The start of a new season always brings promise to a team and today is no different. No longer in the cautious days of preseason, it is time for the Winnipeg Jets to show what they are really made of. We know they are not made of Ville Heinola or Dylan Samberg (one sent down to the AHL, one scratched), but they could be made of new coaching strategies.
We don’t actually know what Rick “Bones” Bowness will bring to the Jets day in, day out because it can change from team to team what a coach brings. Hopefully Bones will help the Jets forge a new, distinct identity that they have been lacking since Dustin Byfuglien shockingly retired. The Jets are still recovering from that it seems and this is just another step towards that.
The Jets are playing the New York Rangers, a team that surprisingly made the playoffs last year and look to build on that success by once again making the post season and not relying on their goalie, Igor Shesterkin, for everything this season. They will be led by new captain and former Winnipeg Jet Jacob Trouba. They will also be hoping for something more this year from former top draft picks Alex Lafrenière and Kaapo Kakko.
Shesterkin will be the Jets biggest hurdle if he plays tomorrow night, but it is also possible that the Rangers will play Jaroslav Halak on the second half of their season opening back to back games. They played the Minnesota Wild last night and were leading them at the time this preview was written. The Rangers will be tired coming into Winnipeg, but the game is early enough in the season that might not be an issue. Or it will be because conditioning is not quite there. Hard to tell.
Prediction: Rangers start Halak and he pitches a shut out because I cheered for him at one point.