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This article was published 7/12/2011 (2024 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
THERE are some low totals and low moments for Winnipeg Jets' fourth-line forwards this season.
Like Ben Maxwell's 2 minutes 21 seconds of playing time Nov. 6 in New York.
Or Jason Jaffray's giveaway near his own blue-line that led to Boston's game-tying goal Tuesday night at the MTS Centre.
"You're more apt to make mistakes if you're not out there very much," said Jets forward Tanner Glass, who knows the role well from his past. "You're cold, but that's the nature of the beast. A lot of guys have gone through that breaking into the league.
"You've got to be able to be sharp mentally in those situations."
Jaffray, who has not played more than 5:17 in any of the past four games, said it's a big adjustment.
"You try to keep your head in the game," he said Wednesday. "If you can stay in the game mentally, it helps a lot physically.
"The last last handful of games all seem to have been one-goal games, come halfway through the game it's tough sledding to get a shift in.
"But I'm where I want to be right now and I've got to fill the role that's needed."
Tuesday's defensive-zone blunder was the nightmare scenario for any fourth-liner.
"The puck just came to me and... I know the puck was spinning when it hit my stick," said Jaffray on the mistake that led to Shawn Thornton's third-period goal. "I kind of looked up before I made the play -- was trying to get it over to (Carl) Klingberg -- and that's one of those things that as a fourth-line guy, you're not supposed to get scored on.
"I don't think I've every been happier to see a guy score a goal than when (Bryan) Little put that (game-winner) in. I kind of jumped about three feet in the air. I wanted to give him a hug after the game.
"Coach was laughing about it after the game and today, but if you lose that game, I don't know if the coach is laughing. I just wanted to dig a hole and climb in it as soon as that happened."
Readiness is everything, said Jets forward Tim Stapleton.
"It's hard," Stapleton said. "But that's kind of up to you. It's the player's responsibility to be ready. There have been times myself, I didn't play from the 10-minute mark in the second and then got thrown on the power play at some point in the third."
But even readiness has its challenges, Glass said.
"You're cold," Glass said, asked to think of times in his past when he was in a lower-minute role. "Your feet hurt because you tied your skates too tight between periods. That's the most common one. Or you get hungry between periods. I used to yawn a lot. I remember my dad seeing it on TV, and he told me, 'You've got to stop yawning.' I don't know what that is. It wasn't like I was sleepy-tired, but for whatever reason I'd be yawning. All difficult, but part of the job."