Jets Journal: Hit the Road
Half of the Jets head to Columbus for split squad game Tuesday
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2011
Time is winding down on training camp and it's time for the Jets' to strut their stuff in a game situation. Hockey is in the air in Winnipeg as the puck is set to drop on preseason Tuesday night.
20 of the 60 players currently on the Jets' roster have been selected to hit the road to Columbus where they will face-off against the Blue Jackets split squad on Tuesday night.
"I think there are mixed feelings," said Blake Wheeler who will play in Columbus. "It's nice to get a little warm-up, a little tune-up before getting in front of the crowd here.
"I think everyone in general is excited to get out there and play that first game and to put the jersey on for the first time. Would have been nice to kick off the first game here at the MTS but I guess October is when it really matters."
Evander Kane will join the group headed to Columbus today and is also looking forward to getting a game under his belt on the road before facing the hometown crowd.
"It's good to get your timing down and gain some confidence going into the regular season for sure," said Kane.
Although Kane has only been in Winnipeg a short time, he says he's enjoying the city and the fans so far and is looking forward to the exciting season to come.
"So far, so good," he said. "It's definitely a little different from Vancouver or Atlanta but the people here have been great and you can really appreciate the fan support in the city."
Head Coach Claude Noel informed media that Ondrej Pavelec will play the first two periods between the pipes for the Winnipeg squad before David Aebischer takes over for the third.
In Columbus, Chris Mason will play the first two periods before Peter Mannino.
Captain Andrew Ladd will be staying in Winnipeg for the exhibition home opener and told media that they are mostly concerned with finding chemistry and working on their new systems.
"Exhibition is all about getting the young guys in there and the older guys' feet wet and the rust out," explained Ladd. "For us, it's going to be working on systems and stuff we haven't really had a chance to do very much. More of the focus will be on that then the outcome really."
"It's going to be fun getting everyone in the building," Ladd spoke of playing at home. "We've had a couple scrimmages but it's a little different when you're playing against your own guys it'll be nice to get going with our team."
Author: Kristi Hennessy | winnipegjets.com