Jets lose 2-1 to Oilers, roster trimmed again

- September 24th, 2013

First of all, my apologies for the late post. Not late at night (that’s normal), just the fact it’s essentially a day late.

With the regular season less than a week away, deadlines for preview stories took precedent over the blog but I didn’t want to ignore it entirely, now that I’ve filed those other pieces and filled the requirements for the newspaper and online edition on a day the Winnipeg Jets took a day of rest.

That day of rest came after the Jets fell 2-1 to the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place.

The game itself didn’t produce a ton of story-lines, so here are some bullet-points from the sixth of eight pre-season tilts the Jets will play.

* Rookie C Adam Lowry impressed in his pre-season debut. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, no player in the organization has come further than the 2011 third round pick over the past year and the scary thing is that he’s only going to get better. Lowry was physical, leading the Jets with seven hits, which is more impressive considering he missed most of training camp with an upper-body injury that came as a result of him crashing hard into the end boards during the first scrimmage. Lowry was thoughtful (as usual) in his post-game commentary and I’m on record saying that he’ll be making his actual NHL debut earlier than almost everyone in the organization anticipated. It would have been incredibly interesting to see how much closer Lowry would have been to pushing for a roster spot had he not been injured. Regardless, having a 6-foot-5 C that can skate is a huge asset for the Jets moving forward as they move to the Western Conference.

* Several players who had really strong showings in Saturday’s shootout loss to the Minnesota Wild came back to earth and were merely average (Patrice Cormier) or below (Eric O’Dell). Cormier got a reprieve, likely because of his ability to play C or LW, while O’Dell was among the five players re-assigned by the Jets on Tuesday. Others heading to the St. John’s IceCaps include RW Andrew Gordon (who requires waivers), LW Ivan Telegin and Lowry. D Josh Morrissey was sent back to the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League after showing well in his three pre-season outings.

* Speaking of rookies, D Jacob Trouba has settled in nicely, putting forth a third consecutive strong game after struggling on the Olympic ice in his pre-season debut in Belleville, Ont. The 2012 first rounder eclipsed 20 minutes again and while some mistakes are going to occur, I don’t see how Trouba isn’t in the lineup on Oct. 1 against the Oilers when the regular season begins. It’s not rushing a player when he shows you that he’s ready.

* The man who played with Trouba much of the night was Adam Pardy and the Newfoundlander had his best of three pre-season showings. Pardy made much smarter decisions, displaying the type of game he’ll be expected to produce when his number is called as the seventh or eighth D-man on the roster. I spoke with Pardy after Monday’s game and wrote about it in Wednesday’s paper and online at www.winnipegsun.com. Also spoke with Adam Lowry after the game for a sidebar. Rounding out Wednesday’s package is my look at five key battles that will take place as the Jets look to trim the final four players from their roster.

The Jets return to the ice on Wednesday for practice and are back in action on Thursday at MTS Centre against the Boston Bruins, who will also serve as the opponent for Friday’s game in Saskatoon.

I’ll be at both of the games, as well as heading to Banff, Alberta from there as the Jets announced they’ll spend a few days doing some team building and final preparations between Saturday and Monday.

Which of the remaining battles for roster spots are you keeping your eye on?

That’s it for now, I’m off on Wednesday. Will check back later in the week.

Categories: Hockey

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