Hey there, time traveller! This article was published 26/9/2013 (1458 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
They've got some work to do on the results but some nights more than others — and Thursday was one of those nights — it's easy to see why NHL pre-season games are both good and necessary.
The Winnipeg Jets gave up a 2-1 third-period lead and lost 3-2 in overtime to the Boston Bruins at the MTS Centre, but front and centre for the home team was another glimpse into the future.
Prominent in mostly good ways were Jets centre Mark Scheifele and defenceman Jacob Trouba, the rookies who symbolize real change and real hope.
Trouba was named a game star for his 23 minutes 28 seconds of play and Scheifele gave the Jets a third-period go-ahead goal, his first of the pre-season.
"I thought that the guys that had a lot to prove tonight really showed that they tried to impress," Jets coach Claude Noel said later, meaning the rookies plus a few other players in battles for roster spots.
On Scheifele and his bid to be the team's second- or third-line centre this season, you can tell the coach is growing a little warmer.
"A little trouble early in the game, I thought," Noel said. "But I thought he played a lot better as the game went on.
"The goal was a relief for Mark, a big play at a key time for us. And he was better on faceoffs in the second and third and that was an area of concern for us."
Still, the Jets lost again in the exhibition round, now 1-3-3 in their seven outings, with the final one coming tonight against the Bruins in Saskatoon.
A different mark
Scheifele has been less flashy in this training camp than when he piled up points as a fresh draftee two Septembers ago.
And that's a good thing, if you see what matters.
"It's not about the points," he said after the game and his first goal in five pre-season games. "It's about being reliable defensively, winning faceoffs. It's about the team play. It's not about individual stats or about any of that.
"It's about helping the team win and doing the simple things. That's been my focus. I haven't focused on the points at all. That comes from playing a hard, simple game. It's about doing the simple things and working my hardest."
Scheifele's faceoff tally improved as the night went on, from two wins out of seven in the first to a final of seven out of 13.
And the chemistry with Thursday linemates Devin Setoguchi and James Wright was developing.
"Whoever I'm out with, I try to talk and pick their brain and see what kind of tendencies they have," Scheifele said.
Setoguchi, who also had his first goal of the pre-season, said he sees some progress with Scheifele.
"It's tough to tell," Setoguchi began. "I think he's doing a great job. Obviously he's got poise with the puck and he makes the right plays and he scored a big goal tonight.
"Still, it amps up when you get to the regular season but obviously he's been playing good."
After Scheifele put away his power-play goal, a fine hustle off the right wing to retrieve and deposit a dumped-in rebound off the backboard, the Bruins were back even in two minutes.
Ryan Spooner's point shot found the back of the net when the Scheifele line got pinned and then Loui Eriksson buried the winner in the extra period, converting a two-on-one.
The result didn't sit well with some on the home side.
"It's nice to get a goal obviously, but the main thing is to get the win," Setoguchi said, frowning.
The team's fourth-line combination still isn't clear, but the likes of centre Patrice Cormier, wingers Anthony Peluso and Chris Thorburn in particular helped themselves with their efforts.
"We'll see where it all shakes out, but I think they helped themselves," Noel said.
@Tim Campbell: Now Winnipeg must defend Boston's power play. 11:12 left. 8:45 pm on Sep 26
@Tim Campbell: Ruled a deflection by Matt Fraser for the Boston goal. 2-2 with less than 13 minutes left. 8:42 pm on Sep 26
@WFPEdTait: Since this movie before: #NHLJets take lead, foot comes off the gas and the equalizer comes minutes later. Matt Fraser ties it at 2-2 8:42 pm on Sep 26
@Tim Campbell: Bruins tie it 2-2 with wrister from Loui Eriksson. 8:41 pm on Sep 26
@WFPEdTait: Mark Scheifele wins draw at one end, good finish at the other. 2-1 #NHLJets8:38 pm on Sep 26
@Tim Campbell: Mark Scheifele puts Jets ahead 2-1 with a power-play goal at 4:21. Slick hands. 8:37 pm on Sep 26
@WFPEdTait: Jacob Trouba leads all #NHLJets with 15:07 of ice time thru two periods. Mark Scheifele was 4 for 5 in the second in face-off dot. 8:25 pm on Sep 26
@WFPEdTait: One of the better periods for the #NHLJets through the preseason. Trouba continues to impress. 8:12 pm on Sep 26
@Tim Campbell: The Jets have caught up to the pace of the game. Now through 2 periods at MTS Centre, it's still 1-1. Winnipeg had two PPs in second period to Boston's one, now ahead on the shots chart, 22-17. 8:12 pm on Sep 26
@garylawless: the kids, Trouba and Scheifele, looking pretty good in #nhljets lineup tonight 8:10 pm on Sep 26
@Tim Campbell: Jets are more with the pace of the game so far in the second; still 1-1. 7:46 pm on Sep 26
@Tim Campbell: End of one at the MTS Centre, Jets 1 Bruins 1. Shots 14-9 Boston after Winnipeg's late surge. 7:16 pm on Sep 26
@Tim Campbell: Setoguchi deposits a bad clear and it's 1-1 at 17:02 7:10 pm on Sep 26
@Tim Campbell: Jets power play No. 2, Hamilton for cross-checking. Again, Trouba on the first D pair here. 7:08 pm on Sep 26