They are, to use Claude Noel’s term, "in a good place" right now. And now the Winnipeg Jets are eager to take their act onto the road to overcome what has been an Achilles' heel all season – winning games outside of Manitoba and winning games on successive nights.
The Jets practised at MTS Iceplex on Wednesday before leaving in the afternoon for their two-games-in-two-days road trip that begins with Thursday’s game in Vancouver and concludes Friday in Calgary. Still holding down the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, the Jets want to make their 11-17-4 road record, among the league’s worst, more respectable.
"Now we’ve found ourselves, we know what we have to do to win," said centre Bryan Little. "We have that energy and competitiveness at home and we’re a different team than we were at the start of the season and we know what we have to do to take that on the road with us."
The Jets are 6-2-2 in their last 10, that record bolstered by the just-completed 5-1-2 homestand. But things must change on the road, especially with nine of their remaining 15 regular-season games coming way from MTS Centre.
"We’ve learned from our mistakes," said Little. "You can’t go five or six games where you’re not playing good hockey, especially now. We’ve raised our level of play up lately because we’re desperate for wins, we’re desperate for points. It seems like we’ve found another gear.
"It’s nice playing at home and it was a really good homestand for us, but I think we’re all excited to get on the road for a couple of games and see what we can do. The road has been a challenge for us so far, but we want to change that. If we do get in the playoffs, we’re going to have to learn to play on the road."