Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Jets have knack of making things hard for themselves

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PART of being in their own way during the rough early going for the Winnipeg Jets has been penalties.

In particular, the team's short-handed time has increased substantially over last season, up about 44 per cent to an average of 6 minutes 48 seconds per game so far.

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The team's penalty-killing hasn't been bad at all, at 83 per cent, but you can only tempt fate so many times, as the Jets found out Tuesday in St. Louis, when a power-play goal in the game's 60th minute sunk them.

"We gave St. Louis six power plays," Jets coach Claude Noel said. "The last one was the one that hurt us. We killed off five but it's very concerning because that was one of the keys of the game.

"You're walking into St. Louis playing the top power play. What are you doing? You're finding ways to make this more difficult?"

Mum's the word on hurts

Obtaining information about injured players has become nearly a waste of time.

More evidence Friday, as injured rookie defenceman Jacob Trouba was seen on the bench during the team's practice and walking through the dressing room later. Not only was he not wearing his neck brace, he was in workout shorts and T-shirt and was taping a stick.

Trouba and the Jets had left everyone with the impression two weeks ago that he'd be in his neck brace for two weeks, after which time his injury would be re-evaluated.

Jets coach Claude Noel was asked if Trouba has been working out already.

"Sure, he's able to do some things and that's what we do with him and all the players," he said.

It isn't known when Trouba might return to practice or to game action.

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 2, 2013 C7

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