Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Mar. 29

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 had a good week going 3-1-0 and are in contention for 1st place in the North Division.  I’m not sure many Jets fans thought it was possible during the preseason with some of their roster concerns here they are.  They now have an overall record of 21-12-2.

2. Jets:  Basically one day after I declare to the world that I think Andrew Copp is where offence goes to die he scores FOUR goals.  Excuse me while I go remove my foot from my mouth.  All kidding aside, it was nice he scored 4 goals and super cool he won a Jets fan $100,000 but my opinion is still the same, Andrew Copp is a very good third liner and penalty killer, I don’t see him as an offensive player or a top 6 forward on a playoff team.    

3. JetsI think I might be like a lot of Jets fans and I’ve started taking Connor Hellebuyck for granted.  It sure is nice having a goaltender that is basically at the top of his game every night.        

4. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose finally hit the ice again after a 12 day layoff and continue their 17-game homestand.  They went 1-2-0 versus the division leading Laval Rocket this past week.  The highlight was a late comeback on Thursday where Skyler McKenzie scored with 32 seconds left to bring them within 1 goal and then David Gustafsson with a buzzer beater with 1 second left in regulation.  The Moose then grabbed the extra point in the shootout.  They lost  tough one on Friday, 1-0 and then let one get away on Sunday afternoon.  The Moose had a 3-1 lead halfway through the 3rd period and ending up losing 5-3 (EN).   

In an interview with the guys from Illegal Curve on Saturday morning, Moose coach Pascal Vincent said that David Gustafsson is NHL ready.  This is not a surprise to anybody that watches the Manitoba Moose regularly.  The nice thing is Gus is a center that is also comfortable on the wing.      

5. Jets:  Poll Question:  Who is your biggest surprise on the Winnipeg Jets roster so far this season?

Who has been the biggest surprise this season? Good or Bad.

View Results

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6. Jets:  In an interview this past week Patrik Laine stated he was blindsided by his trade to Columbus.  Laine is either lying through his teeth or he got unbelievably horrible advice from his agent Mike Liut.  Is it possible Mike Liut was playing a dangerous game of chicken with Kevin Cheveldayoff and Patrik Laine was the collateral damage? 


 7. Jets:  I’m standing by my position that acquiring Mattias Ekholm is just a pipedream.  Winnipeg Jets fans get whipped into a frenzy of hope and anticipation by “the Insiders” just to be disappointed.  Although I hope I’m wrong, I think the asking price will be way to high and Chevy isn’t about to sell the farm on acquiring Ekholm.  I believe there are other options out there that are probably cheaper and make more sense. 

In case you’re wondering, I’m trying reverse psychology … shhhhhh. 

By the way, Nashville is currently in a playoff spot, are they sellers? 

8. NHL:  Good news for Canadian NHL teams, the Federal Government has modified their quarantine policy.  Now players acquired by a Canadian based team from a US based team will only have to quarantine for seven days and not previously required 14 days.

9. Jets:  I’d love to see Jansen Harkins get into the Jets lineup but I guess with the team winning and healthy, Paul Maurice will keep the status quo.  I hope this applies when Nathan Beaulieu is ready to return.    

10. Jets:  Logan Stanley had an eventful week.  The big defenceman got into his first NHL fight during the Vancouver series and on Saturday night in Calgary he scored his first goal, a beauty snap-shot to tie the game in the second period.  Stanley has really opened some eyes with his play and he could be the biggest surprise on the Jets roster to date.

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11. Jets:  So far, so good, for the month of March.  At the start of the month I thought if the Jets could play at least  .500 hockey they would still be in contention for 1st or 2nd place in the division.  As of Monday morning they sit at 8-6-1 for the month with 2 games left.  Their best stretch was 2 wins and an OT loss in Toronto that helped them reel in the Maple Leafs at the top of the division.  The last 21 games should be very interesting. 

UPDATE:

After a 5-1 win in Calgary Monday night the Winnipeg Jets finished their 7-game road trip with a 4 wins and 3 loses and improved their record in March to 9-6-1 with one more game remaining.

12. NHL:  Key dates.

  • Mar. 12 – Players on one-year deals can sign extensions (usually Jan. 1)
  • Apr. 12 – Trade Deadline
  • May 8 – End of the regular season
  • May 11 – Playoffs begin
  • July 15 – The latest the Stanley Cup can be awarded
  • July 17 – Expansion draft protection lists tentatively due
  • July 21 – Expansion draft
  • July 23-24 – 2021 NHL Entry Draft
  • July 28 – Free agency opens

13. Jets: Poll Question:   TRADE DEADLINE POLL 

Factoring in the cost of acquisition, player’s contract, contract status (term), the actual chance of acquiring said player, and his impact on the roster, who should the Winnipeg Jets pursue?

Who would be your top trade deadline acquisition for the Winnipeg Jets?

View Results

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14. Jets:  If the Winnipeg Jets wait right until the April 12 NHL Trade Deadline any players coming from US based teams will still get 10 regular season games with the Jets after honouring their 7-day quarantine period.  (see#8)

15. Jets:  Schedule

16. Jets:  Laurent Brossoit possibly played his worst game in a Winnipeg Jets uniforn on Saturday night in Calgary.  I know it’s a team game and his teammates would never throw him under the bus but I can.  LB lost that game for his team.  He didn’t have chance on the 2nd goal but the 3rd and 4th goals would have been stopped by a pee-wee goalie.  Hell the 4th goal wasn’t even a shot on net. 

Helle has spoiled us but to be fair LB has been pretty darn good all season as well.  (see #3) 

17. Jets:  Special Teams: Rule of thumb. Have the two red numbers (PK and PP) total at least 100% when added (as your minimum).  I also base the movement (up or down) on the % and not the NHL ranking.

These are the Winnipeg Jets rankings within the seven team Canadian Division.  Since all games played during the regular season are divisional the rest of the league’s numbers don’t really matter.

  • PP: 2nd at 26.70% up from 25.80% last week.
  • PK: 1st at 78.60 up from 78.60% last week. 
  • FO: 4th at 48 .60 up from 48.40% last week.

18. Jets:  Tucker Poolman finally got off the schneid Friday night in Calgary with a nice primary assist on Kyle Connors semi-breakaway goal.  Like I said last week, his skillset is too good to be pointless.      

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  16-9-2 … 2.63 GAA … .917 SV% 
  • Laurent Brossoit:  5-3-0 … 2.63 GAA … .914 SV%

20. Jets:  There are parts of me that don’t want to like our 4th line because I want to see Jansen Harkins and Kristian Vesalainen playing but for me Nate Thompson, Trevor Lewis, and Mathieu Perreault have been much better than I expected and have earned their ice-time.    

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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:

winnipeghockeytalk@gmail.com

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

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Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Mar. 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. 

 

If you’re a fan of Andrew Copp you might want to ignore #2, #10 & #11.  

1. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets did not have a very good week going 1-3-0, although for the most part I thought they played fairly well.  They had a shot at winning both games in Edmonton but they haven’t figured out how to stop Connor McDavid.  They now have an overall record of 18-11-2 and sit in 3rd place in the North Division.

2. Jets:  I’m not sure what exactly triggered this and it has been slowly building but lately Andrew Copp is really been irritating me.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always liked his play with Adam Lowry and whoever is on the right-winger with that line but I’ve NEVER bought into the narrative that he could be a top-six forward and especially not on this Jets team.  I don’t like him or his stone hands on the second powerplay unit either.  I like him on the 3rd line and on the penalty kill and that’s it. 

3. JetsProspects are currency and the Jets have plenty of prospect currency to trade if need be.  This is part of “draft and develop.  Every prospect is not going to play with the big club, there just isn’t enough room on the roster and if you have prospects ready to play but nowhere to play them means your scouting department is doing a good job.  The trick and balancing act is trading them while their value is still considered high (not like Jack Roslovic) and not letting them over-ripen on the farm.  Outside of Ville Heinola, Dylan Samberg, and Cole Perfetti, I say the Winnipeg Jets should be open for business.  

4. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose get back into game action on Thursday after a 12 day layoff.  I’m looking forward to watching Cole Perfetti play.  Perfetti is the Jets prospect that has really caught my eye early on and I want to see him play more before the OHL restarts and he heads back to junior.

5. Jets:  The Jets can part ways with Charlie Huddy anytime now and I would be more than okay with it. 

6. Jets:  The Jets have played 11 of their 17 March games with 12 being on the road and I mentioned at the start of the month that they needed to be .500 or better to stay in the hunt and as of this morning they are 5-5-1.  They really need to get a couple wins or more this week to stay on pace.  The good guys play 5 games in 8 nights and 6 games in 10 nights to end the month and I think they need to get some fresh legs into the lineup.  Jansen Harkins and/or Kristian Vesalainen will hopefully get into some games and maybe even Ville Heinola although I won’t hold my breath on Heinola.

7. Jets: Does it bother anybody else that the Winnipeg Jets’ best offensive defenceman (Neal Pionk) doesn’t run the top powerplay?  I don’t want to hear any BS about a left versus right shot thing being the argument either.  Nobody is buying that line of crap.  For crying out loud Paul Maurice will you please put your best players where they belong and stop overthinking everything.     

8. Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets will never have success against the Edmonton Oilers until the figure out they need to pay special attention to Connor McDavid.  It is impossible to completely neutralize McDavid but you need to be harder on him.  The Jets coaches still think we can trade chances with the Oilers because our top six is better than the Oilers but as good as our top six forwards are we don’t have Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl I’m sick of losing to TWO guys.  Figure it out Maurice.      

9. Jets:  As Pierre-Luc Dubois gets more comfortable you can see the chemistry developing with Kyle Connor and Nik Ehlers and it is only a matter of time before they are the #1 line.

10. Jets:  I believe it is time to give the more offensive Mason Appleton a little taste on the 2nd unit PP instead of stone-hands Andrew Copp.  Unlike Copp, I believe Appleton might actually have a chance at being a top-six winger down the road.  No rush, just a thought.  Appleton’s improved played was unexpected for me but a very nice surprise.        

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11. Jets:  I’m not even sure if there is a stat that tracks a team’s icings but I would bet the Winnipeg Jets lead the league and I’ll even take it one step further and say that we lead the league in the most brain-dead icings with Andrew Copp being the leader.       

12. NHL:  Key dates.

  • Mar. 12 – Players on one-year deals can sign extensions (usually Jan. 1)
  • Apr. 12 – Trade Deadline
  • May 8 – End of the regular season
  • May 11 – Playoffs begin
  • July 15 – The latest the Stanley Cup can be awarded
  • July 17 – Expansion draft protection lists tentatively due
  • July 21 – Expansion draft
  • July 23-24 – 2021 NHL Entry Draft
  • July 28 – Free agency opens

13. Jets: Poll Question:   TRADE DEADLINE POLL 

Factoring in the cost of acquisition, player’s contract, contract status (term), the actual chance of acquiring said player, and his impact on the roster, who should the Winnipeg Jets pursue?

Who would be your top trade deadline acquisition for the Winnipeg Jets?

View Results

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14. Jets:  I wonder what Buff is doing?  Now that would be a trade deadline acquisition.  Dustin Byfuglien brought more than a big body and tremendous skill, he gave this team a swagger that they’ve lost in his absence.  The Jets played 3 inches taller with Buff on this team, nobody was going to take advantage of them on his watch.  I’m talking to you Zach Kassian. 

HEY!  IT IS MY ARTICLE AND I CAN DREAM IF I WANT.

15. Jets:  Schedule

16. Jets:  I find it hard to believe that a player with a skillset like Tucker Poolman has ZERO points after 17 games.   

17. Jets:  Special Teams: Rule of thumb. Have the two red numbers (PK and PP) total at least 100% when added (as your minimum).  I also base the movement (up or down) on the % and not the NHL ranking.

These are the Winnipeg Jets rankings within the seven team Canadian Division.  Since all games played during the regular season are divisional the rest of the league’s numbers don’t really matter.

  • PP: 3rd at 25.80% up from 25.00% last week.
  • PK: 3rd at 78.70 up from 77.60% last week. 
  • FO: 4th at 48 .40 up from 48.20% last week.

18. Jets:  Just a thought here but if Chevy can make a trade for Travis Hamonic while the Jets are in Vancouver this week they should be able to bring him home within the constraints of their team bubble avoiding a 14-day quarantine much like Toronto did with Alex Galchenyuk from Ottawa.  Keep in mind that was based on Ontario’s protocols.   

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  13-9-2 … 2.83 GAA … .911 SV% 
  • Laurent Brossoit:  5-2-0 … 2.43 GAA … .920 SV%

20. Jets:  I can’t see Logan Stanley coming out of the lineup when Nate Beaulieu is healthy.  Stanley is young and improving and already does everything better than Nate.   

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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:

winnipeghockeytalk@gmail.com

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

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Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Mar. 15

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 had a pretty good week in the standings.  They went into Toronto and took FIVE points in their three-game series versus the first-place Maple Leafs.  The first two games weren’t pretty and they won thanks to Connor Hellebuyck but the Jets bounced back in the third game (Laurent Brossoit started) and proved they can win a game not having to rely on Helle.  The Jets finished their 5-game road trip with a 3-1-1 and now have an overall record of 17-8-2 and have closed to within four points of the first-place Leafs with three games in hand.

2. Jets:  I really hate to see any player get injured but Nathan Beaulieu’s wrist injury may be the break (no pun intended) that Sami Niku and/or Logan Stanley needed.  Nate could be out for 2-3 weeks.  There is a narrative in Winnipeg that a lot of the better lineup decisions made are because of injuries and not correct player evaluation and in some causes I can’t disagree.      

3. JetsJets are rumored to be looking for a right shot defenceman but they could have had hometown boy Travis Hamonic who was a UFA and ended up signing with Vancouver for $1,000,000 but Chevy chose to sign Nathan Beaulieu and Luca Sbisa on the opening day of free agency.  What was Chevy thinking? 

4. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose finished their four-game series with Stockton last week with a win after two OT and one regulation time loss.  Their overall record now sits at 7-7-2-0 overall for the season.  A quirk in the schedule now has them off for twelve days in the middle of their 17-game homestand.  I guess this will give Pascal Vincent some much needed practice time during a very hectic few weeks to open the season.  

5. Jets:  Cole Perfetti is off to a nice start in his professional career in the AHL with 3 goals and 5 assists for 8 points in 16 games.  Perfetti certainly doesn’t look out of place and he is getting more comfortable each game.  I think the Jets have themselves a good one and I can see him being a contributor to the team in 2-3 years and maybe less.  

6. NHL:  The NHL is really starting to irritate me with their constant tweaking of the draft lottery every freaking year.  Just go back to the way it used to be and if teams want to tank, let them tank.  What is worse, a really bad team tanking or a team like the already advantaged NYR moving up in the draft lottery two years in a row including winning the #1 selection.  Tank on boys.     

7. Jets:  You’ve been Hellebuycked might become a new adjective in Toronto after this past week.  Helle had the Maple Leaf forwards shaking their heads on the bench and especially William Nylander who was robbed more than a few times.   

8. Jets:  I bet most Jets fans would prefer to see Logan Stanley in the lineup over a player like Nathan Beaulieu and who would have believed that a year ago?  Stanley has been a pleasant surprise and still hasn’t reached his ceiling yet.  It will interesting to see how this plays out in the weeks to come.  (see #2)  

9. Jets:  The David Savard watch has begun.   


10. Jets:  Is Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers the most underrated forward in the NHL?  The goals he scored versus Toronto last week were pure snipes.     

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11. Jets:  With the Manitoba Moose not playing for almost two weeks I wonder if the Jets might think about getting Ville Heinola into their lineup?  Heinola has 4 goals and 6 helpers for 10 points in 16 games with the Moose and looks very comfortable at the AHL level.  Unless they want to use his ELC slide he should be next one up and if he does get called up there is no way he’s going back. (see #4)

FYI:   What is an Entry Level Slide? (from CapFriendly)
If a player who is signed to an entry-level contract and is 18 or 19 years of age (as of September 15 of the signing year), does not play in a minimum of 10 NHL games (including both regular season and playoffs; AHL games do not count), their contract is considered to ‘slide’, or extend, by one year.  For this shortened season it has been pro-rated to 7 NHL games.  Example, if a player signed an ELC for three seasons from 2015-16 to 2017-2018, and their contract slides, their contract is now effective from 2016-17 to 2018-19.  An exception to this rule is that if the player is 19 on September 15 of the first year of their contract, and turns 20 between September 16 and December 31, their contract does not slide.

Players who sign at 18 years old are eligible to have their contracted extended for 2 seasons.  This extension does not apply if the player turns 20 between September 16 and December 31 in his signing year.  Signing bonuses do not slide, and are paid to the player regardless of a slide, this causes the annual average of the players contract to change, and therefore the cap hit decreases for this player.

12. NHL:  Key dates.

  • Mar. 12 – Players on one-year deals can sign extensions (usually Jan. 1)
  • Apr. 12 – Trade Deadline
  • May 8 – End of the regular season
  • May 11 – Playoffs begin
  • July 15 – The latest the Stanley Cup can be awarded
  • July 17 – Expansion draft protection lists tentatively due
  • July 21 – Expansion draft
  • July 23-24 – 2021 NHL Entry Draft
  • July 28 – Free agency opens

13. Jets: Poll Question:  Factoring in the cost of acquisition, player’s contract, contract status (term), the actual chance of acquiring said player, and his impact on the roster, who should the Winnipeg Jets pursue?

Who would be your top trade deadline acquisition for the Winnipeg Jets?

View Results

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14. NHL:  I don’t know what the big deal is about some NHL teams south of the border allowing a limited number of fans into games, hell Florida and Arizona have been doing it for years.    

15. Jets:  Schedule

16. Jets:  How come when Connor Hellebuyck steals a game we feel the need to be apologetic and not deserving of the win.  Last time I checked the goalie is part of the 6 players on the ice and I’m okay if Helle is one of my best players on a given night, although I wouldn’t want this to become a habit.  Goaltenders stealing games is nothing new and it’s not like the Winnipeg Jets have never been out-goalie’d.  Quid pro quo.     

17. Jets:  Special Teams: Rule of thumb. Have the two red numbers (PK and PP) total at least 100% when added (as your minimum).  I also base the movement (up or down) on the % and not the NHL ranking.

These are the Winnipeg Jets rankings within the seven team Canadian Division.  Since all games played during the regular season are divisional the rest of the league’s numbers don’t really matter.

  • PP: 3rd at 25.00% up from 23.60% last week.
  • PK: 3rd at 77.60 up from 77.10% last week. 
  • FO: 6th at 48 .20 down from 48.80% last week … in Saturday night’s win over Toronto Mark Scheifele was decent winning 10 of 18.

18. Jets:  Sami Niku seems to be the forgotten man and an afterthought now that Ville Heinola is around.  I think Sami Niku has looked very good in his limited playing time this season.  I love his offensive game and I’m really pulling for him.  To be honest I don’t know where he fits in but he is to good not to be getting some playing time.  

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  12-7-2 … 2.81 GAA … .911 SV% 
  • Laurent Brossoit:  5-1-0 … 2.48 GAA … .921 SV%

20. NWHL:  Am I a bad person because I have no interest in watching women’s hockey unless I see the National Team jerseys on display?  I don’t want to watch a game where Marie-Philip Poulin and Kendall Coyne Schofield are on the same team.  For me, the allure has always been the Canada/USA rivalry with an Olympic Gold Medal or a World Championship on the line.  I love our Canadian women’s program and I watch every game on tv just like millions of others but I question if there is enough support to sustain a professional league for the women.  It is all about supply and demand but it looks like there is more supply and not as much demand. 

*

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:

winnipeghockeytalk@gmail.com

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: Mar. 8

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 split two home games with Vancouver and two road games in Montreal this past week but the 7-1 ass-kicking they got in the second game versus the Habs on Saturday night was the game that got everybody’s attention.  After a an even first period it was astounding how fast that game went off the rails.  Hopefully that was a one off because it doesn’t get any easier this week with a 3-game series in Toronto.  The Jets now have an overall record of 15-8-1.

2. Jets:  Nathan Beaulieu is really starting to wear on the Jets fanbase and the more Winnipeg fans bitch and complain about him, the more Paul Maurice digs his heals in.  I don’t get it and it really bothers me that Logan Stanley and Sami Niku aren’t playing anywhere.  I’ll keep saying this until I’m blue in the face that young players need to play.  It looks like neither will play unless there is an injury but we will see tomorrow night in Toronto.  Miracles do happen. 

3. JetsIt looks like Andrew Copp and Adam Lowry have come back down to earth.  When was that last time either of them have tickled the twine?  It has been over TEN games for both of them.  In the last ten games Mason Appleton has carried that line with four goals.  If we have any hope of success in the upcoming three-game series in Toronto, the Copp/Lowry/Appleton line needs to chip in.  Giddy-up boys    

4. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose finished their eight-game road trip with a 4-4 record and now they sit at 6-6-0-0 overall for the season.  The Moose are now at home for 17 straight games.  It’s time to make hay.   

5. Jets:  There is a lot of talk on Twitter that the Winnipeg Jets should pursue Mattias Ekholm before the NHL trade deadline.  I don’t disagree with the sentiment, I just think it’s a pipe dream.  Ekholm has good size, better than average offensive instincts, and he can play top-pairing minutes.  He has a very team-friendly $3,750,000 per year contract that runs through the 2021-22 season AND doesn’t include a no-trade clause.  What’s not to like?  The problem is he will be one of the hottest commodities in recent trade deadlines and he won’t come cheap.  I’m not getting my hopes up that we have a shot at him and I would be satisfied with a player like David Savard, Brandon Montour, or Colin Miller.  Although I don’t think the Jets have a hope in hell of acquiring Ekholm it doesn’t mean I’m not hoping they do.  I would love to eat my words here.  (see #13)

6. NHL:  Patrik Laine has gone pointless in his last six games.  Do you think he misses the Jets first unit powerplay and those sweet cross-ice saucer passes from the captain?  His supporting cast is just not the same in Columbus and I’d be shocked if he signs there long-term unless they get him some help.  BTW, after an unconscious start in Columbus, Jack Roslovic has cooled down with only five points in his last ten games.   

7. Jets:  Pierre-Luc Dubois is now centering #81 and #27 and this line has potential to be elite.  They are not exactly off to a great start so I hope Paul Maurice leaves them together and lets them gel.  They could be scary good.     

8. Jets:  I am now officially moving Tucker Poolman to my underrated list.  I think he has played very well since returning to the lineup and I for one haven’t really given him enough props.   

9. Jets:  On Thursday night Derek Forbort set a single-game franchise record with 11 blocked shots in the win against Montreal.  The oddity about this is I thought it was one of his poorest games all season.  I guess we can give him a pass because he has been pretty good all year and we ended up winning the game.    

10. Jets:  Connor Hellebuyck has had some shitty luck with a rash of chimpy deflections beating him the last little while.  Just a thought, maybe our defenceman should stop screening him AND do a better job of moving guys in front of the net or tying-up their sticks a little better. 

Embed from Getty Images

 

11. Jets:  Every time I feel like venting after a Jets loss, I just gather myself, look to the heavens, and thank the Lord I’m not a Buffalo Sabres fan.  What an absolute shit-show. 

12. NHL:  Key dates.

  • Mar. 12 – Players on one-year deals can sign extensions (usually Jan. 1)
  • Apr. 12 – Trade Deadline
  • May 8 – End of the regular season
  • May 11 – Playoffs begin
  • July 15 – The latest the Stanley Cup can be awarded
  • July 17 – Expansion draft protection lists tentatively due
  • July 21 – Expansion draft
  • July 23-24 – 2021 NHL Entry Draft
  • July 28 – Free agency opens

13. Jets: Poll Question:  Factoring in the cost of acquisition, player’s contract, contract status (term), the actual chance of acquiring said player, and his impact on the roster, who should the Winnipeg Jets pursue?

Who would be your top trade deadline acquisition for the Winnipeg Jets?

View Results

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14. Jets:  Paul Stastny is like a fine wine, he just gets better with age.  He is a joy to watch and I will be shocked if the Jets don’t try and resign him for a couple of more seasons as a place-holder for Cole Perfetti.    

15. Jets:  Schedule

16. Jets:  Would it be fair to say that Connor Hellebuyck has been pretty good this season but nowhere close to his Vezina form from last year?   

17. Special Teams: Rule of thumb. Have the two red numbers (PK and PP) total at least 100% when added (as your minimum).  I also base the movement (up or down) on the % and not the NHL ranking.

These are the Winnipeg Jets rankings within the seven team Canadian Division.  Since all games played during the regular season are divisional the rest of the league’s numbers don’t really matter.

  • PP: 3rd at 23.60% up from 23.40% last week.
  • PK: 4th at 77.10 down from 80.00% last week. 
  • FO: 6th at 48 .80 down from 49.50% last week … BRUTAL, the only center winning his share is Paul Stastny.

18. Jets:  I wonder if Paul Maurice would still find room for Nathan Beaulieu in the lineup if the Jets did indeed acquire Mattias Ekholm?  I feel a little bad piling on poor Nate because I actually don’t mind him.  It’s not his fault PoMo misuses a depth defenceman and gives him top pairing minutes.  

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  11-7-1 … 2.73 GAA … .911 SV% 
  • Laurent Brossoit:  4-1-0 … 2.57 GAA … .923 SV%

20. NHL:  RIP Walter Gretzky 

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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:

winnipeghockeytalk@gmail.com

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

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Random Thoughts On The Winnipeg Jets: Mar. 1

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 had a quiet week with only two games, both versus the Montreal Canadiens and they managed to come away with four points.  They were full value in their win on Thursday night but stole the second game in overtime on Saturday after being outplayed for most of the night. The Jets now have a modest 4-game winning streak and an overall record of 13-6-1.

2. Jets:  March is going to be a beast of a month for the Winnipeg Jets with 17 games and only 5 at home.  If the boys can manage a minimum of 17-20 points they should be in decent shape heading into the home stretch with 12 home games in their final 20. 

3. JetsFor the second overtime game in a row the Jets started the three on three  with 3 forwards and scored within the first minute (36 seconds).  I wonder if Paul Maurice will make this a regular occurrence? 

4. Moose:  The Manitoba Moose finished their second week of play with a four-game road trip in Laval and they went 2-2-0 but the disappointing part was they won the first two games and couldn’t scratch out another point in the final two games.  Their record currently sits at 4-4-0 overall.  The Moose continue their road trip with two games in Toronto and two more games in Belleville before heading home for 17 in a row at home.  That’s right, I said 17!   

5. Jets:  In a game where the Jets were outshot 41-21, Nathan Beaulieu logged a game high 24:o1 on Saturday night.  Nuff said.  The Jets won 2-1 in OT, so I guess Nate lives to fight another day.  I’m not a Beaulieu hater.  I think he is useful as a depth defenceman, maybe a number 7 or 8 but not a top pairing guy that plays the most minutes in any game.  That is insanity.  What is Paul Maurice thinking or is this on Charlie Huddy?

6. Jets:  Mathieu Perreault has been quietly been playing some pretty good hockey of late and I’m not sure anybody has noticed.  MP just quietly goes about his business and plays wherever needed and doesn’t complain.  He is true pro. 

7. Jets:  Pierre-Luc Dubois now has five games under his belt so I think it is time for Paul Maurice to fully optimize his lineup and get PLD back to playing center.  Scheif, Dubois, Stastny, and Lowry make a formidable center ice combination.  Time for Nate Thompson and Trevor Lewis to join the popcorn brigade and get Kristian Vesalainen and Jansen Harkins back into the lineup as well.  Thompson and Lewis are okay as depth forwards and will still be needed with back to back games upcoming and injuries but shouldn’t be playing over the kids in my opinion.  

8. Jets:  Is #27 the Winnipeg Jets best player outside of Connor Hellebuyck?   

9. Jets:  Kyle Connor is absolutely scintillating in the offensive zone but absolutely cringe-worthy in the defensive zone.  I don’t know how many times he gives away the puck or can’t get it out but he is definitely the worst of the Jets forwards.         

10. Jets:  Kyle Connor and Nikolaj “don’t call me Nik” Ehlers have sure found some nice chemistry together and Paul Stastny compliments them quite nicely as well.  I’m not sure I would mess with this line when the re-shuffle starts.  

See the source image

11. Jets:  I’ve watched 5 out of the 8 Manitoba Moose games his season and I’m not sure what the Jets are waiting for because Ville Heinola is NHL ready and Dylan Samberg isn’t far behind.  I’ve always been impressed with Heinola but I really like Samberg.    

12. NHL:  Key dates.

  • Mar. 12 – Players on one-year deals can sign extensions (usually Jan. 1)
  • Apr. 12 – Trade Deadline
  • May 8 – End of the regular season
  • May 11 – Playoffs begin
  • July 15 – The latest the Stanley Cup can be awarded
  • July 17 – Expansion draft protection lists tentatively due
  • July 21 – Expansion draft
  • July 23-24 – 2021 NHL Entry Draft
  • July 28 – Free agency opens

13. Jets: Poll Question:

Who is the Winnipeg Jets best forward?

View Results

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14. Jets:  I thought Sami Niku played very well in his two games against the Habs last week.  His puck moving ability and his breakouts were very good and I hope he gets into more games in the future.    

15. Jets:  Schedule

16. Jets:  There are rumours the Winnipeg Jets are in the market for a right-shot defenceman and Brandon Montour’s name keeps popping up.  There was a time where Montour was considered a sure-fire top-four defenceman.  I would take a long, hard look at acquiring him if I were Chevy.   

FYI:  Brandon Montour makes $3,850,000 this season and next season he becomes a UFA.  

17. Special Teams: Rule of thumb. Have the two red numbers (PK and PP) total at least 100% when added (as your minimum).  I also base the movement (up or down) on the % and not the NHL ranking.

These are the Winnipeg Jets rankings within the seven team Canadian Division.  Since all games played during the regular season are divisional the rest of the league’s numbers don’t really matter.

  • PP: 3rd at 23.40% up from 22.80% last week.
  • PK: 2nd at 80.00 down from 80.40% last week. 
  • FO: 5th at 49 .50 up from 48.70% last week … Jets faceoffs are still weak in special team situations.

18. Jets:  Why isn’t Dylan DeMelo playing with Josh Morrissey?

19. Goaltending:

  • Conner Hellebuyck:  10-5-1 … 2.56 GAA … .918 SV% 
  • Laurent Brossoit:  3-1-0 … 2.24 GAA … .935 SV%

20. Jets:  Paul Maurice is constantly bombarded on Twitter for a myriad of reasons and sometimes deservedly so and I occasionally wonder myself if the Jets win because of him or in spite of him?  (see #5)  Discuss amongst yourselves.     

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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:

winnipeghockeytalk@gmail.com

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

*

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