Jujhar Khaira is back in the NHL, and Jesse Puljujarvi is in Bakersfield looking to play a lot, gain confidence, and get back to the show as soon as possible. What should we be looking for from the Finnish winger during his California trip? Here is a shift by shift play by play of tonight’s game by JP. (Photo by Mark Williams, all rights reserved).
- A minute into Friday night’s game against the Stockton Heat, Puljujarvi took a hit and an inner pane of glass inside the penalty box shattered. It was a strange moment in the game, as a major delay ensued despite the fact the ice surface was not in any way inhibited. Puljujarvi? He was fine, but the worry in sending a teenager to the AHL is an injury that impacts development time.
- In his second shift (after the delay), Puljujarvi had a major impact, owning the puck for long periods, and giving the Condors some nice looks during the shift.
- Third shift, Puljujarvi passed up a nice shot opportunity and passed to Laleggia for a chance. By this point in the period, the Laleggia—Currie—Puljujarvi line had generated four shots on goal.
- Fourth shift, lots of good early forechecking, and then a really strong chance by Laleggia and a blocker save. Puljujarvi, late in the shift, went walkabout and had a good chance on the Heat goalie. Two shots each by JP and Laleggia after four shifts.
- Fifth shift, Condors get hemmed in their own end, Puljujarvi among those unable to clear the zone cleanly (he had a brief chance to do it) and the play resulted in an icing. No harm, no foul.
- Sixth shift, stops before it starts. Too much men, Bakersfield, they are shorthanded for the second time in the game.
- First period over, no score. JP two shots, strong period by the rookie and his line. Condors the better team, save for the penalties. Nick Ellis a solid period in goal.
- First shift, Puljujarvi drives inside the Stockton blue line, curls, and sends a deft pass to Josh Currie who heads into deeper into the offense zone. Nothing shaking, and later in the shift linemate Joey Laleggia commits a terrible giveaway for a great chance on goalie Nick Ellis, but no goal against.
- Second shift, extremely brief, not a lot happening. Penalties have impacted the five on five flow of the lines.
- Third shift, JP turns the puck over at the Heat line and then can’t handle it at the other blue line, causing a small bit of bother. Not a noteworthy shift for the line.
- Fourth shift, Puljujarvi on the power play. Gets a good look and a good shot early in the man advantage, his third shot of the night. Another shot moments later found iron from the rookie. A third shot was a pad save by the goalie. Fine shift by the youngster. Officially four shots on the night.
- Fifth shift, a nice cross-ice pass in the offensive zone gave a good look to Josh Currie, and then JP won a battle behind the net for a small chance. Same shift, contested a shot by the Heat defender, shot got through to Ellis but with nothing on it. JP took a hit to get the puck to safety to end the shift.
- 2-2 after two, Lander has both goals, the rookie looks fine.
- First shift, began in Condors zone, breakout effective and Puljujarvi fired a shot toward the Heat net from just inside the blue line. Missed by some distance.
- Second shift, won a battle for the puck deep in the Stockton zone, got the puck to the defenseman for a shot. JP went offside after the ensuing faceoff. Puljujarvi had some puck time in the offensive end and at times looked promising, but it was all for naught.
- Third shift, flat out brilliant assist by the young man. Undressed Heat defender, drove to the net, sent a touch pass to Joey Laleggia who ripped it into the net. A beautiful play by Puljujarvi.
- Fourth shift, a loose one for sure, Oilers couldn’t get two passes to go together and Puljujarvi was thwarted on an individual effort at the Heat line.
- Fifth shift, Puljujarvi is feeling it now. Picked the puck out of a crowd behind the net (and to the left) carried it halfway to the blue and then sent a terrific pass across the ice for Laleggia who had a golden chance from a truly sensational pass.
That is the game. 5-2 Condors, Lander with the hat-trick, Puljujarvi four shots, +1, a nice assist and I would estimate 13-15 minutes (one minute on the PP). Fun game.