August 24, 2019

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Dump & Chase

Warm up with the Winnipeg Jets soundtrack

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/9/2018 (337 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

When our first installment of Dump & Chase dropped last week, the Winnipeg Jets were getting poked and prodded by team doctors as part of the NHL team’s annual physicals.

It’s hard to believe a week of training camp is already in the books, yet the battles continue to rage on for a couple of jobs with the Jets.

Winnipeg opened the preseason with a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Monday, and modified versions of the club were to play the Oilers in Edmonton on Thursday and the visiting Calgary Flames on Friday.

We here at D & C are also still in pre-season form ourselves.

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When our first installment of Dump & Chase dropped last week, the Winnipeg Jets were getting poked and prodded by team doctors as part of the NHL team’s annual physicals.

It’s hard to believe a week of training camp is already in the books, yet the battles continue to rage on for a couple of jobs with the Jets.

Winnipeg opened the preseason with a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Monday, and modified versions of the club were to play the Oilers in Edmonton on Thursday and the visiting Calgary Flames on Friday.

We here at D & C are also still in pre-season form ourselves.

Mike (aka Dump) was down at the courthouse poring over dockets Tuesday when he was reminded, over text, that he no longer handles the justice beat. Meanwhile, Jay (aka Chase) pretty much forgot to manufacture any copy for this week’s entry until just before midnight Wednesday.

Suffice it to say, play is still a little scrambly here. We have yet to find chemistry. We’re old school. We did not arrive in shape. We use training camp to GET into shape.

So, bear with us as we find our legs. It’s a long season and we promise to deliver a solid, 200-foot game by the start of the NHL’s regular season.

PRE-GAME WARMUP

You can't properly warm-up without some tunes, right?

A brand new hockey season means a brand new Jets pre-game playlist is ready to go.

Thanks to the always helpful Shazam app, here's what the local squad got their blood flowing to at Bell MTS Place earlier this week as they hit the ice just before their first pre-season game against the Minnesota Wild.

1) LONELY BOY by The Black Keys

2) HYPNOTIZE by The Notorious B.I.G.

3) HIGH HOPES by Panic! At the Disco

4) WHEN THE CURTAIN FALLS by Greta Van Fleet

5) NICE FOR WHAT by Drake

6) WHEN LEGENDS RISE by Godsmack

7) PARTY ON FIFTH AVE. by Mac Miller

Don't forget to stretch!

1ST PERIOD

Jets fans probably feel like Patrik Laine has the best shot in the NHL, and who can blame them given the 80 regular-season goals he's fired in his first two seasons.

But turns out the league has a bit of a different idea as they announced this week that Jägermeister had been given the honours.

No, not Jaromir. The German liqueur.

Naturally, the comedy started flowing pretty quickly.

Not much lands in all-star Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck’s net. That is, unless the he’s out somewhere on Michigan’s waterways catching his limit of fish.

The guy considers himself quite the angler.

Well, it seems Hellebuyck’s also angling for a little love from the big man, Dustin Byfuglien, because he instructed an artist to include an image of his teammate on his mask for the coming NHL season

"This summer I got a new boat -- Buff’s old boat -- so I did a lot more fishing than in past summers. Buff actually turned me onto ice fishing last year and I absolutely loved it," the Vezina Trophy finalist told reporters recently.

"My (mask) theme was a lot more fish on this one… and instead of just having a guy ice fishing, let’s have Buff ice fishing on there. It turned out great!"

A keeper, indeed, for the talented keeper.

*  *  *

You know that feeling when someone puts you on the spot with a question, and the answer is on the tip of your tongue, but you just can't spit it out?

Well, safe to say Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion experienced a bit of that Tuesday night during a nationally televised interview.

When asked to name one thing he was optimistic about with his beleaguered franchise that has become a bit of a laughing stock, Dorion didn't exactly help the cause when he paused for several seconds before muttering 'We're a team."

Of course, it took only a few minutes for this to become the subject of much mockery and ridicule on social media.

This one might just be our favourite.

2ND PERIOD

Congratulations to the Jets, who managed to temporarily overshadow the ongoing debate about Portage & Main this week by doing something that caused even more bitter division among the public.

Yes, they had the audacity to release a new third jersey without apparently consulting every single fashion critic in the city first.

Safe to say reaction was mixed, at best, to the new duds, which they'll sport 14 times on home ice this coming season.

There was plenty of snark and sass to be found on social media, while sales were brisk at Bell MTS Iceplex only hours after the jersey was unveiled.

Regardless of where you stand on this all-important issue, we think you'll agree that this particular take -- using a popular online meme and then localizing it -- was pretty damn funny.

When it comes to Hollywood actors, Tom Hanks is in a league of his own.

The guy’s a big star. So, it’s easy to see why Hanks made a splash on social media in these parts with his latest hat of choice – a Jets ball cap

Did he pick it up at a local Lids shop in L.A.? Order it off nhlshop.ca after watching the Jets’ sensational playoff drive this spring? A better guess?

How about a gift from a friend – Winnipeg product Nia Vardalos, creator and star of the My Big Fat Greek Wedding movies, which were produced by Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson?  

However he acquired it, one thing’s for sure. With a legitimate Stanley Cup shot for the Jets this season, that cap’s no cast-away.

3RD PERIOD

Mathieu Perreault has a lot on his plate these days, as the Jets forward works with a pair of young Jets prospects in Jack Roslovic and Kristian Vesalainen on an intriguing new line with plenty of potential.

He's also busy on the homefront as a father of three, including twins celebrating their first birthdays next week. Perreault shared some of his insights this week with Jay, who wrote all about it in Wednesday's paper.

Mike spoke earlier this month with Perreault about another topic -- golf. Word around the Jets locker room is that Perreault is a master on the course and actually fired a two-under 70 this summer at his home course in Quebec.

Perreault confirmed that, then didn't hold back when Mike asked him to weigh in on teammate Mark Scheifele's appearance last month in The Players Cup. Scheifele, you'll recall, was given a sponsor's exemption into the Mackenzie Tour - PGA Tour Canada event and fired entirely respectable rounds of 87-86.

"Not very good," he replied with a smirk. "That's a tough course. Must have been fun for him."

Captain Blake Wheeler was originally supposed to tee it up in the event but had to withdraw due to family commitments, which opened the door for Scheifele to take his spot.

Maybe that honour should have gone to Perreault?

"We're pretty close. Every other day, probably one of us would beat each other," Perreault said of him and Wheeler. "Tyler (Myers) is pretty good, too."

Perhaps the Jets ought to set up their own qualifying event with the winner getting the pass into next year's tournament at Southwood. 

If you had taken a poll of who would be the first opponent to score a goal at Bell MTS Place this season, how many of you would have picked Matt Hendricks?

Well, that's exactly what happened Monday night as the veteran centre scored on his former team, beating Jets goalie Laurent Brossoit on a rebound. The current Minnesota Wild skater was given a warm round of applause for his efforts.

Turns out Hendricks may have bet on himself if given the chance. Because in speaking with Brossoit after the game, he shared a funny story of an exchange they had before the goal.

Hendricks, while a member of the Jets last year, had rung one off the crossbar in an exhibition game against the Oilers, where Brossoit played last year.

And he was sure to remind Brossoit about it early in Monday's game.

"He was giving me a little bit of shit about that and unfortunately he had to get one after he said that. It must have been in my head," Brossoit said with a laugh.

Turns out there was plenty of other on-ice chirping happening as well.

OVERTIME

We're barely a week into training camp and there are already a pair of early contenders for both goal and save of the year. And the fact they happened a few minutes apart -- and in the same go no less -- is pretty extraordinary.

First, the save. Or, as it may come to be known...THE save. Because good luck to all the masked men out there in topping the grand larceny Edmonton's Cam Talbot pulled off Tuesday night in Vancouver.

As amazing as that stop was, Talbot had no answer for the absolute sorcery on display by Vancouver forward Sven Baertschi. We're still not sure how he did this, but it was incredible to watch.

And here we thought there was nothing worth watching in pre-season games.

Quote of the week definitely goes to Brendan Lemieux, who can be forgiven for not heeding his own advice.

The feisty Jets hopeful got into a rather animated punch-up with Minnesota Wild defenceman Nick Seeler during Monday’s exhibition clash at Bell MTS Place.

Cameras actually caught the 22-year-old smiling broadly as his fists were flying.

Lemieux, the 22-year-old son of former NHLer Claude Lemieux, a four-time Stanley Cup champion who registered 379 goals, 407 assists and 1,777 penalty minutes, had this memorable take with reporters after his terrific effort that included a bull-in-a-China-shop-type of assist on Marko Dano’s goal to go with the scrap with Seeler.

"I told myself I wouldn’t get into anything during the pre-season. And it took me two periods," explained Lemieux.

Let’s just say Lemieux’s staying true to himself, trying to win a job with the Jets the best way he knows how – playing on the edge. The past two seasons, he led the Manitoba Moose in penalty minutes, with 170 minutes a year ago and 130 in 2016-17, his first pro campaign.

He also scored his first NHL goal during a nine-game stint with the Jets, while producing 19 goals and 43 points in 51 games with the Moose. Lemeiux’s a unique player within the organization and will get a serious look by Winnipeg’s decision-makers.

SHOOTOUT

The Dallas Stars have long had one of the most creative and innovative staffs when it comes to public relations game-day operations.

But they absolutely outdid themselves this past week in how they announced Tyler Seguin's extension. There was plenty of angst among Stars fans this summer over what was taking so long to get their superstar signed on the dotted line.

Well, after watching this production it's safe to say the hold-up was likely caused by the work that went into what may go down as the greatest contract announcement of all time.

When Jay was just 13, he and his kid brother took a bus down to the old barn on Maroons Road to take in a Jets 1.0 practice on a Saturday afternoon sometime in early 1980.

Head coach Tom McVie had just run the squad through its paces and players were starting to vacate the ice, so the boys raced down to the bench for a closer look.

As Scott Campbell glided to the gate, Jay and 10-year-old Justin asked the lanky defenceman if he’d surrender his stick. 

Campbell shook his head, noting McVie absolutely forbid players from giving out their twigs, unless, of course, they’d been damaged in battle.

Then, after a nervous glance over his shoulder, Campbell raised his skate, jammed it down like a hammer on the blade of the old, wooden Canadien and handed it over.

Nearly 39 years later, the stick with the deep gash is going back to its rightful owner.

P.S. – Justin left the rink that day with the goal stick of Pierre Hamel. Pierre, if you or someone you know is reading this, get a hold of me and you can have that big piece of lumber back, too.

***

Got a suggestion for a future edition of Dump & Chase? Let us know about it. 

mike.mcintyre@freepress.mb.ca and jason.bell@freepress.mb.ca.

And: follow "Dump" and "Chase" — a.k.a. Mike and Jason — on Twitter.

Mike is @mikemcintyrewpg, while Jason can be found @WFPJasonBell.

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