Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Jets centres find faceoffs challenging

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THURSDAY brings up the first Central Division game of the season for the Winnipeg Jets.

And as of Tuesday, it will pit the league's best faceoff team against one of its worst.

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Through three games, the Jets were winning draws just a little more than 41 per cent of the time.

"We practise pretty much every day after morning skates," said Jets centre Jim Slater. "It's a big part of the game. They (Minnesota) do win a lot, they have four top guys. Especially (Miko) Koivu. The west is solid all the way down, pretty much all four guys on these teams.

"It's going to be a good challenge for us. It's going to be tough."

-- -- --

On Tuesday, Jets' practice was missing right-winger Chris Thorburn, who was a scratch on Sunday night against Anaheim.

Noel was very vague as to Thorburn's condition.

"Day to day with an injury that depends which way he's doing whatever," the coach said. "It could be lower body, mid-body, it depends."

-- -- --

This Thursday and Friday mark the season's first back-to-back games for Winnipeg, in Minnesota and at home to Dallas.

Could this lead to the first start of the season for backup goalie Al Montoya?

"That's a good question," the coach said. "You sleep last night? We'll just have to wait and see, but that's a good question."

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 9, 2013 D3

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