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Kane, Jets have fun practice

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Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane practises with his teammates at the MTS Centre Sunday.

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Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane practises with his teammates at the MTS Centre Sunday. Photo Store

Left-winger Evander Kane returned to full practice Sunday and the Winnipeg Jets took a fun practice day with a few thousand fans to enjoy their three-game winning streak.

The Jets held an invite-only workout today at the MTS Centre for their season-ticket waiting-list customers. Though it was without Andrew Ladd, Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little, Olli Jokinen, Toby Enstrom and Keaton Ellerby, the team spent an hour doing some work and then concentrated on a good time, including a three-on-three game with a tennis ball.

"It actually timed out pretty well," said Jets coach Paul Maurice. "When you win three games, almost everything times out better.

"But when we didn’t have the day off last week (Tuesday) and we needed to skate, you also need to build a recovery day in there somehow.

"So the timing of it with the fans... I think they had more fun because they get to see the personalities a little bit instead of a bunch of drills with the coach barking and even in that, I don’t get to coach the way I need to in that environment.

"I thought it worked out really well. The guys had fun, the coaches got to see some personalities and this is new for me, too, to see how they interact with each other."

Since Maurice arrived a week ago, the 22-23-5 Jets have wins over Phoenix, Calgary and Edmonton. Their schedule gets stiffer this week, with a road trip against two of the Western Conference’s top teams, Anaheim and San Jose.

"It’s always more fun when you’re winning," Jets defenceman Mark Stuart said. "It’s a long season. Some guys are going through some bumps and bruises so it kept a few guys off.

"And for the rest of us, we got a good skate with some fun games. It’s always nice to mix one of those in once in a while to break up the monotony."

Of the group that didn’t skate, Maurice said all are expected back on the ice Monday for practice.

Kane will also participate on Monday but his return to the lineup was left up in the air.

As well, Monday is expected to be the first full-contact day for defenceman Paul Postma, who’s been out since late October with a blood clot (since gone) in his leg.

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

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