PGT: 20/09/11 Split Squad with Columbus Blue Jackets
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09-21-2011, 10:04 AM
Join Date: Aug 2011
As someone else pointed out, the first star of the game was the crowd. I got chills listening to the fans when the Jets came out for the pre-game skate. It was surreal.
If that's the noise level for a split-squad pre-season game, what's it going to be like on October 9th? What's it going to be like if the Jets actually host a playoff game?
Although it was only a pre-season game against a weak opponent's B team, there were several players who stood out.
Bogosian - what a skater! There's a potential 40+ points on the season. He needs to make some better decisions without the puck, but overall was a B+ last night.
Festerling - Who knew? He's a possible keepr for sure. May earn the 7th position if his play continues at this level.
Byfuglien - I can't add anything; he is a presence, and it's noticible as soon as he hits the ice for his shift. And now he's the crowd favourite. A++
Postma - he looked lost in his own zone at times, and clearly needs to learn better defensive positioning, but he looked like an NHLer on the PP, and seems to know exactly what shot to select from the point.
Stuart, Kulda - Not a lot of mistakes, but nothing outstanding either; Stuart could stay up based on last night, and Kulda will be a number 1 or 2 pairing in St. John's for sure.
Overall defence? B+, and it could've been more, but for some scrambley play in their own end in the 2nd and 3rd periods.
Scheifele - I didn't realise just how good his hands are, and I was thrilled to see the effort in his own zone, as well as his willingness to lay out a hit. He made a few questionable passes, and lett a few get away from him, but overall he's a stud. Send him back after his nine games, and next season watch him take the team on his back some nights.
Burmistrov - Wow. Good with and without the puck, and I had no idea how strong he is. Showed some deft moves with the puck, and his anticipation os the puck was excellent. On at least two rushes he made the Blue Jacket D look like pylons, and made a couple of face-off wins look like he was alone in the circle. A+
Maxwell - Holy Cow! If he continues to play like that, he is going to make the big club, guaranteed. Willing to mix it up, solid in his own zone, made some great decisions with and without the puck, and is far quicker than I realized. He's a digger, and demonstrated "pesty" attributes. A+
Gregoire - needs some seasoning in the A this year, but looks like he'll make the big club in the near future. Solid in both ends and the neutral zone, made mostly good decisions, and is actually a faster skater than he first looks. Didn't look out of place.
Ladd - didn't get as many touches on the puck as I would have hoped, but he doesn't make mistakes, and is clearly the leader of the team. Good skater, and decent hands, too.
Pesonen, Wiebe and Clark - all small, none stood out (other than Clark's goal with the tap out of mid-air, Sick!), solid AHL players, one or two may eventually earn bottom six spots.
Telegin, Antropov and Cormier - not going to make the big club playing like they did last night. Antropov, though, much like in Toronto, is a slow starter, and seemed to improve as the game went on. I get frustrated with him, though. He's a big heavy guy, with a long reach, and shouldn't be so easy to knock off the puck. Telegin had a few good moments, but looked lazy and at times confused. Cormier was just a dissapointment overall - I was expecting a whole lot more from this guy.
Bodie - AHL enforcer at best.
Overall forwards? Let's give them a solid B. Could be more, but a lot of missed passes, and some uneven neutral zone play brings the mark down.
Pavelec - calm, cool and collected, but he should be, with the Jets clearing the zone and keeping the lanes clear in front. He is only going to get better. Solid game, and he will earn the bulk of the work. A+
Aebischer - Good back-up, and didn't look too bad for a goalie who hasn't played NHL level hockey for 4 years. Worth keeping around for a while, at least, if for no other reason than to fight with Mason for a spot. B+ for a solid effort.
Goaltending? They earned an A.
Some thoughts on the game:
The Jets looked like the Moose from last year - aggressive PK, hard on the puck in the neutral zone, a constant motion PP (I hate static PP's, blechh), forwards coming back to help out the D, defensemen pinching and carrying the puck deep into the offensive zone, overall a treat to watch.
And I have to adnit that when the game was over and the Jets saluted the crowd that I cried a little.
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