The season is here! or almost here…
Preseason is upon us. While winning or losing will have no impact on the standings, there will be an impact depending on which players are able to earn themselves positions on the main roster.
Calgary Flames come on over to Winnipeg to start up the hockey year.
Shawn Matthias – Adam Lowry – Michael Spacek
Quinton Howden – Andrew Copp – JC Lipon
Nic Petan – Jack Roslovic – Joel Armia
Chris Tanev – Jansen Harkins – Anthony Peluso
The Jets’ agenda with the first game of the preseason is quite clear. The team is predominately comprised of the front runners battling for bottom-six positions. Matthias, Lowry, Howden, Copp, Petan, Armia, and Peluso all spent significant time in the NHL last season, while Lipon and Tanev were given a taste of NHL action last year as call-ups.
These nine forwards, however, will be battling out in camp for five bottom-six places and one pressbox spot, with Alexander Burmistrov, Chris Thorburn, Kyle Connor, and Marko Dano also in competition for the very same places. There definitely has been an increase in internal competition this season.
Josh Morrissey – Paul Postma
Brian Strait – Brenden Kitchon
Julian Melchiori – Nelson Nogier
While the forwards have seen an increase with internal competition, the defense might be even easier for prospects to enter with Jacob Trouba’s current status being unknown and Strait being a significant downgrade on Adam Pardy… Of course, that is if the Jets’ had real prospects threatening for NHL spots aside from Josh Morrissey.
Morrissey starts on the top pair with the best potential partner of the bunch with Postma. The rest of the bunch are likely, and hopefully AHL fodder, and will likely struggle to move the puck, with the exception of Kitchon.
Comrie will get the start for the Jets, although there is no confirmation whether or not Michael Hutchinson will see game time. There is only four games in the preseason and we all know too well as Jets fans how significant a four game sample is in determining which two Jet goaltenders are the best suited for the roles on the main team… (the answer should be Connor Hellebuyck and Michael Hutchinson)
— Derek Wills (@Fan960Wills) September 27, 2016
The Flames counter the Jets youth and young lines with equally young lines of their own. There is no update yet, however, to Calgary’s defensive pairings or goaltenders.
Game Day Prediction: Expecting a high scoring game with the Jets coming out on top. Jets 4 : Flames 3
Obvious Prediction: The systems and structure will not be typical of a NHL calibre game.
Not So Obvious Prediction: Halfway through the game with the Jets behind by one, Jacob Trouba will come down from the rafters on a wire, with a new contract and turn the tide to the Jets favour.