The preseason kicked off on the right foot for the Flames, with a commanding 10-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in their first preseason tilt on Sunday night.
Helping to lead the charge offensively for Calgary in that game was the line of Ben Jones, Matt Coronato and Dryden Hunt, who were driving forces on offence all night.
Jones scored his first goal of the preseason during the third period of Sunday’s contest and, for the 24-year-old from Waterloo, Ont., it felt good to get back on the ice and test himself in game situations.
“It’s nice to get your feet wet, and get into the fire a little bit,” said Jones. “Obviously last night, with the result that we had, we’re happy about it, but you can’t really expect to win 10-0 every night.”
Jones came into training camp hungry, motivated, and ready to take further steps in his game, with hopes of impressing the new Flames coaching staff and management.
“Obviously, if you’re not coming into camp thinking that there’s a (roster) spot that you’re going to take, then I think you’re not in the right mindset,” explained Jones. “That’s where my mind is at; I’m coming in trying to get my foot in the door. Trying to make them make a hard decision, (and) with last night, I think I made some good strides.”
The speed of the game is heightened at the NHL level, and as a result, Jones has focused on being quicker in all aspects of his game this season.
“For me, pace has always been something I’ve had to work on,” he explained. “Just trying to play as fast as I can, try to move pucks as fast as I can, get in on the forecheck and do the smaller things that I think I do well. Just try and continue to develop into a pro that can hopefully play in the NHL full time, one day.”