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The Monday Manitoba Moose Report

Catch up with all the latest Manitoba Moose news.

Kick start your week with the Monday Manitoba Moose Report, which fills you in on the latest news about the Jets AHL farm club.

Moose Running Wild

The Moose have won four straight games – their longest winning streak of the season. Their next longest streak was just two games – Dec. 16+17 vs. San Antonio. Furthermore, over this stretch, they’ve outscored their opponents 17-7!

Moose win

They are now unbeaten in regulation over their past six games, and have a record of 5-1-2 in their last 8. Their recent play is a far cry from where they were early on in the year – here are their results in 10-game chunks for the year-to-date.

10-game segments:

Games 1-10: 2-6-2 |  GF: 14  |  GA: 25

Games 11-20: 3-7-0  |  GF: 21  |  GA: 34

Games 21-30: 4-4-2  |  GF: 28  |  GA: 40

Games 31-40: 2-5-3  |  GF: 17  |  GA: 31

Games 41-50: 3-5-2  |  GF: 33  |  GA: 44

Games 51-52: 2-0-0  |  GF: 7  |  GA: 3

While their play early on looked bleak, one thing that must be noted is that the AHL has two incredibly dominant teams, and the Moose have played 12 of their 52 games against them! The Toronto Marlies score nearly 4 goals per game, and are one of the best teams in the history of the AHL, while the Ontario Reign won last year’s Calder Cup, and allow less than 2 goals per game. It should come as no surprise that the Moose’s record in those games is 1-8-3, while being outscored 51-17. The good news is that they have no more games left against those powerhouses, and if you were to remove those 12 games from their record, they are 15-19-6 on the season; not a strong season, but far more respectable. When you combine that with the momentum they’ve been building of late, it looks like the Moose might give fans a lot to cheer about down the stretch.

Leading Scorers – Point Splits:

In their first 20 games of the year, the Moose scored just 35 goals – less than two per game. They are now starting to buck that trend, with 40 goals in the last 12 games, and that offence is being seen most in the play of their youngest players.

Here are the splits for the top Moose players on Entry-Level contracts  – players who are both young, and who can be called up and sent back down without clearing waivers. With the notable exception of John Albert, these are the main players moving the offensive needle – they are the top-6 scorers on the team, and include the top-2 scoring d-men: 

Moose Scoring Splits

With the exception of Brendan Kichton, virtually every other Moose player had a very tough start to the year offensively. (Nic Petan played his first 14 games of the year with the Jets, so his AHL numbers don’t quite line up with the rest). There are encouraging signs throughout this list – particular J.C Lipon, who is now scoring .78 points per game, or 59 points, pro-rated to the full 76-game AHL schedule. Josh Morrissey has also completely turned things around offensively – after struggling to get on the board, with just 2 points in his first 22 games, he is now producing better than a half-point per game, which is quite a good rate for a rookie defenceman. Chase De Leo is also exceeding expectations in his rookie season, and Scott Kosmachuk and Austen Brassard have been quietly impressing, especially of late, and are improving their stock in the Jets’ organization.

When you watch the Moose play, these are also the players you notice the most:

– Petan’s playmaking is already elite at this level
– De Leo’s shot and hockey sense are well above average
– Lipon’s speed, shot and tenacity are the hallmarks of his game
– Josh Morrissey is a fluid skater and smooth puck distributor who is improving his shot from the point
– Scott Kosmachuk has the best wrist shot on the team, and is an underrated playmaker too
– Austen Brassard has underrated hands, and a very good wrist shot
– Brenden Kichton is their most offensive defenceman, but at 23 going on 24, his time as a prospect is quickly fading

When you add two fantastic goaltending prospects to this list – Connor Hellebuyck and Eric Comrie – the Moose have quite a few prospects of interest. Furthermore, many of the players coming from amateur hockey over the next year – which includes the likes of Brendan Lemieux, Tucker Poolman, C.J Franklin, and most notably, Kyle Connor, should he choose to sign – give the entire organization hope for a brighter future.