After a goal-starved pre-sesaon debut, the Winnipeg Jets (sort of) hopped on a plane and took on the Edmonton Oilers. Granted, this Oiler team was without their top scorer and super rookie Connor McDavid, but it was still close to an NHL roster (I know this is a stretch once again because... well.. Oilers).
More Ten Thoughts:
Special teams played a much bigger role in this game than they did in the Winnipeg Jets pre-season debut and they didn't treat the Jets' well. The Jets were victimized twice on the penalty kill and they gave up a shorty that iced the game.
The shorthanded marker was a bit of an odd one. While on the powerplay, Adam Pardy got caught flat-footed and he was forced to grab Matt Hendricks from behind. Hendricks scored. It was this shootout goal that was marked as a shorthanded marker.
It wasn't all bad from Adam Pardy. He showed us all anther slick Pardy dangle and it was marvelous.
Speaking of D men, Ben Chiarot saw his first taste of pre-season action and he scored the Jets' first goal of the year. Benny has a cannon and he used it well.
Adam Lowry also scored a goal. This was also Lowry's first game of the pre-season and he was without his two name brand wingers in Bryan Little and Andrew Ladd. Whether or not that line exists anywhere other than on paper is yet to be seen, but Lowry did get to spend some time with another potential linemate in Alexander Burmistrov.
Alex Burmistrov may be returning from a long absence, but he was clearly among the most veteran players on the ice. He was relied on heavily tonight and put in some solid work on the powerplay. It will be interesting to see where he slots in at the start of the year and if he can grow beyond that role.
Chase De Leo started on that line, but Thomas Raffl ended there. It will be interesting to see how far this Raffl experiment goes. It is unlikely he'd sign to play anywhere but the NHL. That could be as a 12th or 13th forward, but I don't really understand him as a regular when the Jets turned down players like Stempniak to make room for youth.
Meanwhile, assumed 4th line center, Andrew Copp had another steady game. He plays a simple, clean game and he even generated some chances in this one.
Joel Armia also impressed tonight. He also generated some offensive opportunities, but he stood out because of his quick puck movement in tight spaces and body positioning. Armia also plays a game that has a pro feel. This shouldn't come as a surprise as Armia has been paid to play the game since he was 17.
Scott Kosmachuk, Matt Halischuk and Matt Fraser also generated some chances tonight, but likely not enough to change any pre-formed opinions.
The goalies also played well tonight. Michael Hutchinson stopped a lot of pucks and Eric Comrie handled himself well outside of the penalty shot.
After the game, the teams practiced 3-on-3 and actually walked away without a goal by either squad. That Oilers team is going to be scary 3-on-3. Any combination of Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will be hard to handle. So much speed.
What did you thing of tonight's game?