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Preview: Jets @ Oilers

Monday, 30.09.2013 / 11:59 PM / News Articles
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Preview: Jets @ Oilers
The Jets start the regular season in Edmonton with a 9 p.m. CST match-up against the Oilers.

JETS (0-0-0) at OILERS (0-0-0)

TV: CBC

Season series: The Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers didn't meet during the 2012-13 season because the Jets were still part of the Eastern Conference and there was no cross-conference play in the abbreviated 48-game campaign. Their last matchup dates all the way back to Feb. 27, 2012, when a four-goal third period rallied the Oilers to a 5-3 win at MTS Centre. Taylor Hall had the game-winner.

Big story: The Jets were reborn in Winnipeg two seasons ago, and now they're officially back where they belong in the Western Conference, part of the new Central Division. The Oilers, meanwhile, have shifted over to the Pacific and hope the time is now for an impressive collection of young talent to take the next step toward a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs under first-year coach Dallas Eakins.

Team Scope:

Jets: Like its opponent to open the season, Winnipeg is looking to end a postseason drought. The Jets have missed the playoffs each of their first two seasons since relocating from Atlanta, and the franchise as a whole has made it there just once in 13 seasons.

The preseason returns weren't very promising, as the team won once in eight games. However, a couple important pieces in the team's future acquitted themselves well. Rookies Mark Scheifele, a forward who has 11 games of NHL experience over the past two seasons, and Jacob Trouba, a defenseman and the No. 9 pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, are expected to play key roles going forward.

"I have to say that I have liked both," coach Claude Noel told the Winnipeg Free Press. "They bring some good things to our group and they certainly look like they can play here."

Oilers: Although banged up in some areas, Edmonton made it through the preseason winning five of seven games before getting blanked 4-0 by the Dallas Stars in Friday's finale.

Among the key offseason acquisitions for the Oilers were forward David Perron, who came over from the St. Louis Blues in a trade for Magnus Paajarvi, and defenseman Andrew Ference, signed as a free agent. Ference, a 13-year veteran who won the Stanley Cup in 2011 with the Boston Bruins, was named the team's new captain on Saturday.

"Andrew is everything you look for in a captain," Eakins said. "You start rattling off words like, compete, honest, commitment, a guy that can communicate. Everything you talk about a leader, that's what this young man is. The biggest thing for me, is his ability to unite this organization. He's the most important person in this organization."

Injury report: Winnipeg defenseman Dustin Byfuglien left Friday's final preseason game against the Boston Bruins with an apparent leg injury, but is probable. Defenseman Zach Bogosian (undisclosed) is practicing and expected to be in the lineup. … Edmonton forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (shoulder) is still recovering from offseason surgery and likely out until November. Forwards Sam Gagner (jaw) and Steve McIntyre (knee) and defenseman Corey Potter (back) are on injured reserve. Perron (illness) and defenseman Denis Grebeshkov (groin) are day-to-day.

SCHEDULE

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PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NSH 62 41 14 7 188 147 89
2 ANA 62 38 17 7 182 174 83
3 STL 61 39 18 4 190 152 82
4 CHI 62 37 20 5 183 146 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 61 32 22 7 173 160 71
8 LAK 60 29 19 12 162 153 70
9 CGY 61 33 24 4 174 158 70
10 SJS 62 30 24 8 173 177 68
11 DAL 61 27 25 9 191 202 63
12 COL 61 26 24 11 161 175 63
13 ARI 62 20 35 7 137 210 47
14 EDM 62 18 34 10 142 206 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
B. Little 63 24 26 9 50
A. Ladd 63 20 30 12 50
B. Wheeler 61 16 28 12 44
D. Byfuglien 63 15 26 6 41
M. Perreault 56 18 18 3 36
M. Scheifele 63 10 25 4 35
M. Frolik 63 13 19 3 32
D. Stafford 57 10 17 -18 27
J. Tlusty 53 13 10 -17 23
E. Kane 37 10 12 -1 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Hutchinson 18 7 5 .920 2.29
O. Pavelec 13 13 7 .909 2.60
 
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