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Winnipeg Jets Notebook

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Kane comes up lame

MUM was the word on Wednesday but the Winnipeg Jets expect to know more today about Evander Kane's apparent knee injury at practice Wednesday.

The left-winger was engaged in drills in one end of the MTS Iceplex rink, about an hour into the 80-minute practice, when he went down.

He had to be helped off by a teammate and a trainer, unable or unwilling to put any weight on his right leg as he exited.

"He got a tweak in practice and he'll get assessed sometime today providing we can get him looked at and we'll go from there," coach Claude Noel said after Wednesday's practice. "He's day-to-day right now. We just need further information and I don't have it.

"It was one of his wheels. He's got two good ones."

With no information, it remains uncertain whether Kane will be available for Friday's home game against the St. Louis Blues.

 

Centres battling injuries

FURTHER on injuries, centre Jim Slater left part-way through Wednesday's session. Centre Bryan Little was at the arena, but didn't practise at all.

"We've got some guys with nagging stuff that we knew would struggle a little," Noel reported. "So it was probably just wise on our part to get them off the ice and get them looked at.

"Bryan's the same thing."

Jets right-winger Chris Thorburn did skate on his own, with conditioning coach Lee Stubbs, for about a half-hour on Wednesday.

"He's more than day-to-day, but he's not too far off," was all Noel would say.

 

Practise playing hard

ON the matter of an intense, battle-heavy practice on Wednesday, Noel wasn't interested in any discussion about hard practices leading to injuries.

"There's no guarantee players (won't) get hurt in a light practice," the coach said. "I think that you have to try to determine what the team needs first. If you're afraid of injuries in practice, you're never going to be able to practise the right way. I think we needed to do some stuff that mostly related to competing.

"I think it's time the players get mad."

 

No excuse for slow starts

ANOTHER poor start on Tuesday doomed the Jets in their shutout loss to Montreal, and it was a frequent subject at Wednesday's practice.

"We need to play better from the onset of the game and if we don't we're going to end up practising the way we need to start and the way we need to play, so pick your poison," Noel said.

"If we're sick and tired of hearing about it then I guess we'd better do something about it," said captain Andrew Ladd. "That's the way I see it. It's on each and every one of us individually to prepare for the game and make sure we're ready for puck drop.

"There's absolutely no excuse to not be ready once that game is going."

 

Scheifele likes the puck

NOEL singled out rookie centre Mark Scheifele for good play on Tuesday, but Scheifele was in the minority of players with good grades.

"The puck was a bigger part of his game," the coach said.

The puck was where Scheifele put the credit on Wednesday.

"I think I just wanted the puck more," the rookie said. "I wanted to have it on my stick, wanted to be around it. I think that was the biggest difference."

Ladd called it Scheifele's best of the seven regular-season games.

"I thought yesterday was probably his best game to date, had a little more jump in his step," Ladd said.

 

Frolik part-timer on PK

THROUGH seven games, the charts show right-winger Michael Frolik, Game 1's hero in Edmonton with two goals including the winner, with 12 minutes 55 seconds of ice time per game.

That amount was just 11:24 on Tuesday.

To date, the Jets have used Frolik sparingly in penalty-killing duty, averaging 41 seconds per game. Last season in Chicago, the native of Kladno, Czech Republic was among the Hawks' top four penalty-killers based on ice time, averaging 2:24 per game.

"He's been a good player for us," Noel said. "If he continues to play the way he's playing five-on-five, he's going to find time to be on special teams.

"With our penalty killing, we've had some success so you're a little bit leery of trying new people in certain areas.

"I'm not ignoring him."

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 17, 2013 D2

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