September 25, 2011
Not yet time to panic about Jets scoring woes
By TED WYMAN, QMI Agency
It's hard to get overly concerned about the lack of scoring from the Jets forwards in the exhibition games in Nashville and Carolina.
Only one Jets forward scored in the two games and that was Spencer Machacek in the first period Saturday in Music City.
Given the fact the Jets are still using split squads due to a crazy pre-season travel schedule, they are hardly icing NHL lineups, especially up front.
Of the forwards who dressed Sunday in a 4-0 loss to Carolina, only Nik Antropov, Alex Burmistrov, Kyle Wellwood and Tanner Glass are expected to make the team.
Meanwhile, the Hurricanes and Predators both had loads of NHL regulars in the lineup.
If the Jets continue to struggle offensively when they put a full lineup on the ice for exhibition games at home this week against Carolina (Wednesday) and Nashville (Friday) it will be a little more to worry about.
And the fact that they've given up 13 goals in three pre-season losses is not exactly good news.
Chris Mason seems like a great guy and is by all accounts a tremendous community-minded player who is just two seasons removed from starting 61 games for the St. Louis Blues. But Mason had a bad season last year in Atlanta and he's off to a rough start to the pre-season with the Jets. The 35-year-old, who is expected to back up Ondrej Pavelec this season, has allowed nine goals on 41 shots in two appearances. That's a save percentage of .777 and a goals against average of 5.75. Mason has been in Winnipeg since Aug. 21 and is more excited than anyone about being a Winnipeg Jet, but he's simply going to have to be better. Of course, David Aebischer didn't look great Sunday either, so Mason likely isn't in danger of losing his job…Someone else who didn't look great Sunday: Dustin Byfuglien and his -4…Winnipegger Kevin Clark and his former Moose teammate Jason Jaffray were two of the better Jets forwards Sunday…This just in: Cam Ward is good.
Heading into Sunday's games, the leading scorers in the NHL pre-season with five points were Penguins star Evgeni Malki, Jets Mark Scheifele and Paul Postma and Winnipegger Colin Wilson of the Predators …A player the Jets passed over to take Scheifele, Sean Couturier (taken eighth overall by the Flyers), is also off to a fine start, with four pre-season points…Weird coincidence: When the Jets played their final game in 1996, No. 14 was worn by forward Mike Stapleton. Currently wearing No. 14 for the Jets is forward Tim Stapleton… What is the NHL coming to when players are getting penalties for giving goalies a little snow shower?... How many times have you seen a goaltender take back-to-back penalties to give the opponent a two-man advantage, like David Aebischer did Sunday?... Three of the eight goals the Jets gave up in the two weekend games went off Winnipeg defencemen.