Friday, 11 September 2015

The Kids Take The Ice

Make no mistake in that I put little faith in rookie tournaments when it comes to determining who should make an NHL roster. While it is a place for rookies to be evaluated to see who should be brought to camp, any play or skills shown at the rookie camp should be taken with a grain of salt or two simply because these tournaments only serve to evaluate the kids on their summer work. That being said, the talent levels of some rise to the top in these games, and tonight's Jets-Flames game from Penticton, BC had a highlight-reel save in among the plays on the ice.

From Sportsnet, here are the highlights of the aforementioned game.
Jon Gillies' save on Andrew Copp was ridiculous, and it showed some good strength and flexibility to keep that puck from sliding across the line. Gillies is a long shot to make the Flames with their current three-headed goaltending problem, but he's making a strong case to carry the reins in Stockton, California this season with play like that. It also helps that he's 6'5" and is coming off a standout season with Providence College, but that save was pretty impressive.

Overall, there were some mistakes made by the Jets' rookies that hung both Hellebuyck and Comrie out to dry, but there were a few Jets who had good nights including Brendan Lemieux and Dylan Olsen. The line of De Leo-Copp-Kosmachuk generated a couple of chances, but they were few and far between. If these pieces on the ice tonight are the foundation of the Manitoba Moose, it could be a long season for Winnipeg's AHL franchise.

Hellebuyck surrendered all three goals while Comrie stopped all sixteen shots he faced as the two combined for 33 saves on the night. Comrie stopped a penalty shot and looked sharp. In Hellebuyck's defence, the Jets appeared to be in "summer mode", as stated by head coach Keith McCambridge, in the opening period, and it cost the Jets a few goals. The Jets will have to play a tighter game in their own zone and get a better start if they hope to down the Canucks' rookies on Sunday.

I will tell you this: it feels good to write about actual games again.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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