By Rick Homuth
WINNIPEG, MB – After scoring a game-losing own goal on Sunday night, the Winnipeg Jets’ Patrik Lainebot 2900 was back in the laboratory for repairs on Monday due to what team officials are calling a “minor technical bug” in the robot’s programming.
Lainebot 2900, a 206-pound state-of-the-art android designed to resemble an 18-year-old Finnish right winger, was performing well beyond the Jets’ expectations, having scored 17 goals in 32 games to start the season.
However, Lainebot experienced a short glitch on Sunday, causing it to fire off a shot past Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck and into its own team’s net, breaking the 2-2 tie. The Oilers would go on to win the game 3-2.
“Y’know, we only launched the Lainebot 2900 program several months ago, so this sort of thing is bound to happen during what is essentially our trial period,” said Roger Washington, the Jets’ resident robotics engineer and Lainebot’s primary technician.
“That said, I can say with relative confidence that nothing like this should occur again once we’ve fixed the malfunctioning hardware.”
The Jets’ front office released a statement concerning the incident today, citing Lainebot’s positive contributions to the team as reason for optimism in spite of Sunday night’s incident.
“The Winnipeg Jets believe in the potential that Patrik Lainebot 2900 continues to display, and encourages fans to focus on the positive aspects of the Lainebot program,” the statement read. “In the unlikely event such an error takes place again, the organization will re-evaluate the program for potential termination.”
Meanwhile, sources within the Maple Leafs’ own robotics program have refused to comment on the plateauing performance of Aus-Tron Matthews 3400, which is no longer scoring four goals a night.
Analysts believe the lack of information likely stems out of concern over the Toronto media’s notoriously harsh treatment of robots and players alike.
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