IF a nine-game goal drought is eating Evander Kane up inside, he's doing a dang fine job of hiding it.
The Winnipeg Jets' sniper was holding court with the media after practice on Wednesday and left the distinct impression he -- like many in the organization -- is convinced he'll soon be raising his arms in celebration again after sniping another goal.
Especially, it would seem, it he can manage even close to the 10 shots -- tying a career high -- he managed in Monday's shootout loss to the Calgary Flames.
"I thought the last game was a lot more my game than it has been in the last few," said Kane. "Whether I go on a five- or six-game goal streak or don't go without a couple goals... that's the nature of a season and you want to get out of that (a drought) as soon as possible.
"You try and do different things to be a better player and be better than you have been in these last stretch of games. I thought Calgary was a good game for myself. Can I be better than that? Absolutely. But it's a good start for me."
Kane has six goals and seven assists this season, but hasn't scored since Oct. 26 in Dallas.
"Evander's going through some things as well that are a little bit difficult for him, I'm sure this has been an adjustment for him," said Claude Noel. "I have no problems with Evander. The only thing, and he and I have talked about it, is a lot of his game is driven from his skating and his speed and that's where he can really excel.
"I see that, but I don't see it all the time. Last game I thought he was real good and so I think he's on the right track. He'll get through this, this is just another bump that he has to deal with. He's a conscientious defensive player... if he skates he's in really good shape and everything falls into place. Goal scoring is just a byproduct of skating for him."
QUOTABLE: "That's our team, to a degree. I just didn't want it to get any worse. They knew that and they knew that before they hit the ice. We've just got to get better. What league are we in? Peewees? We start like peewees sometimes." -- Noel, when asked about Wednesday's practice, a session in which he seem peeved with his squad's attention to detail and wasn't afraid to let them know about it.
OPENING AN OLD WOUND: For those fans still steaming about the Calgary Flames' short-handed goal by Lance Bouma in the third period Monday -- a goal with put the visitors ahead 3-2 after Bouma seemed to 'pick' Dustin Byfuglien, check out Kerry Fraser's blog at TSN.ca. Here's his take on the Bouma goal: "Lance Bouma clearly eliminated Dustin Byfuglien with illegal body contact that directly resulted in Bouma scoring a short-handed goal. Bouma should have been assessed an interference penalty negating any opportunity to score on the play. The Jets should have then enjoyed a two-man advantage for one minute and forty seconds."
HAWKS PREYING ON JETS: Winnipeg is 0-2 vs. Chicago this season and has been outscored 9-2.
"We haven't played them that great," said Noel. "Turnovers really hurt us all the time and they capitalize. Even if you limit their chances they're a little bit unlike other teams because they can finish on them. When your average is 14 chances against per game... you do that against them and three are in your net. That's something we have to be aware of. They have a good team... but we can't beat them."
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