Jets Open Up with Natural Rivalry
The Winnipeg Jets are in full retool with their franchise and had the daunting task of opening up the season against arguably the greatest franchise ever put together, the Colorado Rockies. The teams are dividend greatly in talent as it appears more like the Jets top line would compete with the Rockies third line, however scouting sometimes gets thrown out the window when the puck drops.
In the opening game of the season, last years’ Vezina Trophy runner-up looked like he was starting off where he finished 1990. Allan Bester was nothing short of superb as he turned away 27 of 28 shots and it took a late second period power play for the Rockies to score the only goal against the new franchise goalie.
Speaking of third lines, it was the Jets third line that ran the table on the Rockies. Russian winger Alexei Tkachuk scored a pair of goals, both assisted by his line mates, Canadians Kris King and Marc Habscheid. The eventual game winner was scored by Kevin LaVallee who the team acquired last season and he went on to be the top sniper on the team. It is widely speculated that LaVallee will likely get moved at some point this season.
The game finished in a 3-1 win for Winnipeg, but things were not all bright in the game as Gary Leeman left the game with a bruised knee and will be out day-to-day. Leeman will be missed as he has averaged 33 goals and 67 points over the last two seasons. Early reports are indicating rookie Robert Lang will make his first ever career game as Leeman’s replacement. Lang was recently acquired in the blockbuster deal that sent Steve Thomas to Toronto