May 20, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Battered and bruised during their last road trip, the Winnipeg Jets are now in full recovery mode.
The club was up off the mat during a practice at MTS Centre Sunday and hopes to start throwing punches again Tuesday when the Florida Panthers pay a visit (7 p.m., TSNJets/TSN1290).
"We’re looking forward… that’s all you can do now," said Jets winger Blake Wheeler. "Last week wasn’t what we had written up going into it, obviously. There’s still a lot of hockey to play. If we’re going to start mailing it in now, that’s not a good sign."
The Jets, now 3-4-1 on the season after losing three straight, play twice at home this week and five of their next six at MTS Centre.
Four players were absent from Sunday’s practice: Zach Redmond, Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd and Bryan Little. Head coach Claude Noel said Redmond, Ladd and Little were all ‘maintenance’ related while Byfuglien, who tweaked something off-ice while preparing for last Thursday’s game in Florida and has missed the last two games, is listed as day-to-day.
The session wrapped up with assistant coach Perry Pearn appearing to be spending a lot of time working on the team’s penalty-kill systems. The Jets are dead last in penalty-kill percentage, having surrendered 11 goals in 27 short-handed situations, a percentage of 59.3.
"We’re just trying to clarify some things. I mean, when you have given up as many goals as we have in the last three games on penalty killing you have to go over some things," said Noel. "We’re just trying to get better at it. I don’t think we want to continue on at the clip we are going percentage-wise. We’re looking at getting quite a bit better at that, but that’s an area of concern right now, no question."