CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- David Aebischer was able to rebound from a somewhat shaky start.
That was one of the few things the Winnipeg Jets will take out of Sunday's 4-0 blanking at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes before a crowd of 10,433 at the Time Warner Cable Arena.
Aebischer finished with 26 saves and his ability to remain composed in the blowout prevented this game from being ever more lopsided.
"It was a hard game to play for a goalie but I battled hard and if we keep it 0-0 a little longer, it could have changed the game," said Aebischer, who has two shutout periods over his two appearances to date.
Jets assistant coach Charlie Huddy thought Aebischer responded well to the early issues.
"He had a lot of good quality shots on him and he fought through it," said Huddy. "There are probably some goals he'd like to have back. But at the end of the day, he battled hard and we just didn't give enough fight in front of him to keep shots from the outside."
On this evening, the Jets also looked a bit sluggish and didn't do a lot of things well, either in the offensive or defensive zone.
The first goal against was a perfect example of how the game ended up going.
Jets defenceman Arturs Kulda pinched in at the left point, Zach Dalpe blew by him, skated in all alone and roofed his shot over the glove of Aebischer at 6:43 of the first period.
Just 69 seconds later, the Jets couldn't clear the puck out of the zone and Jay Harrison's shot from the left point snuck through traffic and may have bounced off a stick on the way.
The Jets simply couldn't find a response, which made for a long night on many fronts.
The Hurricanes probably had a few more guys who are going to be in the NHL this year -- among them Eric Staal, Jeff Skinner, Joni Pitkanen and Cam Ward, to name a few -- in their lineup than the Jets did, but that's no excuse.
"It's experience for a lot of these younger guys going into their first camps," said Jets forward Tanner Glass. "I remember in my first camps in Florida, it was fun to play against the big-name guys. As a young organization and one with a lot of good prospects, it's good for those guys to play against some of the best players in the game."
Sure, the Jets fell to 1-3 in the NHL pre-season but the important thing to remember is that the Jets have been doing a lot of evaluating to this point.
There's no need to panic and we'll get a much better indication of where this team stacks up next week when they trim down their numbers to a more manageable level and are playing with mostly NHL players.
"Right now, it's about fine-tuning your game, getting your timing down and getting your battle level up," said Glass. "You can't worry too much about the score."
That much is true, but it's almost time for evaluation time to give way to installing systems and trying to find chemistry with both linemates and defence partners.
"It's always good to have guys around and you meet new faces but anytime you can get down to trimmed down numbers, it's a little less chaotic," said Jets defenceman Zach Bogosian. "Nothing against how many people are here, but once you trim down those numbers you get into a routine and kind of go from there."