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Jets prep for first road trip

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WINNIPEG - There are no magic potions here for the Winnipeg Jets, but exiting Manitoba for their first official road trip of the 2011-12 season might just be the perfect tonic for the hockey team after all the hoopla of their home opener.

The Jets practised Tuesday at MTS Centre and have a skate scheduled for Wednesday morning before heading to Chicago, then Phoenix, for games Thursday and Saturday.

Stepping out from under the glare of the local spotlight might help a squad that seemed too caught up in the moment in Sunday’s 5-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

"It’s a good chance for us to get a bit closer as a team and bond a bit," said centre Bryan Little. "And there’s no better opportunity than in Chicago. It’s going to be a tough game."

"It’s going to be nice to just be playing," added captain Andrew Ladd. "Even this little stretch until Thursday... it seems like every day is playing every other day now and we’re still kinda waiting. It’ll be nice to be playing every other day and stop thinking about everything."

Of note from Tuesday: Ben Maxwell, who has been injured, was back practising and working on a line with Mark Scheifele and Kyle Wellwood while Evander Kane had been moved to a trio that included Alex Burmistrov and Nik Antropov.

As well, goaltender Chris Mason was not at practice as his wife is about to give birth. The Jets "called up" Univeristy of Manitoba Bison netminder Joe Caligiuri -- the Canada West Male Athlete of the Week last week – to step in and help.

Ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPEdTait

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