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Photo Credit: © Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Jets Fall to the Oilers In First Taste of Pre-season Action

It wasn’t pretty, but at least it was hockey. The Winnipeg Jets struggled to get anything going against the Oilers during the first pre-season game of the year. Although the Jets had a strong first period, the Oilers got much better as they game wore on as they managed to sneak a couple goals past Eric Comrie and cruise to a 2-0 victory.

The lineup for both teams was filled with bubble players and AHL talent, with the Jets icing only five or six of their roster players in this one.

To the surprise of no one, most of the game was fairly sloppy from both sides. There were plenty of missed passes and poor decisions from both teams as everyone slowly got their legs under them. Unfortunately, Winnipeg’s defensive coverage was also lacking in this game as both goals they gave up came from poor coverage in front of the net.

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Even though Winnipeg lost 2-0, there is much more to preseason than the final score. Read on to find some takeaways from game one of the pre-season.

Takeaways

Jack Roslovic looked really good in this game. He appeared to be one of the fastest players on the ice and his line enjoyed the best offensive shifts for the team. Roslovic has a really good opportunity to move up in the lineup if Connor or Laine are without a contract to start the season. He needs to seize this opportunity and this game was a solid start towards that goal.

Another positive player was Tucker Poolman. He looked really strong all game and made a really nice outlet pass to Appleton to set up a scoring chance in the second period. Poolman might be on the shortlist to start the year on the third pairing for the Jets.

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The rest of the defense was very hit and miss. Nathan Beaulieu had a strong game as he is also looking for his spot as a starting defensmen on the team. Beyond that, the defense was rough as Stanley, Schilling, and Bitetto all struggled at various points in this game. Neal Pionk had some good and bad in this one, but the biggest takeaway is how much he likes to shoot. Pionk doesn’t seem to be afraid of letting a shot go from the point. If he can get paired up with Morrissey, who’s an excellent passer, that could become and effective offensive strategy as the team could work it from one side to the other very quickly.

Special teams are always interesting in these types of games. It’s just five random people who are told to play on the powerplay together with no real sense of purpose or strategy. As expected, they generated a few chances but largely failed to keep extended pressure in the Oilers end.

Joona Luoto seemed to get into the action frequently as the game progressed. He had a few nice attempts off the rush and played a strong game overall.

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Lastly, it’s funny watching the pre-season games and getting acquainted with all the new player numbers. Somehow number 57 had lost a foot of height while number 48 didn’t run anyone over. It always takes a few moments to realize which player is which so early in these games. That’s part of the joy of pre-season hockey as fans around the league get acquainted with new numbers and new players. For me, it’s the symbol that the new season is finally upon us.