Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 11/26/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
NEWARK, N.J. -- With five weeks between games, Winnipeg Jets rookie Jacob Trouba wasn't expecting perfect.
He didn't get it, but was still an asset as the Jets stopped a four-game slide with their 3-1 win over the New Jersey Devils.
The 19-year-old defenceman, out for five weeks after crashing headfirst into the boards on Oct. 18, played 25 shifts and officially 19 minutes 59 seconds in Monday's win.
That's a little below his 21:15 average coming into the game.
"I thought Trouba was good," said Jets coach Claude Noel, who used the rookie mostly with Grant Clitsome. "Thought he got a little bit better as the game wore on. Some rusty stuff but he was pretty good."
Trouba was the same as he always is after a game -- no big deal.
"Yeah, that felt good," he said without a smile. "A little rust but I'm sure that will come in time.
"I wasn't really too nervous. Just (had) a couple bad passes, bad reads, that kind of stuff. But you can't really practise that if you're not playing the games. So I'm sure it will get better with a couple of games."
He said his week or so of practice time leading up to Monday's return was helpful.
"I felt fine," he said. "I think they did a good job of getting me in shape, so I was ready for that."
Noel's big picture
PRIOR to Monday's win, Jets coach Claude Noel wasn't interested in exploring the ins and outs of the style of the six-game road trip that started with the 3-1 score over the Devils.
Noel has the bigger picture in mind for his team, he said.
"Somewhere in here we've got to get consistently on the right side of the close games," Noel said. "That's what has to be the goal."
YOU'D almost think it was personal.
New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider, the former Manitoba Moose standout, isn't taking it that way.
He's confident things will change and soon. But so far, his team has scored just 12 goals in his first 10 games.
"It's just been bad luck," Schneider said Monday. "We've shown that we can score goals but we, for whatever reason when I have been in there, haven't gotten some bounces.
"We've played some pretty strong defensive teams, too. I'm a big believer that everything kind of evens out in the end."
The bad luck might have been broken last week in L.A. when he played his brains out and teammate Jaromir Jagr scored in overtime for a 2-1 New Jersey win. Schneider said he will not let it affect how he plays.
"Hopefully getting a big goal the other night will be the first of many going forward," he said. "You can't get down on yourself, look at your record and stop believing you're that good. You have to just keep pushing forward. I can't change what I do because if I do, then we're going to need more than one or two goals to win games if I'm giving up three or four."
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 26, 2013 D2
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