Game 4(X) Recap - Good Thing It's Preseason, Right?
The Jackets lose an ugly game at home, thanks in part to undisciplined play. Good thing this one doesn't count.
The lineup going into the fourth preseason game was a bit sketchy - the project fourth line, the projected second line with Kerby Rychel taking Boone Jenner's spot, and some young guys. Curtis McElhinney and Anton Forsberg split time in net with each playing about half the game.
Just 1:03 into the game, David Clarkson took a kneeing major with a game misconduct tacked on. Clarkson is not making a good impression in preseason as he took an inexplicable holding penalty against St. Louis in which he grabbed an opponent's sleeve and pulled on it for several seconds.
The Wild capitalized three times on five power plays on the evening as the Jackets displayed some undisciplined play. A season after surrendering the second-most power play opportunities with just the 23rd best penalty kill (hint: for these stats and more keep your eyes out for the SB Nation NHL Season Preview), the team needs to clean up their play in the second half of the preseason.
Also a concern was that the Jackets won just 22 of 57 faceoffs. Dubinsky was 10 for 16 which tells you all you need to know about the other centers (Campbell and Tynan, among others).
The Wild converted on the initial power play (Clarkson's major) and never looked back. James Sheppard, in camp on a PTO, was able to convert late in the 1st period to make it 2-1. Dubinsky gave the team a glimmer of hope in the 3rd when he made it 4-2 but Minnesota's Jason Zucker deposited the empty net goal with a minute remaining to seal the 5-2 win.
It is hard to read too much into these preseason games, especially as the team is rolling out scrambled rosters to get looks at the young guys. Still, the undisciplined play seems to be carrying over from last season. Kerby Rychel was a bright spot as he generated six shots on net, most on the team.
The team returns to action on Saturday in Pittsburgh where Brandon Saad may be able to make his preseason debut.