Okay, sorry, the recap will actually start now. I let my Brad Lambert Enthusiast card show a bit. As you can tell, Brad Lambert, future Winnipeg Jet hall of famer, had a monster showing against the Edmonton Oilers in a game of preseason hockey. Sure, he didn’t record a point on the night, thanks to the fun-haters at NHL video review. That said, Lambert was absolutely electric all evening and very nearly decided the game on a wonderous OT scoring attempt.
Now that the obvious Lamberghini praise is out of the way, the Jets acquitted themselves decently enough against the Bakersfield Condors. For most of the game, Winnipeg flat out dominated the baby Oilers. It wasn’t until penalty troubles reared their head in the third period that the Jets started to show some cracks. Even then, Winnipeg held through and forced an overtime period and shootout. Unfortunately, Winnipeg’s lack of finishing throughout the evening caught up and the Oilers managed to steal the victory. It’s a good thing points weren’t on the line. Despite the loss, the game was a joy to watch as the prospects were given centre-stage to shine.
One of the biggest questions we’ve had this off-season is which defender among Heinola, Stanley, and Samberg would earn the final spot? We all know Logan isn’t the guy, but Samberg seemed like the natural choice for a stable third-pairing option. Preseason hasn’t been particularly kind to Dylan, though, with some rough turnovers and passive play getting him into trouble. Heinola wasn’t faring much better either, but has that extra level of offensive creativity that’s nabbed him a goal and 2 assists thus far. Against the Oilers, Ville put on a power play clinic that might be enough to push him into the line-up. The 5v5 play was a bit more of a mixed bag, including a bad turnover that resulted in a goal against. I appreciated that Bones opted not to throw Heinola under the bus for it, instead focusing on the team mistakes leading up to the goal against.
As far as the rest of the team is concerned, I’m looking for the Jets to give Saku Mäenalanen a line-up spot. He’s been a force throughout the preseason, using his physicality and skill to open up space in the offensive zone. Saku’s also shown some quality defensive discipline, forcing turnovers and creating counters out of them. Perfetti had a solid outing, notching 2 goals despite some weaker 5v5 play. If you’re someone interested in the future Jets core, there were some wonderful highlights to pore through. Make sure you check out Lamberts 3-on-3 OT effort if you can.
P.S.: I was out of the town for the day and couldn’t catch the stream of the Ducky ceremony, but watched some videos from the replay. Awesome moment for the city, and a wonderful statue to celebrate Dale’s memory. Go Jets Go!