The Jets took to the ice Friday morning at the MTS Centre for another practice as the anticipation for Sunday's home opener continues. Today was slightly different as the team was split into blue and white jerseys and took part in a two period scrimmage followed by a shootout practice.
Coach Claude Noel was able to take a first glance at Brett MacLean who was claimed Thursday after the Phoenix Coyotes placed him on waivers. MacLean was thrown into a game situation and seemed to slide into the lineup quite nicely playing on a line with Alex Burmistrov and Nik Antropov
. He was able to display a little bit of his style by picking up a goal for his squad.
"Burmi and Antro are great players and they helped me out a lot," said MacLean. "It's kind of tough coming in with a little bit different system and having just got off a flight last night. I just tried to go out there, I knew I'd make a few mistakes, but just tried to be confident and play my game."
Jets' GM Kevin Cheveldayoff hopes that MacLean can be a great addition to the Jets' roster in the scoring department and will give him every chance to prove that he can do just that.
"They told me I'm going to get every opportunity to try to show that I can play here," MacLean reiterated. "I'm going to happy with whatever they give me.
"I've been a goal scorer my whole life so hopefully I can come in here and contribute that way. I think that I'm a pretty smart hockey player, strong on the boards and hopefully I can help out doing the little things and earn a spot on the team."
Goal scorer is a fair description. The native of London, ON, led the OHL in goals in his final year of junior in 2007-08 with 61 for the Oshawa Generals. MacLean finished the year second in the OHL in scoring with 119 points (61g, 58a) in 61 games.
Not only has MacLean been thrown in a game-like situation first thing Friday morning, but he has also walked into a rare and exciting situation with the home opener in Winnipeg.
"It's pretty crazy to come in here with the home opener on Sunday, I hear the city is pretty excited," said MacLean. "It's definitely a lot different than Phoenix. I'm just excited to be around and a part of it."
Phoenix is different, and also ironic, that MacLean's only NHL experience is with the Phoenix Coyotes, the former original Winnipeg Jets.
"It's kind of interesting, I get to be the one guy that gets to play for the old Winnipeg Jets franchise and now the new one so it's pretty cool."
MacLean stressed that confidence is the key to playing at the NHL level. If you have the right amount of confidence, you will go all the way.
"Some guys get the confidence right away and they show some great things and other guys it takes awhile but I think once you have the confidence that you can play with everybody, you play your game and stop worrying about making mistakes and everything falls into place for you."
Author: Kristi Hennessy- winnipegjets.com