The Winnipeg Jets are an even 1-1-1 early on in the preseason after their overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues on Friday night. Not that preseason wins and losses matter a great deal, but it would be preferred if we didn’t see the Jets lose games like they did on Friday the same way they did a handful of games last season: Late third period lead given up and ultimately a loss in overtime.
The Jets have four more preseason games left which will be done over the next seven days starting tonight at home to the Calgary Flames. Calgary is 2-1-1 in the preseason, having suffered a 6-2 loss to the Oilers in Edmonton on Friday.
Again, not that preseason results matter, but Flames fans would prefer if their team didn’t lose that badly to the Oilers.
At any rate, here are your lineups and lines for tonight’s game…
— Winnipeg Jets PR (@WpgJetsPR) September 21, 2019
Laurent Brossoit starts in goal vs #Flames
— Ken Wiebe (@WiebeAthletic) September 22, 2019
Expect Brossoit to go the distance tonight in net barring any injury. Mikhail Berdin is likely headed to Manitoba Moose camp after tonight and will get his season prep work in there.
As for Calgary, we at least know who is going to Winnipeg and who is staying behind…
— Calgary Flames PR (@NHLFlamesPR) September 22, 2019
And if you’re interested in seeing what the Flames have been up to during camp and how their roster is shaping up, Ryan Pike has a good breakdown of some of the training camp battles the Flames have had.
As for the Jets, three things worth watching for tonight:
1 – A disciplined mind and a perfect PK
Last season the Jets were 22nd in the NHL last season on the penalty kill (79.20%), had the ninth most power play opportunities against (250) and were fifth highest in the league with 9.3 penalty minutes per game. In three games this preseason the Jets are six for six on the penalty kill which is encouraging on two fronts. One of course being that the Jets haven’t given up a power play goal, but the other being that the Jets haven’t given up much in the way of penalties early on. These are two trends we’d love to see continue tonight and into the regular season.
2 – Reunited and it feels so right?
55 and 26 are back together again it would seem based on the morning rushes. The first game they played together – the win over Minnesota this past Wednesday – saw them on separate lines, so we’ll try not to read too much into this, but it will be hard not to. At the very least, Ehlers – who one could argue was in mid-season form on Friday night against the Blues – going with the Scheifele/Wheeler line should prove some interesting watching. Maybe Ehlers can pick up some tips on how to drive a line so that when the time comes, Ehlers can help drive a line with Patrik Laine on it.
3 – Top pairing Heinola
The player that’s grabbed most of the attention and turned the most heads on the ice would easily be defenseman Ville Heinola. He’s now in his third game of the preseason and his second being pair with Dmitri Kulikov. I don’t know if I would keep my hopes up that he makes the Jets coming out of training camp, but at the very least he’s established that he’s likely more NHL ready than anyone thought and has given Paul Maurice more than enough reason to keep him around beyond the first round of cuts (which will likely come after the game tonight)
I asked Paul Maurice, perhaps not finding the right word, if it would be "ridiculous" to see Ville Heinola sticking around late into camp.
In a word, no. Maurice said it wouldn't be ridiculous at all and implied he could be part of the last 8 or 9 D.
— Murat Ates (@WPGMurat) September 21, 2019
It feels more than likely that the Jets would rather look outside of the organization to bring in some defensive help with Dustin Byfuligen being absent, but Heinola has at least demonstrated that he wouldn’t be a bad “Plan B” if that’s what the Jets had to go with.