It didn’t seem like a fair fight — an NHL-heavy Jets lineup against the prospect-laden Oilers — and for most of Tuesday night’s pre-season game between Winnipeg and Edmonton it wasn’t.

It was however a very telling test of skill and will for the guys trying to impress Edmonton Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins.

And not surprisingly given that it was 3-0 Jets through 56 minutes not everyone passed.

“There was some good out there and there was some bad” said Eakins after a late rally spurred by defenceman Philip Larsen fell short in a 3-2 loss. “There were some people out there that we expect more of and some people who were surprising.

“Richard Bachman was great in net had a really good game. We know he’s a good goalie but when he puts in a performance like that you’re definitely encouraged and I thought Larsen played a really solid game as well.”

The Oilers showed up with a bit of a skeleton crew bringing only five players who were on the team last year (Jeff Petry Ladislav Smid Ryan Jones Nail Yakupov and Sam Gagner) and a handful of players who are supposed to be on the cusp — Jesse Joensuu Linus Omark Larsen Denis Grebeshkov Ryan Hamilton Anton Lander and Mark Arcobello.

Against a Winnipeg team that had about 13 players who’ll be on the roster when the season starts it was just the kind of challenge a coach wants to see. Unfortunately the Oilers were virtually lifeless in the first two periods.

“You never know what’s going to happen in these exhibition games” said Eakins. “You might come in with very few of your actual NHL guys hoping that maybe they’ll do the same. But then when you see they have more NHL players then suddenly you’re excited about that too — let’s see how we do against them. You want to see how hard your guys will push against those players.”

The second period in which the Oilers were outscored 2-0 and being outshot 15-5 at one point was very telling.

“I thought we were slow almost unfit in the second period and then in the third we shook up the lines rewarded some people pushed some people down and got a spark again.”