It wasn’t the most enjoyable hockey we’ve seen ever. In fact, it was a snoozefest that rivaled the pace and intensity of an All-Star Game that sadly didn’t feature all-stars.
We should have expected it really if we had just done some simple math: First preseason game + Minnesota Wild clogging style of play = Zzzzzzzzzz.
But boy-oh-boy that 3 on 3 overtime sure made up for it didn’t it? Granted the Jets ended up losing in that OT on a goal from Matt Dumba, but being that it’s simply exhibition hockey we can overlook that little fact right?
The goaltending was good: Ondrej Pavelec carried the load for the first two periods while Connor Hellebuyck finished things up in the third period. Pavs had a pretty good night staying square to shooters and not flailing out of position as is his usual norm. Helle had a very quiet period of work – only 2 shots – but was considerably challenged far more by the fast paced 3 on 3 overtime session where he faced multiple odd man rushes against including a Wild 3 on 1 where he made an outstanding glove save. Sadly he gave up a short side over-the-shoulder wrister from Dumba from about 10 feet out the very next play.
Wait, who are you again? The “pleasant surprise of the night” award goes to Thomas Raffl who has come in on a PTO and looked pretty good dishing out a few hits in about 13 minutes of ice time. Nik Ehlers also looked good as he had his speed on full display at times and looked very much like he belonged on an NHL roster. Nic Petan didn’t generate any shots but it’s obvious he sees the ice well and made a couple of eye opening long distance passes to create scoring chances. Brendan Lemieux looked a little overmatched for the most part but still had hustle and didn’t seem to mind mucking it up in front of the net. Overall the kids were alright tonight for an opening night effort.
A “wild” overtime! Anyone lulled to sleep through the first three periods of ‘meh’ hockey were given a boost by the fast paced, wide open style of 3 on 3 overtime hockey which has been brought in by the NHL to help reduce the number of times a shootout is required. The opening 30 seconds of tonight’s overtime saw the Wild pick up a 2 on 1 break after Mark Scheifele stumbled in the offensive zone, only to be followed by a Jets 2 on 1 chance when the trailing Scheifele was able to join a breaking out Blake Wheeler. It’s funny that after all the odd man chances, the game winner came essentially off a broken face off play, but that too will be helped by the extra ice opened up by a lack of players.
CHARTS AND STUFF
Jets Individual 5v5 individual statistics:
Individual scoring chances (iSC), shot attempt differential (Corsi +/-), non-blocked shot attempt differential (Fen +/-), and offensive zone face off as percentage of all non-neutral zone face-offs:
Shot attempt chart for all minutes: