd pick.  I wouldn’t match it, he’s not worth $6,100,000 and to make matters worse whoever ends up getting him has to qualify him at this amount next off-season.  That’s insanity.  If I’m Marc Bergevin I wait right until the last minute before telling Jesperi to stick it. 

10. Jets:  Going into camp most Winnipeg Jets fans think this is the biggest talking point.

Will Eric Comrie last the seaon as Jets back-up goalie?

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11. NHLBack to the Kotkaniemi signing, the Hurricanes may have inadvertantly screwed themselves.  The Canes have to sign Martin Necas to a new deal next season and their camp must be licking their lips looking at the Kotkaniemi offer.  Maybe Marc Bergevin will keep it interesting and offer-sheet Necas this off-season.  Fun times.

12. Jets:  Upcoming events.

Sept. 26 – First pre-season game vs Ottawa.

Oct. 13 – First regular-season game at Anaheim.

Oct. 21 – Home opener vs Anaheim.

13. NHL:  The biggest buzzword I hear when talking about player salaries is “comparables” and in my opinion, a lot of the comparables player agents and media members use don’t always match up.  There are many things that factor into comparables like even strength points, PP points, match-ups, icetime etc etc plus you need to factor in market adjustments like cost of living and taxes.  Comparing salaries in different markets is tough.  I’m not sure who came up with full salary exposure but it has been the NHLPA’s best friend.      

14. IIHF:  Just an FYI here for those of you that didn’t know but Nik Ehlers dad, Heinz, is the head coach of Team Denmark.

15. CFL:  The Winnipeg Blue Bombers record improved to 3-1 after defeating Calgary 18-16 Sunday night at IG Field.  Andrew Harris scored the Bombers’ only touchdown and looked pretty good in his first game in what seems like an eternity.  The bad news is the secondary was exposed again and is definitely the weak link on this team.  Kicker Marc Liegghio had a strong game although he missed a convert and missed his attempt at the game winning field goal but caught a break when the Bombers were penalized for a time count violation.  After moving back 10 yards he split the uprights right down the middle from 45 yards.  Final thought, the Bombers 3-1 record might be fools gold and Richie Hall will need a better game plan on defence or Cody Fajardo will have a field day the next two weeks.  I have a feeling the LDC is going to be ugly.          

 

In memory of my friend Darryl Manchulenko.

If you have any questions, please give me a shout. You can use the comment section or use the #ASKWHTPOD hashtag on Twitter.

If you like our new format, let us know in the comment section or hit me on Twitter at WpgSportsTalk or WpgHockTalk

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

[email protected]

We are looking for writers to cover the Winnipeg Jets, Manitoba Moose, The Winnipeg ICE, Manitoba Bisons, Winnipeg AAA, MJHL, MMJHL, KIJHL, and Winnipeg High School or any sports team in town.

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

Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Aug. 17

Mitch Kasprick is the “Motown Curmudgeon” aka “Motown Mitch”

Odds and Ends, Thoughts and Questions, from this past week in hockey –

[Read more…]

Winnipeg Jets Shore Up Forward Depth With Cody Eakin

Winnipeg-born centre Cody Eakin acquired from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick —

GM Kevin Cheveldayoff and the Winnipeg Jets made their second trade of the week on Friday when they acquired Cody Eakin from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a 2021 conditional fourth-round pick.  The fourth-round pick will become a third-round pick in 2021 if the Jets make the playoffs this year or re-sign Cody Eakin to a new contract.  Eakin is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 as his four-year deal worth 3.85 million annually comes to an end. [Read more…]

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