Jets ready to face ‘rock star’ ex-teammate
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/10/2014 (2909 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
GAME 1 of the season at the MTS Centre marks a quick return for centre Olli Jokinen, who played two seasons for the Jets but was not re-signed during the summer.
Jokinen hooked up quickly with the Nashville Predators, tonight’s visitors.
“It’s always weird playing old teammates,” Jets captain Andrew Ladd said. “Obviously he was great for us the last couple of years and brought a lot of leadership and good qualities to this room, so it’s tough to see him on the other side.”
Jets centre Jim Slater set the table for tonight with a couple of good-natured jabs.
“He’s got the long hair now,” Slater said with a grin. “Looks like a rock star. I don’t know what Nashville has done to him but he came in here and was very well liked in this locker-room. I got along with him very well.
“He’s still got a lot left in him.”
Jokinen, still wearing No. 12, has no points through the first three games but the Preds are unbeaten in regulation at 2-0-1.
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After Thursday’s practice at the MTS Centre, Jets coach Paul Maurice politely dismissed any talk of sophomore jinxes when it comes to Mark Scheifele or Jacob Trouba this season.
Maurice suggested anyone looking at it that way, should either second-year player not have great years, is not looking at it the right way.
“The sophomore jinx is not on the player, it’s on the expectations of what happens to a man over four or five months of a summer,” Maurice said. “They’re five months older, not five-year vets.
“My expectations are that I’m hoping for those guys to be a bit better than they were last year. That would be a good curve to be on.
“If Scheif scores 12, it won’t be a down year. It’s about development, getting them on the ice and playing them in harder roles probably at first, giving them tougher assignments. I didn’t look at those two guys on the board and expect them to go from five months older to being a lot better than the rest of the guys in the league.”
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The Jets made a move with the AHL affiliate on Thursday, reassigning goalie Jussi Olkinuora to the ECHL’s Ontario Reign.
Olkinuora did have one game with the St. John’s IceCaps so far, a defeat in Bridgeport last weekend.
The IceCaps now have two goalies on their roster, Connor Hellebuyck and Peter Budaj and will roll with that tandem for the time being.
Budaj had to leave early in a game in Providence last weekend, suffering a cut to his head that needed stitches, but he’s fine.